FORT MYERS, Fla. – Speaking after throwing a short bullpen session at JetBlue Park Thursday morning, Daniel Bard talked about both his struggles of 2012 and the optimism he is carrying into ’13.
“It was good to get away and get a couple of months removed from everything and kind of look at it from a bigger picture perspective. I think that helps,” he said. “If you’re going to talk about last year you have to talk about the three years before that, as well. I’m not going to lie, it was a good motivating factor for the offseason. I never felt more motivated in the weight room, with the throwing, and everything. I think it was a really productive offseason.
“It was a pile of things. I think it kind of compounded. I think that’s the tough part, when you’re throwing every day, playing catch every day, pitching in a game every two or three days, it doesn’t matter where you are, Boston or Pawtucket, those problems seem to snowball and that’s kind of what happened to me. Two or three months without picking up the baseball, and just kind of hitting the reset button as far as throwing mechanics and everything, it all kind of comes back to you. Whether you’ve had a good season or a bad season I think you kind of relearn how to throw and when you pick up a ball in December your body comes what’s natural.”
Bard, who finished ’12 pitching in 17 games, including 10 starts, did admit that, in hindsight, a portion of the problems he ran into last season may have stemmed from simply doing too much.
The 27-year-old is now banking on taking advantage of the familiarity he shares with new manager John Farrell, who was with the righty through his first two seasons. During that stretch – from 2009-10 – Bard totaled a 2.61 ERA with a .197 batting average against in 122 games.
“With [former pitching coaches] Curt [Young] and with Mac [Bob McClure], I think those guys are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pitching. They didn’t know me and they didn’t know my past,” Bard said. “With Mac in particular, I love Mac. I think he’s a great guy, and everything he said I seemed to agree with. At the same time, I think we just tried to tweak a few too many things. The way I pitched in the past is simple. It’s attacking hitters, not thinking really about how you’re getting there, have a couple mechanical keys you go off of and let it eat from there. I just got away from that last year.”
Another notable observation made by Bard was suggesting a respite from the ’12 season might have helped thwart many of the pitcher’s struggles. It was an idea, he pointed out, which wasn’t broached by him or the team.
“I think probably if they would have sent me home for two weeks and said, ‘Don’t pick up a ball in the middle of the season,’ that probably would have been the best thing,” he said. “But learn from it, move on. I’m pretty much done talking about last year. It is what it is and I’m ready to move on.”
He later added when asked about the idea of a two-week layoff, “I probably wouldn’t have liked the idea because you always think you’re one click away and you feel like you can battle through it. It was frustrating at times, very frustrating. But I can look back on it now and see the bigger picture and see the things that led the issues, I guess. It makes it a little easier to look back and almost from an outsiders perspective and think, ‘OK, I was trying to do this when I was trying to become a starter and it led to these things.’ I had a hard time breaking those bad habits. It’s a lot easier looking back then it is when you’re in the moment.”
The following is the rest of what Bard had to say:
ON A PLAN TO IMPROVE
“For me it was finding that arm-slot. Finding that feeling or release. Just playing catch that translates directly how you’re throwing on the mound. The first six weeks of throwing you don’t get off the mound. It’s just throwing, finding the target and building arm strength. I’ve been on the mound four or five times now and it’s felt like it’s translated pretty well.
“It kind of comes natural after not throwing for a couple of months. I’ve been throwing my whole life, and that’s the thing I battled with last year is finding that consistent slot, which leads to a consistent release, which leads to having better command. All I can say is that it feels good right now.”
ON WORKING WITH FARRELL
“It’s been great so far. He saw bits and pieces of me last year. He saw that one tough start I had in Toronto first-hand. But the majority of pitches he has seen me throw was when I was pretty locked in for two years with him. He knows when I’m doing things right. He knows what that looks like. It was like last year, the only guy who really knew me was Tuck so he was the only guy I could really count on and say, ‘Does this look like the old me?’ Everyone else had to just go off of results. It’s nice having John here to be a set of eyes who have known me for a long time.”
ON BEING IN A BETTER FRAME OF MIND THAN LAST YEAR
“I think that’s a given.”
ON MEETING UP WITH FARRELL IN THE OFFSEASON
“I think the first couple were him trying to get a feel for where I was at, mentally, physically, how I was feeling. Once he kind of got that. He came down, watched me throw in Mississippi and I think he saw things were going in the right direction. He saw how good I felt. You talk to any pitcher and it’s all about feel. You can kind of see when a pitcher has feel versus when he doesn’t. I think once you realize that feel is coming back it’s a tweak here, and a tweak there. But I think it’s become a lot more simple.”
ON MAKING THE TEAM
“I’m not too worried about it. I know that if I come in here and take care of business and throw the ball the way I’m capable of it, a role or a spot is going to make itself available.”
ON STARTING VS. RELIEVING
“I don’t think I was doing it long enough to really say it didn’t work. I was an average starter for 10 starts or so and had one really bad one at a bad time when they needed to make a spot for a guy coming off the DL. It is what it is, and that’s how it worked out. I’m back in a role I think I’m comfortable with, throwing short stints out of the pen. That fits my mentality when I’m at my best. That probably fits it the best.”
ON THROWING MORE THAN JUST FASTBALL, SLIDER
“Changeup still feels good. It’s all a matter of how much I can introduce it in a game. Out of the pen, it’s been a tougher pitch to rely on because it’s that in-between speed. It feels good throwing out here.”
We check in with former Patriot, current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans for his complete analysis on the Patriots win over the Bengals, and the rest of the NFL.
We talk to special teams Captain Matthew Slater about the win over the Bengals and some of the extra-curricular activities that took place between plays.
We check in with head coach Bill Belichick for his thoughts and analysis on beating the Bengals, and preparing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Chris and Rob talk with former MLB Infielder and current ESPN analyst Alex Cora. Alex talks about some of the moves he saw in the Red Sox-Indians ALDS, and talks about the core group of young players the Red Sox have
We wrap up the Sox season with our final weekly visit with Sox manager John Farrell, on the heels of the news that he will be back as Sox skipper for the 2017 season.
Red Sox Hall of Famer Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2016 Boston Red Sox season
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Listeners voice their displeasure with the NFL and Michael Lombardi called in to give his thoughts on Roger Goodell and Josh Brown.
Gerry, Kirk and Mut react to Mad Dog defending Josh Brown.
The guys praised Jerry Thornton's questions to Peter King and headlines with Minihane.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss the MMQB's comments on Dale and Holley defending the NFL and Giants organization. They find fault with him and other NFL apologists in their rationale of making excuses for the league and the Giants as to why Josh Brown was only suspended one game.
The OMFers open the show talking about new revelations about Giants Kicker Josh Brown and his domestic violence case. They discuss the NFL's failure to uphold the standards that they had placed on themselves in policing domestic violence perpetrators.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio makes his weekly appearance on OMF to discuss the NFL and New York Giants mishandling of the Josh Brown situation.
We discuss the NFL and the Patriots with Hall of Famer Michael Irvin as the Pats prepare to head to Pittsburgh to take on the Stillers.
We discuss Josh Brown, domestic violence and the league that never learns from it's past mistakes, the NFL
We close out the show with the best clips of the day and LAROY!
Kirk Minihane, avid runner, talks to Charlie Engle about the passion of running, how running became an addiction that replaced drug related addictions, and Charlie's time in jail. Kirk and Charlie have had similar paths through life and they discuss how a passion for running changed their lives.
Kirk was scheduled to interview Jeff Pearlman but the connection sucked and we called a late audible and interrupted the K&C Post Show podcast. Kirk takes over the K&C podcast and turns into Enough About Me and an epic bitchfest ensues.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Red Sox legend Mo Vaughn to talk to Mo about his playing days here in Boston, why the Sox couldn't have won a World Series in the 90's, and what life has been like since his playing day's have ended.
With Pete Davidson unavailable today, Jim Hackett brought in a special guest for today’s show. You know him as “Andy from Sales,” famous from his appearances as spokesman for New England Fat Loss. The loser of 75lbs has been a winner to date in the Entercom Boston Fantasy Football League, sporting a 6-0 record sitting in 1st Place. But Jim is concerned about the makeup of his team. At 6-0, there’s still plenty of work to do for Andy (picture here)… After Andy’s team diagnosis that includes some needed Waiver Wire adds and some trade options to seek, the show turns to Pete’s Starts & Sits article where Jim highlights some plays and values he likes for Week 7. The show closes with a little insight from Jim on the continued missteps of the NFL… Enjoy!
Brad Feldman joins the show to talk about what the Revs need to do to get back to the top of the Eastern Conference, what the future holds for Jay Heaps, and the front office philosophy.
Uncle Buck and friends discuss the return of Bill Goldberg to the WWE and Ronda Rousey's return to the UFC.
Gerry, Kirk and Meter reacted to Artie Lange's podcast in 'Headlines' and Meter loves Mookie Betts as the guys get a little baseball talk in during hour two of Thursday's show.More from this show
Mark Dondero of WPRI in Providence called in to defend himself and Kirk was ready to take on a listener in hour four of Thursday's show with Jon Meterparel in on Dino's Casting Couch.More from this show
Listeners voice their displeasure with the NFL and Michael Lombardi called in to give his thoughts on Roger Goodell and Josh Brown.More from this show
Gerry, Kirk and Meter discussed the 3rd and final presidential debate in hour one of the Thursday show and have all concluded Hillary Clinton is going to be our next president.More from this show
Gerry, Kirk and Mut react to Mad Dog defending Josh Brown.More from this show