The general assumption in baseball circles is Daniel Bard will be the closer for the 2012 Boston Red Sox. If that is the case and Bard is truly applying for the “closer” position, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he is having the worst interview since Sarah Palin showed up for her little sit down with Katie Couric.
That is a frightening thought but appropriate in light of Bard’s frightening performance to date. Just to recap, the high-octane Tar Heel, following last night’s horror show, has now puked FIVE times this season. Yes, FIVE TIMES. In just twenty-two appearances. Sorry, but a 23% failure rate won’t get you an AL closer role anywhere outside of maybe Baltimore or Anaheim.
Just to recap, here are the five Bardian foul-ups this season …..
- Opening Day in Texas, Bad News Bard enters a 5-5 game and gives up a walk and a single. From there … three of the next four hitters reach on doubles.
- The next week, at Cleveland, Bard enters a 0-0 game in the 8th and proceeds to walk the first guy he faced. That guy was Adam Everett. Yes, the same Adam Everett who gets votes when talk turns to …. “who is the worst offensive player in the American League.”
- April 27th at Baltimore, Bard enters a 4-4 game that Youkilis has just tied with a three-run smash and begins by giving up back to back singles to Markakis and Lee. The corpse of Vlad then finishes him with a single up the middle.
- Ten days ago in Toronto, Bard is summoned into a 5-5 game and gives up a home run to the first batter he faces. That batter was David Cooper ….. not Jose Bautista.
- Last night, a David Ortiz BOMB should have given the Sox all the insurance they needed but they soon found out their policy did not cover Bard and multi-slam collisions.
That the Sox came back last night to clean up Bard’s mess is a consolation of sorts. But it shouldn’t mask the fact that Bard has already used up most of his annual bed shit allowance and we are just forty-three games into the season.
Yes, I realize that DB is asked to pitch in lots of high-levearge situations so hiccups will occur. But 23% of the time? Sorry, that is way too high for a guy who some think should trademark the term, Auto-Bard. And it hardly burnishes his credentials as he applies to be the Sox next closer.
Now in Bard’s defense, his overall numbers this season – and the underlying peripherals – remain pretty solid. That suggests that he has probably run into a bit of bad luck. Perhaps that will iron itself out as the 2011 sample increases in size. It better, because assuming Bard makes 75 appearances this season, the Sox figure to be in trouble if Bard pukes in 16 or 17 of them.
As someone who is “long” Bard, I am not ready to sell my stock. And I still believe the kid remains the front-runner to be the ninth inning guy in 2012. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my doubts. And at the very least, I think those papers at the trademark office should be withdrawn because these days, the last thing I would call Daniel Bard is automatic.