5/26 Got to play good “D”

I think our defense has been pretty good all year long. You have some ups and downs. Any time you get the great pitching we’re getting, it’s automatically good defense. Guys hitting their spots, you get in the right position. You’ve got the advance scouts who put us in the right spot. Josh Hamilton the other day in Texas — I was playing him the other way and most guys play him to pull. You hit the spot. James Loney, same thing last night. It makes it easier. Our outfielders work together, we work in tandem. If you watch the games, whenever I move to the pull side, everybody moves, everybody shifts. Maybe I go to the pull side and leave the right fielder on the line because the hitter is a guy who doesn’t really go into the gap in right center.

I have little hand signals, little movements to communicate with the guys. If I want a guy to get into the gap, I point to them and point to the gap. If I want to move them a little bit, I put my hand down a little. If I don’t want them to move but I want them to know, “Hey, I’m moving, so you’re going to have to help me out to my right or left,” I’ll point to myself and show them where I am. It’s little movements that people never pay attention to. You never really see us until the ball gets out there.

We’re doing a good job infield, outfield. It all starts with our pitcher and our catcher. Geo is calling a great game. Last night, you never say just a starter threw a shutout, you also say a catcher threw a shutout, too. He’s calling the pitches. That right there improves our defense.

– Marlon

11 Comments

Hi Marlon! I am a HUGE Cubs fan and watch whenever I get a game on WGN :) I just want to thank you for being the epitome of a MLB player. I was not sure what to think when we first got you (to be honest though, anything was better than Bradley…) but ever since I saw you play in spring training I have been impressed! I mean, you actually run the bases when you get a homerun! You just dont see hustle like that anymore and I absolutely LOVE IT!! Thank you – and just so you know, I ordered your shirt last week and I haven’t gotten one since Mark Grace was there!! You rock :)

Erin in Texas :)

Marlon,
I am a life long Cub’s fan and I am THRILLED that we signed you to play in Chicago. I did not follow your career closely until you decided to play for the Cubs but after hearing the announcement I studied up on how you play the game. I was hopeful that we would be getting a better return for our money than your predecessor and now I am just downright impressed. You are built like a linebacker but have the agility of a wide receiver! Man can you move and I agree with the previous comment that you play the game HARD all the time, every play and every at bat. I am so thankful to have a team player and a good person on the team. You certainly have a been a breath of fresh air and have shown that you are a professional ballplayer and even more importantly a team player! I hope this season proves to be your best ever both statistically and personally as you break into a long career in my home town, Chicago! Kudos to you Marlon, while I watch the games with my son I tell him to play center like Marlon Byrd plays center and to be a team player and always run hard like Maroln Byrd runs hard. You are quickly becoming one of my favorite all time Cubbies and you just got here! Thanks for all you do and for making our team better!

What kind of a bird is a marlon? I thought that was a fish! Whatever, you are the best thing that’s hit the Cubs since Sweet Lou showed up. It is SO refreshing to watch a ball player play the game for the joy of it and because he wants to do the best he can — and you epitomize that in spades! I am so tired of watching “long contract” players who show up, put in their time, collect their paychecks, and give the fans a half-hearted show. I’ve said this before: a reporter once asked Hank Aaron how he felt when he saw one of his home runs, to which Aaron replied that he’d never seen one. When the reporter responded in surprise, Aaron said, “My job is not to watch my home runs; my job is to get to first base as fast as I can.” I think you must have read the same quote and have taken it to heart. Anyway, thanks again for giving us die-hard Cubs fans a real boost this season.

I would quit blogging if I were you. (not that I’m not enjoying it and LOVE the way you play baseball) You might be aware that Mark DeRosa and Reed Johnson both had blogs and then were gone the next year. I loved both of them also. I want to see you be a Cub for a long time..i guess if your not superstitous then go ahead. I am a big fan of good “D”. In tight ball games it always seems to be the difference.
Keep doing what your doing..I have been completely impressed by the way you play ball..you play it the “right” way..100%..no excuses..hustle on every play. Go Cubs Go!

Hi Marlon! I am a huge fan of yours and am so pleased for you that you are off to a good start in Chicago. I first saw you playing left field in Pittsburgh against Gorzelanny (you had a great night) and I noticed those hand signals you just wrote about above even then. I also drove 250 miles to Baltimore the night it rained out (groan). The next day you guys won 30 to something against the Orioles. I second everything that’s been said above and if you read this, could you answer one baseball question and one other question? Is NL pitching all than different from AL pitching? If it is, how would you describe the difference? The other question: Last year, after a home run or just a run scored, you used to make a little hand signal towards the crowd as you got to the dugout. A Hi! to a family member or friend? That’s all! Best wishes for a great season and thank you for making baseball truly fun to watch.

Hi Marlon! I’m really excited that you guys have been playing so well…sometimes you see winning streaks and it’s just a team getting lucky or a pitcher or two getting hot. I mean, you guys could hit better (it’s amazing what happens when DLee gets hot, isn’t it!) but the team is PLAYING well together. I like that. You seem to be a big part of it.

It reminds me of our church softball league team when we hit mid-season form. My brother-in-law, Andy settles in really well in left-center where he can direct the rest of the outfield too! He’s also out there flirting with the good looking left fielder…who happens to be his wife! We usually have it all together until we play against Trinity. They are real gamers. They aren’t like us…they turn people away who want to play for their team. We just keep adding people all year long. We’re like a big family. It’s all spearheaded by my brother-in-law Andy. He’s swell and he likes you too….now. He just got back from the Bay area. It’s good to have him back.

Marlon DUDE.. you are doing AMAZING. your SUCH a go getter (meaning the ball,haha). you show so much love and passion while you play, and we feel it. ill admit im pretty darn* judgmental and yet when it comes to you and a few others i only say good things. dont get a big head from this. but your post kinda seemed like you feel that we dont see just how good you are doing trust me we see it. keep it up man.
Suz

Good Afternoon Marlon, Sitting watching the Cubs and you just scored for the second time! I have been a fan since the early 80’s and traveled around the country to see them play. My two favorite Cubs were Ryan Sandberg and Mark Grace, however you have moved right in behind them. You are a heck of a ball player and I really enjoy watching you play. I was at the Rangers game several weeks ago and was right behind you last night at Astros game. We have a great fan base following you and the Cubs. I will be in Chicago on 24 July, St. Louis on 14 Aug, and I will see you again in Houston the end of July and the beginning of October. Look for your fans while on the road!

Marlon,

I know you get a lot of these comments – but just wanted to extend my gratitude – and honestly the gratitude of Cubs fans everywhere – for your style of play and the contribution you make to the team on every play. I know he may not be the most popular guy for obvious reasons, but I can say without a doubt I haven’t seen a guy play with your hustle since Pete Rose. I watched you run out a pop-up the other day, making it almost to second before the ball was caught (they nearly dropped it, by the way). Having the hustle to take that extra base “just in case” shows the kind of fire and determination lacking in most major league ball players. It sealed your place as my favorite Cub of all-time (been a fan since ’94) and I immediately went out and bought a Byrd jersey in home white. Just wanted to give you your props man – thanks again and looking forward to seeing you in the Friendly Confines for many years to come. It’s truly an honor to watch you play.

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