Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dang you Marlon Byrd

I have advocated - since all through the offseason, for the Rangers to trade Marlon Byrd. I still advocate that. Marlon is not part of the Rangers long-term future.

But, what makes me so mad about Marlon is that he keeps on making me love him: he does all the little things; he's got a leadership personality in the clubhouse and in the dugout. When Brandon Boggs came to take his job, Marlon gave Boggs playing tips and encouraged him along every step of the way. Dang you, Marlon Byrd.

Just now, I hear Tom Grieve say Marlon gets the best jumps of any Rangers outfielder. I go to watch the replay. It's a well hit line drive: directly at Marlon and sinking in front of him. A line drive directly at an outfielder is difficult: he must ascertain if it is going short of him or over him. If in doubt, his first step has to be back. For some reason, even though the line drive is well hit, Marlon instantly knows this is in front of him. On the crack of the bat he is heading in. Five or six full speed strides, and he hauls it in knee high - no muss no fuss: a difficult play which looks easy. Of all high school outfielders in America, maybe 30% (at most) make that play which Marlon made look so easy. If that ball were hit at me, I would back up and take cover.

Then Marlon leads off the Rangers next inning, against a Cliff Lee sporting a 1.66ish or something ERA, and Marlon drives the first pitch off the centerfield wall.

Dang you, Marlon Byrd. Dang your .265 hitting soul and your Ewok body and your frequent smile. I can't stop loving you.

PS: this season, Cleveland Indians are wearing throwback jerseys during all weekend home games. They look fantastic. All franchises should do this.

PPS: Marlon just threw an Indian out at Home Plate. I am hatin' life. Marlon doesn't even have that great of an arm. He just ... throws it ... exactly ... on target. I am so mad.

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