If Norman Bates had something to prove, he did it cleanly in the shower.
If Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard has anything to prove, he needs to clean up the mess after coming out of the bullpen.
Bardo, as his catcher calls him, made a start on rehabbing his shoddy image as the psycho of the Red Sox. He came in on one of the first scrimmage games of spring and struck out three college baseball players.
You have to begin somewhere after you sink the Sox car with the body in the trunk into the Charles River.
Bard never did any of the mythic deeds of the legendary Jimmy Piersall. That Red Sox player of the 1950s succumbed to the pressure of the game in the more innocent days of the 1950s. He preceded Hitchcock's masterpiece, Psycho, that became the gold standard for madness and mayhem.
Piersall has been the gold standard of insanity in baseball. Bardo was never institutionalized, if you discount being sent to the minors. He used the infamous inside pitch to shave more players in a few games than Sal 'the Barber' Maglie in a career.
Daniel Bard resembles Norman Bates, as limned by Anthony Perkins. Both were tall and gangly young men-and each had a mild mannered demeanor.
Of course, before he played Norman Bates, Anthony Perkins also played Jimmy Piersall, swinging the bat at his Red Sox teammates in the dugout and climbing the net behind home plate.
Bard never did either, but had a season in 2012 that rivaled Fear Strikes Out. We presume his long nightmare is over-and no baseball players shall be beheaded this season when he returns.