Daniel Bard looks back on 2020’s Forward and Back It Up – MLB Sports

Denver-There is a right-handed relief pitcher in the Rocky Mountains in the year “How it started, how it’s going” Daniel bard Got a story for you.

It started in Bird last November-his major league career stopped in 2013 due to control issues, his Last comeback attempt Made a fuss in 2017-thrown into the net in the front yard of my home in Greenville, South Carolina.

•• Will MLB come back seven years after Yips?Yes

how are you? Look at the honor- National League Comeback Player of the Year Players Choice Awards, Sporting News, MLB, and more Prestigious Tony Conigliaro Award.. The 35-year-old Bird not only returned to the majors, but also influenced him. He recorded 4-2, 6 saves and 3.65 ERA in 23 odd-numbered games in 2020.

“I don’t know if I’m crazy,” Bird said. “If I could tell myself what would happen in a few years, I wouldn’t believe a million years.”

“How it started, how it’s going” may be a cool meme boom. The real story is the unlikely middle ground.

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Around Christmas last year, a day with my brother Angels’ right-handed Luke Bard moved everything.

“I abandoned the mound for the first time in two and a half years,” said Daniel Bard. “I threw it on the net. My brother was with me with a radar gun. I just wanted to see where I was. That was the first test.

“We were laughing and had a good time. We were the only two in the training facility.” If we throw 95 and strike, we’ll come back, “joked. I didn’t reach 95, but I threw 91, 92, 93 and threw a lot of strikes-10 days later enough to say I’d go back and try again. And that day I did it with a catcher and everything. “

Bird was already in his second career-player mentor and mental skills coach in D-back since 2018. But his old job was calling, throwing 95 mph in control.

“I jumped out here to talk to them and gave them their first chance if they wanted to give me a try or sign me,” Bird said of D-Buck. .. “They didn’t because of conflicts of interest. That’s fine.

“It was, in fact, the best blessing in the disguise I’ve ever had. At first, guys, they didn’t want to sign me, so I have to put myself there. I’ve tried There was no.”

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During spring training, Bird gathered independent league catchers and hosted a tryout at Phoenix High School. 10 to 15 teams of scouts participated. All but one team interviewed him. John Weil, assistant general manager of the Rocky Mountains, cleaned up quickly and effectively.

“Since then, I’ve come to know John pretty well,” Bird said. “He said he saw me throw.” He said, “I knew it was good, so I got into my car and immediately called and had him sign. It took a few days and several other teams made some good offers, but the Rocky Mountains were ultimately the best. “

Bird threw 21/3 innings in three spring training games before shutting down. Returning to Greenville, he made the most of his time. Indian infielder Mike Freeman, Rangers infielder Eli White, Rays right-handed David Hess pitched with the Orioles in 2020, and free agent Lighth Hembree pitched with the Phillies and Red Sox last season. , And more professionals participated twice-one week of training.

“I used that time to face as many batters as I could. I was asking them to put me in the box,” Bird said. “Batters practicing live batting aren’t as interested as pitchers. Some of them are, but some just want to track. [and see pitches without swinging] “I don’t want to be in a meaningless situation,” he says. I don’t blame them at all.

“But in the 25-40 pitch range, I ended up throwing 10 individual live BPs, which made me very comfortable.”

Bird, ready when baseball resumed, threw so well in the summer camp that Rockies manager Bud Black could help a right-handed person from the beginning of the 60-game season to help the bullpen. I was convinced.

“I still thought I had to go to another site,” Bird said. “When the meeting was called [to announce my roster spot], I was a little surprised. You wouldn’t believe it if you said at the beginning that you were going to skip the minor leagues altogether. “

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Bard Win the Rangers July 25th was his first outing and was the Red Sox’s first outing since May 29, 2012.his Save his old mentee with a D-back August 11th was his first match beyond Boston’s A since June 5, 2011.

“Thanks and gratitude remained with me until the end,” he said. “I hope I won’t lose it the rest of the way. It was a couple of weeks when it came to the comfort and confidence of standing on the mound and knowing what would happen. Buddy [Black] I kept being in a big situation and threw it well. “

In honor, Bird was particularly impressed with the Tony Conigliaro Award, which pitched to the Red Sox (Tony C’s team) from 2009 to 2013. He is also the Rockies’ third pitcher, following Red Sox teammates Aaron Cook (2005) and Chad Bettis (2015).

“I looked at the list after I found it,” Bird said. “It was an incredible list of people. Everyone has an incredible story.”

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Bird acknowledged the strangeness of 2020 that the years of his life were very tough for so many.

“Most of the time I feel guilty, I’m not going to lie,” Bird said. “But I enjoy it every minute. It was great for my family, my wife and kids. I experienced a lot of cool things this year. I try to enjoy it. But be aware of everything that is happening in the world. Not everyone has a great year. “

Bird and his wife, Adair, are raising three young children and are experiencing a pandemic. Still, he makes time for many players in the midst of the failures and turmoil he sheds.

“I’ve talked to a large percentage, whether through social media or through the various coaches I’ve had in the past, whether there are players who want to talk to me or my teammates,” Bird said. “I can’t talk to everyone. I hope I can. Hopefully there’s a way I can help everyone who needs it-at least tell them the story and what helped me. Please give me.”

Thomas Harding It has covered the Rockies since 2000 and since 2002. Follow him on Twitter. @harding_at_mlb And Like his Facebook page..

– MLB Sports

Daniel Bard looks back on 2020’s Forward and Back It Up Daniel Bard looks back on 2020’s Forward and Back It Up

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