Pirates Keep Telling Marlon Byrd: “You Don’t Play for Us”
August 3, 2011
(Pittsburgh, PA) – The 2011 season has been anything but successful for the Chicago Cubs. Terrible play on the field, distractions off the field, and a front office that doesn’t seem to know the best direction for the club have all conspired to derail any meaningful progress.
And, to make matters worse, the trade deadline passed this weekend, and the Cubs stood pat despite being 20 games under .500.
At least one Cub wishes he’d been dealt. Hard.
The Cubs are playing the Pirates this week, the first series after the trade deadline. But, at times, they’ve been playing a man down.
That’s because center fielder Marlon Byrd keeps sneaking into the Pirate dugout.
“We appreciate where his heart is,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Wednesday. “He’s a hard worker, and a dedicated guy. But he’s not on our team. I keep telling him I can’t put him in the lineup no matter how bad he wants it. It’s got to stop.”
“And,” Hurdle continued,”he’s really gotta stop towel whipping me in the showers.”
The signs have been building for some time that Byrd wanted to be traded. Perhaps he wants to check out Liberty. Just this weekend, he defended Cardinals star Matt Holliday for leg whipping Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.
Byrd made his thoughts quite clear last week when Kosuke Fukudome was traded. Fukudome was the only Cub traded before the deadline, and, at his departure press conference, Byrd remarked, “take me, too.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t really kidding,” Byrd now says. “Obviously I’m itching to get out of Chicago, but with Fuke, it was more than that. I let him have a party at my place last weekend, and he still has my keys.”
“I tried to tell him like five times before he left, but his translator had already flown to Cleveland. When I tried to take the keys out of his pocket, he flipped me on my back. Not all stereotypes are true, but that karate one clearly is.”