At this time last year, Marlon Byrd was working to earn an eventual $700K contract from the New York Mets. Now, he’s deservedly received a big time payday from the Philadelphia Phillies.
However, we won’t forget his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates in between. It was barely over a month, but the Byrdman came to the Burgh and symbolized something we’ve been missing for two decades: winning. The 36-year-old was a loser 12 months ago, coming off a miserable year with a PED suspension to show for it. But he worked hard, understood his mistakes, mashed the ball in New York, came to Pittsburgh and took everything in stride. With a .318/.357/.486 line down the stretch, Byrd was everything the Pirates needed in right field. Then he hit .364/.391/.591 in October, including the first postseason home run ever at PNC Park in his first postseason at-bat:
Just like the 2013 Pirates, Byrd entered the season as an underdog and exited with a completely different image.
Now, that improved image has earned him a two-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies.
A big thank you to Marlon Byrd for playing solid baseball, acknowledging us, and more importantly, representing the new era of Pirates baseball. Good luck in Philadelphia. Byrd is still the word.