Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 3/23/13
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. Against Double-A hitters in a minor league spring training game on Friday, Bard authored the following sequence: single up the middle, stolen base, walk, walk, strikeout, strikeout, run-scoring hit by pitch. There was promise when he unleashed his fastball down in the strike zone and spun sliders to get swings and misses in the two punchouts, but it was impossible to ignore the command struggles that put him in a jam in the first place.  Bard feels he needs adrenaline and a charged atmosphere in order to put himself in position to be sharp. “I don’t think you can conjure [a reliever's mentality] up in a spring training game necessarily. I think you kind of need to force yourself to a little bit, but I think you’ve got to, I don’t know what kind of innings early in the year, but wherever that is, you’ve got to treat it like it’s important,” said Bard. “Honestly, the bigger games in my life are the ones where I pitched better. I thrived in the eighth inning in Yankee Stadium, going back to the playoffs in ’09 — I love those situations, because the focus is all on the competition and getting three outs, no matter how you do it, find a way to do it. That’s usually when I’m at my best.” WEEI - Daniel Bard, despite struggles in minor league game: ‘I feel like I’m ready’ We talked about Bard yesterday morning as well, but two days of Bard is better than 14 straight days of Jackie Bradley Jr., no? Yesterday we talked about how Bard had been looking decent this Spring (certainly a far cry from last year's train-wreck) but that it'd be best to keep him in the minors a bit longer.  He did nothing to buck that line of thinking yesterday.  Injuries can always force the Sox hand, but I just don't see how you can trust Bard with the ball in the majors right now. His quote above irritates me a bit too.  It could very well be true (admittedly, I've never made a relief appearance in the majors or minors), but it still rubs me the wrong way.  This is a guy who is fighting for not just a certain role in the bullpen, but to prove that he still belongs at this level.  Every pitch thrown is its own little job interview.  And he can't get himself riled up to fire those pitches?  He only thrives when it's the 8th inning at Yankee Stadium, or in the playoffs? What happens on a lazy June afternoon at Kansas City when Boston has a 4 run lead?  Can we not trust Bard on the mound that day because he doesn't find the situation thrilling enough?  I understand the dude is probably bummed; he doesn't have a realistic shot at making the majors yet.  He's most likely staring down a few more months in the minors.  Two years ago this isn't remotely how he envisioned his life to be.  So his passion has taken a hit.  I get all that. But if he wants to change that fortune, he's the one that has to do it.  No one else is going to throw those pitches for him.  If that means mowing down AA batters, give them the heat.  It's truly that simple. Rest of the links: Herald - Jackie Bradley breaks mold | Will Middlebrooks’ sis fuels drive | CSNNE - Farrell: Have to be realistic with Drew | Red Sox notes: Ortiz gets back in the cage | Game Day Notes: Aceves sharp in scoreless outing | WEEI - Jackie Bradley Jr. gets reintroduced to an old position with busy day in left field | Globe - Stephen Drew reassured after concussion exam
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