Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is Byrd trying to get fans to turn against him?

In a miserable season, Marlon Byrd, and the smile he wore to the ballpark every day, was one of the few bright spots last year.

For the first time in I don't know how long, the Cubs finally had a good, hard working center fielder.  He wasn't over paid.  And he produced.

From his first game at Wrigley, Byrd won over the bleacherites. His diving for balls on daily basis and great hustle while playing the game was a welcome site to see, especially after this team had so many bums in the outfield over the last 8 years. 

He was the team's only All-Star.

A few weeks ago, just as spring training start getting under way, it came out that Marlon Byrd was a client of Victor Conte, the founder of BALCO.  BALCO or the Bay Area Labrabatory Co-op, if you don't remember, is the company which had provided a number of athletes, including Barry Bonds, with steroids and other banned performance enhancers.

Byrd is not at all apologetic about his relationship with Conte.  In fact, he swears by it.  He's the only major leaguer left with any official contact with this guy.

I supposed I'd be ok with Byrd about this.  Conte could be using some new masking agent that he developed to hide the fact the he's been giving Byrd supplements that are on the MLB banned list.  He might be giving Byrd some new concoction that the MLB hasn't even heard of or started testing for yet.  But one thing that is true about Byrd is that he apparently works his ass off and he isn't putting up video game numbers right now.

If this was the only issue about Byrd, fine...but this tidbit came out today from Paul Sullivan of the Tribune...Marlon Byrd was the player that requested that the organ music be done away with at Wrigley last year when players were coming to the plate.

What a jerk!

Trade this bum now!

The Victor Conte thing...fine...I can learn to deal with that.  But dumping the organ music?  That's just going too far.

For those of you that don't quite understand what I'm talking about, in the middle of last season, the Cubs, who have, for decades, had their organist (currently Gary Pressy) play different tunes for each of players as they came up to bat, decide to change to playing taped rock and rap music instead.  

Byrd suggested that the team change this tradition and start playing music clips like just about every other ballpark does.  He told Tom Ricketts this, and the marketing department debated it and (stupid PR people) they decided to go ahead with Byrd's suggestion. 

Pressy's organ music virtually disappeared during the game.  When I looked up in the back corner of the press box where Pressy and his Lowrey organ are, Pressy sat there idle for most of the time instead of either playing or preparing for his next small number that was likely only a few seconds away.  I guess it gave him a chance to watch the game a little more closely.
Let him play!
When the Cubs first made this switch last season, I noticed it almost immediately, and posted that comment on Twitter.  At games after the switch which I attended, someone always made a comment about it.  Outside of one teenaged punk (who I don't give a rat's ass about what he thinks), everyone universally disliked the change.

In Sullivan's article, he stated that the Cubs are considering reversing this decision.  I sure hope they do.  I've been very vocal about various changes I think the Cubs should make to Wrigley, including a video board and more advertising, but not this.  This sucked.  It adds little value, and if a player needs some bullshit music clip to be played as he comes up to bat, put a damn boom box in the dugout and let him hear it from there where the rest of the crowd doesn't have listen to this crap.  I, and most of the fans, want our organ music back.

I don't like you any more.  And take that glove off your head.
And Marlon Byrd?  Go out there.  Smile.  Dive for balls.  Shoot up on your HGH.  And if you have any suggestions about anything, just keep them to yourself.