3/7 Me & Carlos

Carlos, everything he’s done in Tampa, he knows how to win. We’ve bonded. We were the big dogs coming up through the Minor Leagues, got to the big leagues and scuffled a little bit. We went back and forth, Minor Leagues, big leagues, knowing we could play but we needed that one team to take that flyer on us. It was Texas with me, Tampa with Carlos. Carlos comes up, does what he does, signs that big deal in Tampa. We can feed off each other because at the same time, what we also have in common is Rudy. He was with Rudy in Texas before I was. Now we have that rapport, so we’re talking about getting his swing back to where it was. There’s a lot that goes through your head when you struggle. He struggled last year and still put up big numbers in the power category. You have to get that average back up, get that confidence back up. I had the same thing, hitting .220 in the Minor Leagues and going to Texas and working with Rudy and had to get that confidence and that feel. I knew I could hit. We started talking from day one — actually at the Cubs Convention, we started talking hitting right away. Then when we came in here the first day, we started going to the cage together, working on little things. I see things he’s doing now that I did when I first came to Texas. Having more than one eye — not just Rudy’s eye but my eye — and having that trust factor will help. He trusts me. When I see something, he says, “Hey, you’re right, I feel it.” All from that, we’re learning and feeding off each other as far as hitting. I get to feed off him as far as that winning mentality and everything he did in Tampa.

There are certain things that happen in the clubhouse. I can go to him and say, “What do you think? Do we need a meeting? Do we need a one on one?” We can go back and forth. That’s  a good thing. We have all these veterans in here and we have a lot of help — Kerry Wood, Braden Looper, all those guys. Me and Carlos, being position players, he’s very vocal, just like I am. we can talk and make sure everything stays on the up and up with this team. Last year, you have your ups and downs, but you want to keep those very, very small and stay consistent. Now, we have that rapport and hopefully we can be part of leading this team in the clubhouse and on the field and carry us all the way into the playoffs.

He’s not tentative because he’s the new guy. You saw me last year when I came in here, sort of loud mouth in the beginning. Everyone was like, “Marlon talks too much.” At the end of the year, they were saying, “He talks for a reason.” Carlos, it’s the same thing. He’s talking for a reason. He’s not speaking out of turn, he’s not speaking just to talk. He’s speaking because he needs to. The time he’s put in the big leagues, the winning he’s done, the numbers he’s put up, everything, he’s earned the right for people to listen to him.

— Marlon


  1. keithcub

    Hi Marlon!

    I’m not gonna lie, Marlon. When you said “Me & Carlos” I first thought you were talking about Silva. Then I thought “maybe he’s talking about Zambrano”. Then I pictured Marmol in my head because I watched him pitch on WGN yesterday (by the way, nice smack to center yesterday). Then I thought “I don’t think ‘Me & Carlos” is grammatically correct”. Then I finally realized you’re talking about Pena! Don’t judge me on that, I mean I haven’t actually seen the guy in a Cubs uniform yet. I was hoping he would be there for yesterday’s TV game, but some other guy played first base and they kept speaking spanish about his hair.

    You mentioned Looper. I was wondering what you think about he and Wellemeyer? Both of these guys have been fantastic for stretches during their careers. Do you envision them making the final cut (I just started singing “The Final Countdown” in my head when I wrote that. Dud-dud-duh duhhhhh. Dud-d-dut dut duhhhh. The final coundown…).

    Marlon, if the Cubs were a burrito I would say you’re probably the meat, man. I mean you’re right there in the middle all the time. Offensively, defensively. My sister-in-law Tara would disagree because she has your autographed ball right there on the mantle and she’s a vegetarian. Maybe she’d argue that you’re the beans, but come on Marlon, it’s plain to see that Soto is the beans.

    So, do you ever go into the clubhouse and just yell out “Hey Carlos!” just to see how many heads will turn? That’s what I would do…in fact, I’ll do just that if you invite me into the clubhouse this season. That would be really awesome, especially if you invite my brother-in-law Andy too. He’s applying for the PA Announcer job. We’ll see if God wants him at the church more or in the booth more.

    In any case, my advice to you is “be yourself because most people aren’t good at being someone else plus it creates less problems with the IRS”.


  2. cubbies2068

    Marlon, since your signing with the Cubs I have been nothing but happy with you as a player and how you handle yourself. I once aspired to be a pitcher and lost that ability when I lost my eye sight to a disease. Now I fix computers and sing in a local Chicago Heavy Metal band called Cold Fury, anyhow. The respect you show to the game, and to the fans who enjoy it is a testament to how others should be. I’ll take your word that Carlos Pena is the same kind of guy. No offense man but as a player once myself. I am more leaning towards pitchers. Do me a favor. Tell Kerry Wood I said hi. Keep rackin up those hits and drivin in those runs. Were gonna need you this year big guy. I wish you and the entire team the best of luck this season. Oh, one more thing. give the White Sox hell for me. Take it easy Marlon, and have a good time out there. Wish I could be there to enjoy it with ya.

    Huge Cubs Fan!
    Bill L.
    Lockport, IL

  3. __sean__

    Nice article, great insight.

    Here’s hoping the reunion can propel this team! Lord knows we suffered long enough!

    Geaux Cubs!

  4. illinoisian1818@yahoo.com

    That’s called synergy. Teammates getting behind each other, trusting each other, learning from each other. Sounds like you two are going to have fun together this year and that promises a great season. Can’t wait!

  5. coqui19

    Hey Marlon! I’m glad to see that you and Carlos Pena are clicking. You’re off to a good start this spring, keep up the good work. I can’t wait to see the Cubs this summer. I’m getting out of the Marine Corps and looking forward to going Wrigley and watching you and Carlos do some great things. Keep teaching the young guys and excelling in this year! Keep up the good attitude!

  6. kargelc@care2.com

    Today was my first baseball game, ever. I decided to take my grandfather for a little bonding time, and he was SO excited to teach me about the game. Just as I was really getting into it, you hit a ball into the crowd, and it hit me before I knew what was coming. 😛 I’ve got my bruised elbow in a sling, a smile, and a good story to share with friends, but I wasn’t able to find you after so I could get the ball signed. Any chance I could get that autograph now or later?! 🙂
    Mesa, AZ

    What a first game! Watching you guys have fun out there and turn the score around after the sixth inning… Thanks for bringing a girl and her grandfather together.

  7. diehardcubsfan4ever

    Yesterday, I wrote a blog (A Diehard Cubs Fan Speaks Out) about teamwork, or the lack thereof. It is refreshing to hear your story with Carlos Pena. Apparently, you two guys have the understanding of what it takes to be successful. You are eager to improve, eager to learn, communicate effectively, and aren’t afraid to be vocal. Those attributes are indicative of true team leaders. It doesn’t matter how long either of you have been with the Cubs. The Cubs need leaders to lead the way. Thank you for providing that because the Cubs simply have not had any leadership in recent years. Sure, some are vocal, some have let their performance do the talking, but that isn’t enough. The Cubs need guys that are commited to winning a championship which means, being the best that they can be and giving everything they have at all times. I am hoping that you and Carlos will have a profound influence on the others. Quite frankly, some of the veterans have appeared aloof and lackadaisical the past few years. Perhaps you should remind them how lucky they are to get paid so well for doing something that they love. I would give anything to be in that position and if I was, I promise that I would be striving to be the best that I could be and win a World Series, especially in Chicago where you would be immortalized for achieving such a feat. Anyway, I am glad to see that teamwork does exist in the Cubs’ club house. Keep up the good work! I will see you in July when I visit Wrigley. As always, I will be rooting for you. Go Cubs!

  8. markmark99


    With the surplus of outfielders the Cubs have and now with the addition of Reed Johnson, who do you think is going to be starting? Do you think Reed with make the major league squad? Anything postive from Fukudome down in Mesa?


  9. lily76365

    Marlon, you seem like such a good guy and fun to be around. You have filled the hole DeRosa left! Both in the good guy aspect as well as the good looks! 😉
    Have a great year!


  10. sordin5@yahoo.com

    I’m very excited for what the Cubs are going to bring this year..you’re crushing the ball so far in the spring and i look forward to being at wrigley and seeing that great baseball instinct and hustle you bring with you…I think with the additions of Wood, Pena, Garza, and Reed Johnson-hopefully he’s on the roster! will be tremendous in the clubhouse and make those day games a lil easier on you guys…

    Cubbie blue forever!

    mucho amore,


  11. ceciliaann@hotmail.com

    I really look forward to your blog posts. They’re insightful, well-written, and have a lot of heart. I’m a life-long Cubs fan and I check back several times a week just to see what’s going on in Byrdland. You give us glimpses into my favorite clubhouse, and I find that great fun.

    Best of luck in the 2011 season and I can’t wait to see you & Carlos (& Carlos & Carlos) on the field.

  12. jaranger

    Always enjoy your Byrd’s Nest comments. Keep ’em coming. I am sure there are lots of Rangers fans like me who still watch the box scores every day to see how you are doing. We loved you in Texas and wish you continued success in Cubbieland.

  13. captaincub

    Marlon, I lived in Wrigleyville for the last 9 yrs or so and would go to about 1 game a week and a commonly when you would come up to bat, my gf or I would sing that “bird is the word” song, now I am sure you are very sick of this song but it seemed that when we sang it you would hit at least a double..
    I noticed that they are letting you guys pick a song to play when you get up to bat some times at Wrigley…I suggest you pick that song, I think it has some voodoo good luck to it. thanks

    also, I moved from Wrigleyville to st. Louis and have already had 3 drunks try and start fights with me for wearing my cubbie hat at local bars, so if when in town, you want to grab the guys and roll around town with me ruffing up some cards fans that would be cool too 🙂 i’ll buy

    thanks again Michael

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