New Pirate Byrd ready for challenge, postseason
Marlon Byrd played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 and the Texas Rangers in 2009, teams that were in contention but fell short of the postseason.
With Tuesday's trade from the New York Mets to the Pirates, the 35-year-old outfielder hopes this year he'll finally experience October baseball. Byrd made his Pirates debut in right field, batting fourth, and hit a three-run homer off Milwaukee Brewers reliever Burke Badenhop in the seventh inning Wednesday.
“I was taking it all in,” Byrd said. “Gosh, I'm with the Pittsburgh Pirates and we're fighting to get to the playoffs.”
Byrd got a curtain call — his first, he said — after the home run and received an ovation after he struck out after a 14-pitch at-bat in the fourth.
“That was amazing,” he said. “I was upset that I didn't finish the at-bat, but to hear the fans cheering, that was a beautiful thing.”
Byrd is expected to provide the offensive help the Pirates have been searching for from their right fielder, but he said Wednesday that his job isn't to come to Pittsburgh and be a game-changer.
“It's to continue to help this team win and be a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “They're playing well; I just have to figure out how I can add in and help win games.”
The 2010 All-Star is coming off a 2012 season in which he served a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test and batted just .210 with one home run and nine RBI in 47 games with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Byrd is batting .309 (47 for 152) in 39 games since the All-Star break. He has 22 home runs and 74 RBI this season.
“He's fought hard and scratched and clawed to get back in, and the offensive numbers speak for themselves,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said before the game. “The layers of experience, gamesmanship, attitude, the edge he brings to the game, we're looking forward to getting him plugged in right away.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates sign independent league pitcher
- Pirates protect top prospects in advance of Rule 5 draft
- Pirates, Orioles had trade talks involving 2B Walker
- Rossi: Baseball should retire Roberto Clemente’s No. 21
- Pirates season opener moved to April 3
- Pirates’ young arms on mend after rash of Tommy John surgeries in 2015
- Robust farm system needs to restock Pirates if free agents depart
- Pirates, Happ interested in coming to terms on deal
- Pirates GM Huntington declines comment on trade report