FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s the nature of the beast. Because his season went so far off the rails last year, every throwing session that Daniel Bard has this spring will face a higher degree of scrutiny than that of virtually every one of his teammates. Such was the case on Saturday, when the right-hander threw his first live batting practice session of the spring, with minor leaguers Jeremy Hazelbaker and Jonathan Diaz stepping in the cage with Bard on the mound.
One obvious thing stood out: Bard was hitting the glove repeatedly. His fastball was down, and regularly popped the mitt of catcher Dan Butler. Butler also worked with Bard a year ago in Triple-A Pawtucket, so his take on the session was noteworthy.
“He looked confident out there. He was able to make some quick adjustments,” said Butler. “His fastball command was a lot better. He’s got a lot better feel for it. And change up looks good, slider looks good. He’s very consistent out there with his delivery. That’s the main thing with him.
“There’s definitely some adjustment that’s being made there [since last year]. He looks like he’s able to do that now. It looks a lot better.”
That early impression — which was in line with reports of Bard’s early bullpen sessions — was shared by manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington. At the same time, while encouraged, Cherington also wanted to downplay the idea of getting too caught up in how Bard looks in any single outing, preferring to be more mindful of the goal of preparing for the season rather than potentially riding a daily roller coaster based on individual bullpen sessions.
“One of the things we’ve talked with Daniel about, let’s not make this a story everyday,” said Cherington. “He’s a healthy pitcher getting ready for the season. I understand what happened last year, that there will be interest, but like a lot of other guys, he’s getting ready for the season and he’s back in a role that should be comfortable to him, working on things. … [He is] another very talented arm back there. He’s going through his progression and getting ready for games.”
The twin messages — that Bard looked good, but that it’s pointless to jump to any conclusions — was reiterated by Farrell.
“Again, it’s [live batting practice]. I don’t want to over-analyze it too much,” said Farrell. “The one point of emphasis he is trying to get done is not to guide the ball. Stay agressive, even in the early BP and bullpen sessions, and he’s doing just that.
“I think we want to be careful not to jump too early here,” Farrell continued. “This is the third time he’s been on the mound since we’ve opened up camp. We’ll get a better read once we get into games and you get into the game-speed and the adrenaline matched to it. That’s more of an accurate read at that point.”
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Recapping the evolution of the Deflategate witch hunt.
A compilation of all the trolls featured on D&C&M during Deflategate.
Kirk was The Breakfast Club's Donkey of the Day...
As the guys say goodbye to Aloha Friday and their last day of freedom from Glen Ordway, the Big O himself calls in to tell the guys that he's back in charge.
Lou and Christian grill Gary for his stance that Tom Brady is still guilty, and callers chime in to rip Gary.
Lou, Christian and Gary listen to comments made by Tom Brady's attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, and discuss what he said about why he thinks the NFL shouldn't appeal.
Dale, Michael and Jerry revisit the news that Brady will be on the field for Week One and discuss what the Krafts could and should do about their penalty.
On today's Final Drive the guys hear from Bill Burr and his thoughts on Deflategate, and LaRoy has another rap -- aptly themed around Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned.
There's been a lot of fools during the Deflategate saga, and we take a look at some of the biggest, most obnoxious ones.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with another a edition of the Fantasy Football Podcast. The opening of the 2015 NFL Season is just days away and the Fantasy Football draft season is at its peak. This week’s installment of the Fantasy Football Podcast features conversation about 36 Running Backs, how they are ranked and why. Plenty of insight to help you win at the position in your drafts. Good luck with your drafts and enjoy the show!
Jerry Thornton is joined by Richard J. King, author of the new book titled Meeting Tom Brady. The two discuss King's book as well as their undying love for TB12.
Sam, Alex and Paul discuss a recent article in Rolling Stone about Russell WIlson and pretty much rip him to shreds.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.More from this show
McCann gave us his thoughts on yesterday's proceedings.More from this show