6/9 Sticking with Rudy

Everyone’s heard the names. Juan Gonzalez. Pudge Rodriguez. Rafael Palmeiro. Alex Rodriguez. Michael Young. Then you turn the page to Gary Matthews Jr., Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd, Nelson Cruz. One thing all those guys has in common is they’ve worked with Rudy and they have positive things to say.

With Gary Matthews and Nelson Cruz, we’re all big league players but we struggled in the big leagues. Opening Day, we were sitting at home. Gary Matthews went through that with me. Nelson Cruz went through that same thing, getting designated. Sticking with Rudy’s program, him believing in us, us believing in him, working hard every single day, getting in a routine, we got better. Hands down, he’s the best hitting coach in baseball and everybody knows that.

I also had to talk to Rudy and remind him that in 2007 when I came to Texas, the Rangers were a team nobody talked about. The energy wasn’t there. It was a team that just hit. It took a couple years to change the culture. You saw how they won in 2009 and you see how they are now in 2010 — full of energy. Everybody over there is doing their jobs.

I told Rudy coming over here, implementing your system, it doesn’t happen right away. That’s what the fans and everybody watching the Cubs has to understand. It doesn’t happen right away. Me working with him, it’s my fourth year. I know how to work with him and he knows how to work with me. He’s still learning everybody’s swing and he’s still trying to figure out how to work with different players and personalities. It doesn’t sound good to say it but 2011 is going to be a better year as far as this whole Cubs organization knowing his system. We are going to get better as we go through this year.

— Marlon


  1. losangelescubsfan

    Marlon became a fan favorite quickly because he busts his *** every single game and the fans can see it!

  2. go1demp1go

    Marlon, you are one of my favorites. You and Marshall, Marmol, Silva, Soto, Hill, Fontenot, Theriot, Lee, Soriano, Fukudome, Colvin, Zambrano, Lilly, Wells, and Dempters. That’s just for this season. I have all of your jersey’s plus many, many more from years past.

    I just read your blog after seeing the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. I’m happy for them and their fans. But I’m not much of a hockey fan.

    I can say that I have been a life long Cubs fan, that will never stop. However, I hate the ‘always a bridesmaid and never a bride” feeling.

    I have lived to see 6 Bulls championships — happy for them and their fans, but I’m not a fan of basketball.

    I have lived to see a Soccer championship — happy for them, but to be honest I didn’t even realize we had a pro soccer team in Chicago.

    I have lived to see the White Sox win the World Series — happy for them and their fans, but I’m a Cubs fan. Hence, I can not be a White Sox fan–even if my Dad is.

    I have lived to see the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup — happy for them and their fans, but I’m not a fan of hockey.

    And then I read your blog and see that you say that the Cubs will be much better in 2011. I love the Cubs, and you are one of my favorites, but that was like a kick in the teeth. That can be translated to mean ‘There is Always Next Year’ in this city. I hear people say it all the time, but never a player.

    I know we are down 6.5 games, but the season isn’t over. We are not mathmatically out of it. Yes we have struggled, but who is to say that the other teams won’t struggle later in the season when you guys are hot? Please don’t give up on this year. We aren’t even half way done.

    I hope your inner attitude matches the way you play, and not the way this blog entry reads. Maybe because you haven’t grown up hearing, ‘There’s always next year’ you didn’t really mean that when you stress that the cubs will be much better in 2011. Yes, I would like it if you were better in 2011, but I would also like it if the team plays like they did tonight more often in 2010.

  3. liarmark

    Marlon: I’m an old guy and your energy reminds me of a young Pete Rose. You hustle and have quickly become the one player we can point to who never quits. I can’t say that about all of your teammates but if we had 25 Byrds on this team, we’d be 10 games up.

    Spread some of that stuff you got around and we’ll be just fine.

  4. cubsfanh12

    go1demp1go, Marlon never said they were going to be bad this season, he didn’t even say the cubs were going to be a better team next year, he said they Cubs will better understand Rudy’s hitting program next season, which is 100% true. I appreciate how much you care, but theres no need to be jumping to conclusions about a man’s character here, just read a little more carefully next time.

    (I got your back Marlon, just keep up the good work.)

  5. pilot32

    How could anyone not be a fan of Marlon. He runs like his hair is on fire on every play including home runs. He is a big time player and big time players do not do that. What a great signing. I did not know much about Marlon as he was in the AL but I sure know him now. He looks like a Bears linebacker yet can roam center field like a 180 lb center fielder. Hopefully other Cub players will take note of his hustle. With that may come improved hitting for the rest of the guys. His hustle sort of reminds me of Pete Rose. Fans really appreciate that. In fact his hustle should embarras some of our guys. There is never any excuse not to husltle no matter what you salary is.

  6. go1demp1go

    cubsfan12, Marlon is still on of my favorites, but that doesn’t mean I have to like everything he says or does. That’s crazy. I think in this town, it is dangerous to always count on ‘next year.’ Hopefully they will have a better understanding of Rudy’s hitting program, but that is assuming a lot, such as the team will have the same set of people. Unless his hidden meaning is that Lee and Ramirez won’t be on the team next year, so they can be their own hitting coaches somewhere else. The set up of the team could be similiar or very different next year. As a player Marlon has no control over that. I think it is very important to think of the here and now. It might be different if the team was being built to win later, but this team is set up with guys that can win now. I think it is important for them to be thinking about now, not later. They can’t control later, they can control now.

    I love the cubs, always have and always will. Win or lose. But if they lose I love to see them play with Marlon’s on-field spirit. Don’t give it away, make them earn it.

  7. keithcub

    Hi Marlon! I’m glad you are opening our eyes to what a good instructor can do! I say all the time that it’s amazing the results that St. Louis gets out of their pitchers and you can credit most of that to Dave Duncan. That guy’s amazing. People forget that when they played in high school they were being coached on their swing all the time. Tiger Woods plays his best when he has a good swing coach. There’s nothing wrong with being a professional and taking instruction…it makes you BETTER! Yay! My brother-in-law, Andy is really ready to take church league softball to the next level. He just got P90X and he’s ready to start changing his body into a meat-packed home run hitting machine. He asked me to ask you if you could come and play a game on our team some time. Could you? We’re out in the Portland, Oregon area and I know that’s not on your scheduled list of stops but we could really use your help against Trinity! Anyway, my brother-in-law, Andy has committed himself to the program so hardcore that he passed up a hamburger a couple nights ago for a Boca Burger. Imagine that! Well, Marlon, keep hitting two home runs a night and I’ll keep telling my friends about how great you are…deal? DEAL!

  8. james.matheson@hq.southcom.mil

    Mr. Byrd,
    You are absolutely amazing!!! You bust your butt on both offense and defense. It is nice to see a veteran with those types of ethics. I voted you to the all-star game – hope you make it!!!

    Off topic, I was just wondering if you and Mr Dempster received the poster I sent?

    Jim Matheson
    US Army (retired)

  9. hustlelikereed

    If only we had 8 other players on the line-up with Marlon’s heart…


    I’m flying in from London on Thursday to see 4 big wins next weekend. And cannot wait.

    Thanks for all you effort.

    You almost Hustlelikereed.

  10. hustlelikereed

    If only we had 8 other players on the line-up with MArlon’s heart…


    I’m flying in from London on Thursday to see 4 big wins next weekend. And cannot wait.

    Thanks for all you effort.

    You almost Hustlelikereed.

  11. cobinwv3@aol.com

    Hi Marlon! How ironic that you.. the biggest hustler on the team took over the blog from Reed Johnson who was last years biggest hustler. You have a lot of the same qualities! Reed hustled on offense and defense just as you do.. I have to admit, I miss Reed but I admire you! Your love for the game is so apparent. You RUN (in less than 17 seconds) when you hit homeruns. You hustle on every play in the outfield! You show respect to your team mates and to other teams. My hat is off to you Mr. Byrd and I hope that by the second half the CUBS pull it together and start kickin some tail! Best of luck to you sir and I am thrilled that your a CUBBIE!! Thank you for your blogs, it is great seeing inside the game.
    Susie Given
    Cubs fan in Charleston WV

  12. cubbiefan5956

    whats good man. 1 thing about the hitting is it seems like you guys are all trying to get it done w the longball which isnt a bad way to get the job done, but i think right now you guys should just focus on putting good wood on the ball. the power will come from there but if your trying to crush it thats where the slumps start. it seems (on tv) like you all take the weight of the teams stuggles and try to end them w your personal at bat, which isnt needed. look at oyur guys lineup. your stacked you dont have to end w 1 swing when theres sooooooo many great hitters on this team, the cardinals have 3 or 4 great hitters…after that theres a steady drop off. so they need the long ball. you guys are deep, trusting eachother to drive you in is where the wins will come from. baseball is too much of a team sport for you guys to be trying to win it yourself.

  13. cubbiefan5956

    also since you have the power to talk the cubs you should do me a favor and talk to aramis. just remind him he won the 08 roberto clemente award (best clutch hitter in baseball) he’s hit over 30 homeruns 4 times, had atleast 90 rbis 7 seasons…6 of them he had over 100. not to mention hes hit over .300 in 5 seasons. And if you ask me his problem this year is that he has no confdence at the plate. he looks a little scared to be honest which shouldnt be the case. i mean if teams are stupid enough to intentionally walk batter to face him w the bases loaded he should be angry not scared. if you ask me Aramis just needs a reminder of how great he really is. i remember in 08 when dlee and aramis went back to back against the white sox to tie the game…then aramis went on to hit a walk off in his next at bat. its not like hes too old or just got bad, he just lost his confidence. instead goin to the plate thinkin is this the one that ends the slump he should think “Im Aramis Ramirez and their dumb enough to walk someone to face me? time to make them pay!” I think if you remind how great he is the slump will end. keep it easy birdman

  14. ejmckee@sbcglobal.net

    Hey Marlon thanks for hitting 2 home runs on last sunday it helped my fantasy Go Cubbies!!!!

  15. chris.payton@insightbb.com

    Hey big Byrd,you got my votes for the allstar team,I hope you make it.Goodluck for the season.

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