"I haven't really thought about how it affects my situation," said Bard of the Hanrahan acquisition. "I know I have a lot to prove coming into spring training, and I'm getting ready for that. Obviously my goal is to get back to the role I held for two or three years, setting up or better. Whatever I earn, that's my goal.
"I was a little bit surprised. Having Bailey already here makes our team better without a doubt. You bring a proven, successful power arm in the late innings, that's always going to make your team better. I think we were going to have a good bullpen without him, and now he just will make it better."
The return of Farrell is just part of what Bard considers solving the mystery of '12. There is uncovering what went wrong, and when it went wrong, during his nightmarish season, along with how he might alter the approach in the coming year.
That's a very good, lengthy article from Rob Bradford discussing the entire Bard situation. I highly recommend checking the whole thing out.
Bard is really a wildcard on this Sox team. No one has any idea what to expect of him coming into this season. He could revert to the 2011 Bard, or lob 89 MPH fastballs down the middle and no one would be surprised. This really could go either way.
But it's clear that Bard, and most Red Sox fans, are hoping that the return of Farrell is the cure-all for whatever his problems are. Bard talks about Farrell being able to watch him pitch and figure out what he needs to work on to get back to his former self. I have no idea what kind of relationship these two had when Farrell was the pitching coach, so maybe it will be that easy. Doubt it, but it's possible.
If Bard can get back to anywhere close to his former self, he'll not only give Boston another solid arm in the bullpen, but even more versatility to make some trades. If the Sox are not contenders this year (spoiler alert: they won't be) Cherington should be able to flip at least two of these guys and continue building for the future.
But first, let's just get Bard to not be awful.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Reviewing a busy week for the Red Sox | After prison release, former Sox closer Ugueth Urbina returns to baseball | WEEI - Why is this draft pick so important to Red Sox? | ESPN - Sox Hot Button: How much better?