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The Boston Globe

Sports

Deconstructing Daniel Bard’s rise, fall with Red Sox

PITTSBURGH — He figures he may have listened too intently, followed orders to a T — perhaps the reason his Red Sox career took that U-turn to nowhere. Or maybe there were too many messengers with too many messages, well-intentioned advice that only scrambled his head, his focus, messed up his game.

Whatever happened to Daniel Bard, not long ago one of Major League Baseball’s most dominating late-inning forces, he is getting the chance to fix it now. Picked up by the Chicago Cubs when the Red Sox finally cut him free last month, he is feeling good once again. Strong. Not unlike, he says, how he felt in March with Boston — back to being “pretty close” to the pitcher he wanted to be, a far cry from the disaster of 2011.

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