The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Bailey: Closer decision up to Red Sox
Wed, 04/24/2013 - 8:44pm  

Bailey: Closer decision up to Red Sox

Make no mistake: Andrew Bailey loves closing. He loves the adrenaline of coming in out of the bullpen, has embraced the idea of getting the crowd at Fenway Park to erupt to the sound of “Shipping Up To Boston” (the song that formerly heralded the entry of Jonathan Papelbon, but that Bailey and his teammates decided to celebrate when they returned from their last roadtrip determined to make a statement on behalf of their city), loves being the final line of defense en route to victory.

And he’s been very, very good in that role, perhaps more so than ever in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game when he struck out three straight left-handers — John Jaso, Seth Smith and Jed Lowrie — with cutters that had the downward tilt of sliders and showed devastating movement in on the southpaws.

Bailey now has five saves, a 1.59 ERA and an eye-popping 20 strikeouts (against four walks) in 11 1/3 innings. Yet at least in theory, the job of Red Sox closer might not be his by next week. When the Sox traded for Joel Hanrahan this winter, they called Bailey before the trade was announced to inform him of the move and to let Bailey know that it would be Hanrahan who would pitch in the ninth, with Bailey setting up.

It wasn’t Bailey’s preference, but he embraced the responsibility he was given. Now, he was asked, would he be amenable to conceding the role of closer back to Hanrahan when the latter comes off the DL?

“It’s not my decision to make. Obviously talking with them before the trade them, I told them I just want an opportunity and a chance to win that job,” said Bailey. “[But] they know that my goal was to stay healthy and prove that I can pitch. I think I’ve proven that. We’ll see what happens when he comes back. We’re all on the same page in terms of where we want to take this team. Whatever roles are, roles are. We’ll see what happens. We have 25 guys here on the same page, and we want to win a World Series. I really don’t think it matters what inning you pitch.

“Everybody wants to be the closer and everybody wants to pitch the ninth inning and right now that’s my job. Unfortunately Joel went down and he’ll be back soon. It’s not my decision to make but I was brought here to do a job last year. Injury got in the way and I wasn’t able to do that. My goal is just staying out in the field this year and they know what I can do. It’s just nice to be back out there and getting wins. We’re off to a great start and the team is playing well. That’s really all that matters.”

That the Sox have had the luxury of replacing one two-time All-Star closer with another has been a critical factor in the team’s early-season success. A year ago, the team sputtered out of the gate when surgery on Bailey’s thumb yielded bullpen chaos. This year, Hanrahan’s struggles and then absence have not derailed the team, thanks in no small part to the excellent work of Bailey.

“He’s pitched with no restrictions physically first and foremost. He’s back to the level in which he was a two-time All-Star: aggressive, multiple pitches for strikes, and even with the energy which he does execute, he’s able to make a secondary pitch as we saw today with the two 3-2 breaking balls,” said Sox manager John Farrell, alluding to a pair of punchouts on Bailey’s cutters-qua-sliders. “Even though when you look at him he looks like he’s pitching with his hair on fire, but he’s out there with a definite plan and he’s able to execute it.”

More important to Bailey than the inning in which he contributes is the fact that he is once again able to take the mound without restriction. His disappointment in losing the game-ending duties during the offseason was secondary to the fact that, after the Red Sox traded Josh Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara to acquire him (and outfielder Ryan Sweeney) from the A’s, he was never in position to justify that decision in 2012.

Now, in 2013, the talent that prompted the Sox to make such a deal is on display with increasing frequency.

“I’m confident enough to go out there and know that I can put up good numbers and I think unfortunately I’ve had a little bit of an injury bug throughout my career but I’m healthy now and I’ll keep on rolling,” said Bailey. “That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I want to prove to myself and major league baseball that I can stay healthy and put up a good season again.”




Audio On Demand

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

It Is What It Is Cast: What Patriots need to do to leave Lambeau with win

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Packers game, one that many are calling a possible Super Bowl preview.

MMQB's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Pablo Sandoval, newest Re…

Pablo Sandoval, newest Red Sox third baseman, talks about landing in Boston, 11-25-14

The Red Sox trotted out their newest FA acquisition Tuesday afternoon, third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda then joined MFB to talk about his conversations with (former) Giant teammate, Jake Peavy, about playing Boston. He also stressed that this move was the next big challenge in his life, and addressed some concerns about his defense, stating that he is focused on being at the hot corner for the duration of his contract.

Buster Olney on MFB: "Sandoval decided, apparently, with two equal offers he wanted to go to Boston," 11-24-14

Buster Olney of ESPN joined MFB to talk about all the free agent news surrounding the Red Sox over the past 24 hours

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talk…

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston, …

Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston, talks Patriots vs. Packers, 11-28-14

Special Teamer Don Jones was waived in a surprising move, Chandler Jones practiced and the Patriots gear up for what could be their most difficult battle left in Green Bay.

Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston, "This young core has to learn how to win,"11-28-14

Celtics columnist, Chris Forsberg, joined Butch and Gordon Edes to talk about the young core of players, Brad Stevens' need to win, and the tough November schedule that the Celtics struggled through.

The worst Lou Holtz impersonation of all time

BC football sideline reporter Scott Mutryn with the worst impersonation of all time.

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

Three For All - Rick Pitino "We played 4 white guys and an Egyptian," 11-26-14

Rick Pitino had some curious comments after a blowout victory. Richard Sherman takes on the NFL Media policies. Christian talks about a pill for farts.

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - MLB Hall of Fame Ballot Edition - 11-25-14

Dale and Michael give their four selections for the MLB Hall of Fame... this year's finalists were announced today.

Scrimmage scuffle: testiness at Bruins practice might have been overblown (with DJ Bean!)

Dale and Michael talk Bruins and discuss the supposed practice scuffle between Tuukka Rask and Soderberg, and DJ Bean dials us up to give his thoughts.

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Mikey remixes Billy Joel "Movin Out" in honor of the Patriots playing the Green Bay Packers

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

D&C Breaking Balls: Media…

D&C Breaking Balls: Media tweet beefs on evolution 11-24-14

The guys previewed the upcoming Packers Patriots game and discussed the media's latest tweet beef.

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

Ben Cherington on the Sox…

Ben Cherington on the Sox off-season moves 11-26-14

Ben Cherington joined us to discuss the Sox off-season moves.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

More from this show

John Dennis likes the Pac…

PETA's Ashley Byrne on a …

PETA's Ashley Byrne on a Vegan Thanksgiving 11-26-14

Ashley Byrne of PETA joined the show on the proper way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

More from this show

Weei Writers