How Daniel Bard learned to appreciate challenging WBC experience

By , Audacy

On the field, Daniel Bard’s World Baseball Classic experience wasn’t great. But he’s since learned how to take that once in a lifetime opportunity and remember it favorably.

The Colorado Rockies reliever was part of Team USA’s bullpen in the tournament back in March. It was a rough ride for the 37-year-old, who gave up eight runs on five hits across 1 ⅔ innings. He ultimately made three appearances, walking four and hitting two batters while striking out just a pair.

It was an uncharacteristically bad tournament for a pitcher who has been largely reliable since becoming a big league regular once again in 2020.

Appearing on the Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, Bard -- who began the season on the injured list due to anxiety -- explained how some conversations with his wife helped him reframe the WBC experience.

“My wife, we’ve had a lot of conversations about this stuff the past two months,” Bard said. “I think her probably saying ‘Hey, who cares how it went, it was an awesome experience for our family’ (stood out). I got to bring my kids to Arizona and Miami, they got decked out in USA gear, they learned a bunch of players – they learned who Mike Trout is, believe it or not – it basically kind of sparked a little bit of their love for baseball, I think. Rockies games are cool, but the WBC games were way cooler.

“So, I look back at it as a really cool experience for my kids, my family, I still had a great experience, ended up getting to know all the guys on the team. Just being able to put on the uniform with probably six or seven Hall of Famers on that team, I would guess, I’ll definitely get that jersey framed at some point. Because I think it was a cool experience, and I think that it’s kind of a turning point. It’s a big moment, it doesn’t have to be something that went perfectly to be something that you want to remember.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images