2/22 Marlon: ‘We’re going to explode’

First off, I have to comment on the job Jim Hendry did. He didn’t have much money this offseason. He needed pieces to fix this team. We needed a first baseman, we needed left-handed thump in the lineup, we needed a veteran reliever on the back end with experience and we needed another starting pitcher. He didn’t just fill those, he went and got a Gold Glover and the best first baseman in the American League East who knows how to win in Carlos Pena. Then, he went and got Matt Garza, who is a horse. He’s not missing any starts. He’s a monster on the mound with great stuff and he’s going to give you 15-plus wins. Then he went and got Kerry Wood — that’s icing on the cake. Of course, Woody helped us out, he wanted to come back home. Nobody can blame him. This is home for him and this is where he needs to be. Jim did an unbelievable job. He didn’t just bring guys in, he brought guys in who can do the job and help us get to the playoffs and hopefully get to the World Series.

It’s exciting. On the first day, I overheard Woody talk to Cashner about throwing cutters on both sides of the plate and talking to Samardzija about that. That experience, that trust factor. Me and Carlos Pena, going back with Rudy. That trust factor is already there. Garza just fit in there. He brings that intensity, he brings that fire, something that this team needs, something the city of Chicago loves to see, loves to watch. I don’t think it gets any better than that.

One person you can’t leave out who everyone forgets about is Reed Johnson. Bringing back Reed — he’ll help in the clubhouse, help on the field. He’s not just a presence in the clubhouse, he’s a presence on the field. He’s a career .282 hitter, kills a lefty, can hit righties, can play anywhere in the outfield. He’s a veteran presence. We came up in ’99 together and played together in the big leagues. This is our ninth year. He was at St. Catharines with the Blue Jays and I was at Class A Batavia with the Phillies.

The guys we have — there’s not excitement on MLB Network, there’s not excitement on Baseball Tonight. That excitement is Greinke and Marcum with the Brewers and Berkman going to St. Louis and the Reds signing extensions to the young guys who are going to turn into big dogs. We’re going to fly under the radar and keep that excitement bottled up and once April 1 comes, we’re going to explode.

– Marlon

20 Comments

Marlon, so glad you are back with your blog. Your excitement is catching. I am going to attend the March 3rd spring training game…can’t wait!

Marlon … Great to have you and The Byrd’s Nest back. Here’s to a successful 2011 for you and the whole Cubs organization. Looking forward to following every Cubs game from the UK.

It’s really cool having guys like you and Wood and Reed on the team, Marlon.

You guys have many of the same qualities that made Santo so great and so loved in Chicago.

Hope you have fun this year.

Great to hear from one of the leaders in the club house and on the field. Under the radar is good right now. Pitching looks great & we have much potential a the plate and in the field. Stay healthy, win early and often…….Chicago has much to look forward to this spring!

Looking forward to a get season turning heads and taking names. As every year I feel good about the team, but it is great to hear the team feels the same way. Thanks for the blog and keeping the dream alive.

Marlon, how’s Brett Jackson looking?

Let the media talk about the Brewers, Cardinals, or whoever else. I’m really excited about this team and think we’re as good as anyone in this division.

Marlon, those are the best words I’ve heard all offseason. I’m looking forward to a monster season!

P.S. You deserved a Gold Glove way more than Bourn

Wow I am started to get excited. Thanks Marlon…..

I’m pumped, go get’em Marlon!

I agree, everyone keeps bashing on the cubs, saying ohh they’re not going to do anything… But I have honestly not felt this excited since the 2008 season started. I remember feeling that something special was going to happen that year and the Cubs did do great except they didn’t capatilize towards the end. I can’t wait for this season to begin. I’m excited! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Marlon Byrd you are awesome!

Marlon! It’s good to see you back. I’m with Q, forget Pujoles and start getting excited about Pena! Thanks giving us word from the inside. Good luck this year. We’re all pulling for you, Byrd-man!

Welcome back Byrd man! Just got my custom Byrd jersey last week! Really glad to see you like Reed Johnson as much as I do, that guy is a great everyday-grinder and a real asset if he can stay with the club. Keep up the good work adn good luck this year, all of Chicago will be pulling for ya!

Marlon,
If half the guys hustled like you do all season, we could be the #1 team in all of baseball! Can’t wait to watch you play — your attitude and determination is catching and it is a joy to watch. Your Home Run RUN (NOT trot!) is something to see. Good Luck to all the guys and this IS our year CUBBIES!!!

Marlon! You gave me goosebumps! Now I really can’t wait for Opening Day. We’re with you all the way! Go Cubbies!!

Thank you Marlon for keeping us up to date on whats going on from an inside perspective. We all know you guys work your tails off to make it happen on the field, but chemistry wins championships as much as talent does, seems like we may have that this year, and our Ace in the Hole is Ronnie sitting up above watching and hopefully influencing the Big Man for his assistance as well. Have a great year, stay healthy and stay positive. “This is The Year!”

Thank you Marlon for keeping us up to date on whats going on from an inside perspective. We all know you guys work your tails off to make it happen on the field, but chemistry wins championships as much as talent does, seems like we may have that this year, and our Ace in the Hole is Ronnie sitting up above watching and hopefully influencing the Big Man for his assistance as well. Have a great year, stay healthy and stay positive. “This is The Year!”

I’m really impressed with the way Hendry wheeled and dealed this off season. At first I was skeptical, but after studying it. The Cubs are in great shape this year and I’m excited.

Good Luck Marlon!
Play Ball!

—Mark Gauthier
http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

Thank you Marlon! This was a very positive and encouraging post.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Hi Marlon!

How was your offseason? Mine was fine. We just had a baby, so that’s pretty awesome, right? Don’t worry about sending a meal or anything. The church has hooked us up with some pretty killer food (not literally killer, Marlon) for like 3 weeks. If I wasn’t sporting the Keithman v. P15X body right now I would be getting FAT from all the stuff people are giving us. Don’t they know that babies only eat milk and occasionally hay?

Speaking of hay, you should have come to our last softball game last year. My shoulder finally started feeling better again so I’m a little thing I like to call “Byrdified” which, loosely defined, means that I’m ready to unleash the fury of a thousand bengal tigers on the softball field wearing a fresh pair of baseball pants and one really big cup.

Marlon, this year is going to be fresh. I agree that Jim Hendry did some pretty good things this off season, but the fact is he’s still hampered by his past mistakes. I hope that pays off with a big ole shot o’ Pujols next year, but let’s focus on winning the World Series this year.

Remember, don’t spit seeds during the game because sunflower seeds will make you fart and that is distracting in the batter’s box. You’re welcome.

Keithman

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