Tag:Marlon Byrd
Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 7:02 pm

Cubs-Astros ending shows need for more replay

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It was a meaningless game at Wrigley Field on Friday, but it highlighted once again the need for expanded replay.

Here's the scene, bases loaded, one out in the 12th inning. Chicago's Marlon Byrd hits a chopper down the third-base line, a charging Chris Johnson looks to field the ball, but it bounces off his glove just after taking a short hop apparently in foul territory. Third-base umpire David Rackley is on the line and has the best view of the play, calling it a fair ball.

Watch the play here. 

If Johnson touches the ball in fair territory, Starlin Castro scores and the game is over. If it's in foul territory, Astros reliever David Carpenter has a 1-1 count on Byrd. Rackley called the ball fair, although on the replay there's at least reason to question it. 

There wasn't a great camera angle on the play, but it seems like it bounced foul -- and was going foul -- just before it hit Johnson's glove. Expanded replay could add more cameras to the field, especially on the foul lines, there's certainly money for it in MLB and can even add to the telecasts. Or you could even use the technology that tennis uses in the majors that can help decide close line calls.

In the end, the most important thing is getting the call right -- and once again it appears MLB umpires didn't. Let it be noted, though, it was an incredibly tough call and I see what Rackley saw (chalk coming up on its previous bounce). I'm not blaming him. It's as tough of a call as there is out there, but he should have the chance to make the correct call with every tool at his disposal.

Part of the blame should go to Johnson, who wasn't going to get Castro at home, nor Byrd at first. If he lets the ball go, it likely rolls foul. But like with Rackley, it was a bang-bang play and a very quick decision was needed, it's just that an umpire's call can be reversed and made right, a player's error is part of the game. In the end, there is a chance to make everything right, and we're at the point that technology allows that and we should use it.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 3:17 pm

Source: Soriano confronted Zambrano

Alfonso SorianoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

After Carlos Zambrano was ejected from Friday's game, Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano went into the team's clubhouse and "went off" on Zambrano, a source told CBSSports.com.

Zambrano was very quiet and didn't really say much after being ejected. Then, as soon as Soriano stopped yelling at him in Spanish, Zambrano packed his bag, took the nameplate from his locker and left, the source said.

Soriano, like Zambrano, is signed to a big-money, long-term deal by the Cubs. However, he's been criticized for not showing emotions at time, in stark contrast to Zambrano who has often let his emotions get the best of him. Soriano is known to be easy-going and generally well-liked. The fact that it was Soriano that had a problem with Zambrano showed just how fed up Zambrano's teammates are with the pitcher.

Following Friday's game, manager Mike Quade told reporters he hadn't talked to Zambrano, but didn't sound too worried about the pitcher's next step.

"I have too much respect for the rest of the guys in this room to worry," Quade said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Aramis Ramirez told the Tribune that he'd never seen anything like what Zambrano did, while Marlon Byrd told the paper he hadn't talked to Zambrano but was planning on calling him. 

"If he doesn't show up [Saturday], we might not see him again," Byrd told the Tribune.

Players usually start showing up four hours or so before the game and the press is allowed in three-and-a-half hours before the game, so expect to hear more soon.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Pepper: Is it Rasmus or La Russa in St. Louis?

Colby Rasmus

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Soap operas are being taken off network TV, but at least we still have baseball.

By the way he's portrayed, you'd expect St. Louis center fielder Colby Rasmus to be the guy with the badly dyed goatee and have ominous music every time he appears on screen. That's at least the way Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (speaking of bad dye jobs) keeps playing it.

The latest barb? Speaking to KSDK-TV in St. Louis, La Russa said Rasmus doesn't listen to the team's coaches.

"No, he doesn't listen to the Cardinal coaches much now, and that's why he gets in these funks, in my opinion," La Russa said, according to MLB.com. "If he would just stay with [basically] what they teach, he would have … but I actually feel concern for him, because he hears it from so many places, he's got to be confused."

That, of course, is a swipe at Rasmus' dad, who has been critical of La Russa publically. 

The Cardinals are actively shopping Rasmus, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler tweeted yesterday, and if they do deal him, it's got to be a sign that the 66-year-old La Russa will stick around a couple of more years in St. Louis. Dealing Rasmus doesn't make much sense (unless there's a huge return) in a baseball-sense, but it does placate La Russa. La Russa is signed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2012. It may come down to a decision for general manager John Mozeliak whether he wants to tie his future to a talented 24-year-old or a manager who has managed more than 5,000 games. What happens before Sunday could tell us quite a bit about the future of the Cardinals.

No platoon: Sticking with the Cardinals and La Russa, Daniel Descalso has started at shortstop in five of the 11 games since the All-Star break, but La Russa denies there's a platoon with Descalso and Ryan Theriot. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Contentious in Chicago: Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd got into a shouting match with a fan before Tuesday's game in Milwaukee. The fan yelled "you guys suck," according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Byrd responded, "We may suck, but you're pathetic." 

Chipper out again: Braves third baseman Chipper Jones returned to the Braves' lineup from a knee injury on Monday, but then miss Tuesday's game and will miss the next few with a right quad injury. The 39-year-old has played in 78 games this season. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Conspiracy theory: Phillies fans got on Giants manager Bruce Bochy for how he used Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay in the All-Star Game. Several fans at the team's hotel heckled Bochy saying he tried to overuse both Philadelphia pitchers -- though Bochy notes he used both for fewer than 25 pitches. [San Jose Mercury News]

Throwing Trout back: The Angels are expected to send heralded prospect Mike Trout back to the minor leagues soon. [Orange County Register]

'Cool cat': That's how Giants reliever Sergio Romo described President Barak Obama after the Giants' visit to the White House. I'm sure plenty of people said that about Chester A. Arthur, too. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Reds return: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com takes a closer look at the two minor league players the Reds received in return for Jonny Gomes.

Perfect in minors: Former Padre Justin Germano threw a perfect game for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers on Tuesday. It was just the fifth perfect game in the history of the International League. The Clippers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Indians. [Columbus Dispatch]

Barton hurt: There's nothing we here at Eye On Baseball like more than making fun of our fellow team member's bad calls -- like my call of Manny Ramirez as the AL Comeback Player of the Year -- so it never fails that any mention of Daric Barton gets Evan Brunell some good-nature ribbing. Brunell said he'd take Barton over Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira or Ryan Howard -- so yeah. (Of course, I had some questionable picks, too -- Rasmus No. 1 in center?) But the point other than making fun of Evan? Well, it's that Barton, now in Triple-A, has a tear in his labrum and will see a doctor today. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 4:23 pm

Byrd speaks on taking pitch to face

By Matt Snyder

Just under a week ago, Marlon Byrd was struck with a pitch in the face and suffered several facial fractures. He's out indefinitely while his face heals, with no real expectation on when he might be able to come back.

Friday, he was interviewed about the HBP on a Chicago-area radio station. As would be expected from a stand-up guy like Byrd, he was honest and respectful.

Honest about how he's not sure how he'll react when he does dig back into the batter's box.

"You know, I see a pitch coming, do I flinch? Do I just stay in there? It's just going to be one of those things where until you see baseball activity, you don't know how you're going to respond." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

And he was respectful in that he was asked about Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who threw the errant heater that struck Byrd's face -- specifically, whether Byrd had received an apology for the pitch.

"No, no, no, there's no need to talk," Byrd said. "It's just one of those things where ... things happen, he wasn't trying to hit me. It's baseball."

Kudos to Byrd here. Obviously, it's what he should say, but there are many who would be bitter about any pitch coming up and in -- even if it didn't hit them. Byrd took a pitch to the face and is ready to forgive and forget.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 24, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 5:26 pm

Cubs' injury updates: Soto, Wells, Garza, Cashner

By Matt Snyder

Lots of news came from the Wrigley Field crew early Monday evening, so we'll just wrap it all up right here.

Matt Garza, who was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday night in Boston, has landed on the disabled list. He has a bone bruise in his right (throwing) elbow (Chicago Sun-Times via Twitter). This is a huge blow to the Cubs. Garza has been their best pitcher in 2011, and an especially important cog given that 40 percent of the rotation has been hurt since the first week of the season. He's 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings. He's reportedly expected back in early June.

As a corresponding move to the Garza DL-stint, the Cubs have recalled outfielder Lou Montanez from Triple-A Iowa. Montanez, 29, has been tearing up the Pacific Coast League, as he's hitting .369/.429/.573 with 19 extra-base hits and 43 RBI in 42 games. There's a need for an outfielder since Marlon Byrd was hit with a pitch and suffered facial fractures.

Fortunately for the Cubs, the timing of Garza's absence could have been much worse. Randy Wells has been injured since his first start of the season -- a six-inning victory where he only allowed one run on six hits -- but he is ready to rejoin the rotation. He'll get the ball Saturday (Sun Times via Twitter), which would have been Garza's spot had he stayed healthy.

Meanwhile, Wells should have a familiar member of the battery, because Geovany Soto is expected back for the weekend series (CSNChicago.com via Twitter). He had been out the past few weeks with a groin injury. Soto is hitting .226 with three home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs this season. He's a huge offensive upgrade over Koyie Hill behind the plate and is familiar with most of the Cubs' pitching staff.

Finally, Andrew Cashner dodged a bullet. The young starting pitcher has been on the disabled list since injuring his rotator cuff in his first start of the season. Cashner was working his way back when he suffered a setback last week. There were fears initially that he might have to have season-ending surgery, but the Cubs have now received two doctors' opinions that he doesn't need surgery (CSNChicago.com via Twitter).

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Posted on: May 22, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2011 5:19 pm

Cubs' Byrd headed to DL

Marlon Byrd

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Marlon Byrd, hit in the face by a pitch on Saturday, has been realeased from a Boston-area hospital and is headed to the disabled list, the Cubs announced on Sunday.

According to the club, Byrd has multiple facial fractures and will fly home with the team to see specialists this week in Chicago.

Byrd was admitted to a hospital last night after he was hit by a 92 mph fastball from Alfredo Aceves in the second inning of Saturday's game. (See the play here.)

The Cubs will replace Byrd on the roster with reliever Justin Berg.

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 12:42 am

3 up, 3 down for 4/5: Yovani to rescue

By Matt Snyder

Lots of great performances Tuesday, so remember this is no all-inclusive list. There were also some young arms that excelled -- oh, and don't forget about the lanky toast of Queens . On the flip-side, there were some pretty equally dreadful performances. Basically, we're finally getting settled into a routine regular season. Thank the lord. Anyway, here we go.


Yovani Gallardo, Brewers. Had the Brewers' ace come through with merely a good outing, so long as it resulted in a victory, it would have been the biggest performance Tuesday. They desperately needed to get a win out of the way. Instead of simply being good enough, Gallardo did what a true ace does: He put the team on his shoulders. The offense hasn't hit well since opening day? No issue. All he needed was one (and, yes, that's all he got). The bullpen keeps melting down? No worries, Gallardo didn't need 'em. The 111-pitch complete game, two-hit shutout was a beauty in so many ways. He was easily the most important player in all of baseball Tuesday.

Melky Cabrera, Royals. Teammates Billy Butler and Alex Gordon had big blows leave the yard, but Melky's walk-off single propelled the now 4-1 Royals to a 12-inning victory. He was 3-6 with three RBI in the game.

Marlon Byrd, Cubs. After beginning the season just 3-18, Byrd went 3-4 Tuesday, his last hit being an RBI double that put the Cubs on top for good after a bullpen meltdown.


Manny Ramirez, Rays. According to various tweets, he's already drawing boos from the hometown fans. It's not like he's in Boston or New York. He's drawing boos in laid-back St. Petersburg. It's hard to argue with the locals, either. Manny B. Manny was 0-4 with three strikeouts and three men left on base Tuesday. That means he's hitting .063 with zero extra base hits, zero walks and a .126 OPS thus far. Let's give him lots more at-bats before sounding the alarm -- small sample size and all -- but it's entirely possible his illustrious career is running on fumes.

J.A. Happ, Astros. Not many more ways to say it. Happ was flat out dreadful against the Reds. He should blend right in with the rest of his team, I guess. In four innings, Happ gave up seven hits, five walks and seven earned runs. He walked in two guys and hit in another -- that's a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, not a base knock for his team. The Astros are 0-4 and have looked pretty awful -- though we should point out opening at Philly and Cincy isn't too easy.

Rafael Soriano, Yankees. Mark Teixeira's hot bat and CC Sabathia's lockdown pitching had the Yankees cruising to victory through seven with a 4-0 lead. Soriano entered. Walk, line out, walk, single and strikeout read the line after five hitters. Still, no runs had yet scored and there were two outs. But then Soriano walked Joe Mauer and allowed Delmon Young to clear the bases -- and more importantly tie the score -- with a double. Then, after the game, Soriano pulled a no-no when he refused to talk with the New York media. For a sampling of how the reporters feel about the situation -- and how they believe the other players feel as well -- check out this Twitter feed .

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 3:25 pm

Quade has zero good leadoff options

Sunday, the Cubs will begin Cactus League play. Kosuke Fukudome will bat leadoff for Mike Quade's team, but that doesn't mean traditional fast-starter will be the first Cubs hitter on April 1 in the season opener. Quade told the Chicago Tribune it's far too early to know who he is going to lead off on that day.

The problem is, Cubs fans are going to complain no matter who Quade pencils into that leadoff spot, because every single player on the team is ill-suited to hit there.

In the above linked article, the Trib noted how dreadful Fukudome was in the leadoff slot last season. He does have a career .446 OBP in March and April, however, so he might be the best option. Still, he generally regresses as the season moves along and is only a career .233 hitter in the leadoff spot -- so it's not like he appears the long-term solution.

But look around the rest of the roster.

Starlin Castro is going to hit second, Quade has announced. The future star still doesn't have enough grasp of the strike zone to man the top of the order.

Alfonso Soriano? That's old hat and let us all thank Quade for not subjecting us to those debates again.

Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto and Carlos Pena are obviously not options.

Marlon Byrd had a good season last year, but only 31 walks in 630 plate appearances to go with a .293 batting average doesn't fit. He's more a six-hole at this point.

Blake DeWitt has a career .335 OBP, which would be awful for a leadoff man. He has never shown signs of being able to handle much more than the eight-hole, but he is only 25.

Tyler Colvin's .316 OBP is even worse, so even if he supplants Fukudome as the early-season starter -- there's no doubt the job is his for good once mid-May strikes -- he's not viable at the top.

So, if you were Quade, who would you bat first? I honestly think I'd go into the season with Fukudome and hope that someone else shows a good penchant for getting on base during April and the first few weeks of May. Maybe Castro adapts, DeWitt surprises or Colvin alters his approach. The most likely scenario is this will be a hole for the entire season, which isn't the worst thing in the world. He could always just force Byrd up there out of necessity -- the veteran is enough of a professional to deal with it well. After all, the Giants entered last season with Aaron Roward atop the order.

-- Matt Snyder

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com