After only one year, the replacement closer has been replaced. But Andrew Bailey never brooded over the freak injury that short-circuited a season in which he was supposed to cushion the blow from Jonathan Papelbon's departure. And a week after the Red Sox traded for closer Joel Hanrahan, he isn't griping about being relegated to a set-up role for the first time since his first month in the majors in 2009. "It's not an issue," Bailey said yesterday after a throwing session near his Connecticut home. "Obviously throwing the ninth inning is what everyone wants to do. But mentality-wise, nothing changes for me." Still, it amounts to a demotion. And so, before the completion of the six-player trade that netted Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bailey got a call from new Red Sox manager John Farrell. Even though both Bailey and Hanrahan are two-time All-Stars, Farrell made clear there won't be a spring-training competition. Hanrahan is his first choice as closer. If Bailey is disappointed, he's concealing the emotion, sounding all the right chords by noting that games often are won in the seventh and eighth innings by relief pitchers who aren't denoted as closers. The Red Sox, after all, need not be reminded of Daniel Bard's value as the set-up man for Papelbon in 2010 and '11. "I think games can be impacted earlier on in the game," Bailey said.
Andrew Bailey set for change
Boston Herald | Jan 3