Bard admits he is thankful that social media wasn’t as prevalent in the early days of his career, when he was pitching for the Boston Red Sox from 2009-13.
“When you’re younger, you view things differently,” the 36-year-old Bard explains. “You may be thinking, ‘Hey, these are possibly my peers telling me I suck.’ I think that weighs a lot on you when you’re younger. I think as you get older, you know who you are.
“I’ve been through some stuff like this. At the end of the day, this is a game and a really awesome way to make a living and that’s that’s how I view it now. This is a chance to do something really cool with my life and with a really good group of guys. I just focus on that every day. If people want to nitpick negatives, they will.”
An older Bard has realized something that those who criticize him in the media and on social media haven’t yet.
“Part of my job is going to include some blown games,” Bard explains. “Even if I had a great season, I would still blow probably five games in a year. People will have their words after each one, but if I let that define how I defined myself, I wouldn’t be very good in my role.”
And yes, some of you are thinking back to the blown saves Bard has logged this season, including games against the Cubs in Chicago. The blown saves will come, and so will the comments. It’s part of the job, Bard says, and it has progressively gotten worse as the years have gone on, partially because of the anonymous nature that social media allows those who choose to spew their venom after a loss.