7/31 That’s how the game is played

The dude was trying to break up a double play. Holliday plays hard. You have to appreciate the way he plays. He’s not labeled as a dirty player. He didn’t go spikes up. The only thing that made it look bad was that he slid late. That’s it. Whether he could reach the bag or not, I don’t know. If I’m in that situation, and I’m playing to win, trying to get to a pennant race, I’d do the same exact thing. Even though we’re second to last and in fifth place in this division, I still try to flip infielders. It’s as simple as that. I try to play winning baseball, and that’s all that is.

You call a play dirty when a guy is going out there trying to hurt somebody and that’s not what he did. If Holliday wants to go in and hurt somebody he will. He’s 6-4, 235, 240 pounds. That’s him playing hard. The way we take it when we see it is we want to defend our players at the time. When you go back and really look at it and how the game is played and how it should be played, there’s nothing wrong with that. If the umpires want to make their call and say he was too far off, so be it. Being dirty or being malicious, it’s not even close.

– Marlon

57 Comments

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When you (Marlon) first came, I thought you were great. You play hard & you’re a good team leader. But when a player is obviously trying to go out of the base path to knock your teammate over, it’s your job to support him or keep your opinion to yourself. I’m 63 and it’s getting harder & harder to keep being a diehard Cubs’ fan.

I love you Byrd..but you are way wrong on this! He didn’t even start to slide until he was past the bag. He was in the air..that is not a slide. It should have been an automatic double play! You said that you would do the same thing in his situation…I hope otherwise. I am glad your teammate was not hurt. And you speaking out against what your teammates and your manager saw and think..says alot about how this team is coming together..or more importantly ..how you ARE NOT! It;s a sad year.

You should be ashamed to wear a Cubs uniform. You disgrace me Mr Byrd. The Franchise of the Cubs Starlin Castro comes out and says that the slide was dirty. Whether it was or wasen’t (and for the record most people are saying it was) your franchise says it was. Not only did your pathetic baseball team not retaliate but you write this blog. Are you kidding me, your taking the side of your arch rival. Whether you believe it or not you STAND behind your teammate. Instead you take the side of your rival. Mr Byrd, you are pathetic.

You plaiy the way it is to be played to. Tell soriano to stay the hell outta your way.

Oh! Amen to that! What a waste!

that’s fine, but why do you feel the need to blog about it? back up your shortstop, back up your team, and especially don’t go out of your way to defend a player on your team’s biggest rival. this is cubs/cardinals. get a clue.

Marlon Byrd should indeed be ashamed to wear the Cubs uniform. He is too good of a guy and too much of a hardworker to be on a consistent loser playing in front of nothing but idiots every home game.
You gotta love a player that speaks out in favor of the way the game is supposed to be played. Lou Gehrig would have punched Starlin Castro in the face for laying on the ground crying with the ball in his glove while Albert Pujols came walking home to tie the game.

Really Mr Baseballl fan? Lou Gehrig would have punched Castro? Really one of the greatest baseball teammates of all time would have puched a young up and coming future star. I am sure that’s exactly how it would have went down. Actually this is how it would have went down, he would have put his arm around the young man and the Captain would then have said we will take care of it. The next inning Holliday would get a fastball under his chin. With all do respect you don’t know much about this game. For the record, before the game Orel Hershisher called it a dirty play. He would have taken care of Holliday. If you don’t know who Orel is, he is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

Marlon Byrd just said it was a clean play. Do you know who Marlon Byrd is? He is a teammate of Starlin Castro and a very well respected ballplayer. Yeah.
And the whole Lou Gehrig thing went way over your head though you explained part of it. Why would one of the greatest teammates in history punch a teammate in the face? Maybe because he was acting like a baby and embarrassing the team. Did you see Samardzija’s face as Pujols waltzed home while Castro was crying on the ground? It was an expression of disgust, embarrassment and “this crybaby would never make it a quarter in football.” Got it now? Good.
BTW, if you put a fastball under Holliday’s chin then the Cardinals would put a fastball under Castro’s chin. You don’t respond to a clean play with a dirty play. That just makes things worse for your team.

Marlon is 100% correct on this. If anyone needs criticized it is Starlin for lying on the ground like a wr coming over the middle and getting laid out by Ronnie Lott! That was a disgrace to effort and tenacity the way he laid on the ground and let the tying run score from second base. I am 40 and been a Cubs fan my whole life. That was embarrassing! The reason the Cardinals are there every year is because dudes play hard like Holliday. The Cubs get dudes like Castro who lay down after a little tap on the shin and let the tying run score. Stop bashing Marlon and put the blame where it goes.

You are a nut case. Watch the replay

Toni,

Castro is not a dude he is baseball player. A very good one, who plays very hard and he is very young. He has a lot to learn but his is considered the franchise, and is also considered one of the future pieces of this dying sport called baseball.. The point here is you stick behind your teammates even if you don’t agree. Do you think Holliday would have taken Byrd’s side. Not in a million years. He is a team player.

Playing hard is one thing, going after the guy turning 2, way away from the bag is another thing. It was so obvious, but umpires are having and issue with calls this year. And I mean calls that are Ws or Ls (i.e. Pitt v. Atl)

Castro says is was not clean. You go out of your way to say it was. Way to stand with your teammate. You guys are the most dysfunctial team in the majors.

some of you guys hav obviously never played the game before….byrd is totally correct in what he said and if you guys had actually played the game you would kno that. Stop whining about it. Castro is a big boy and he will encounter plays like this a hundred more times in his career. It comes with the territory

It was NOT clean. Holliday did a dirty thing, and I dont see how you can say that he didnt do anything wrong. He had all the room in the world to reach 2nd base but on his BR route (albeit maybe not malicious) he had intent of disabling Castro from throwing home. Plain and simple, that is FOUL play. Hes a big guy too, and I dont think he was trying to send Castro to the DL but it’s easy to see he held his leg out AWAY from the bag in order to disable Castro from doing his job as an infielder. I certainly do not have to ‘appreciate the way he plays’. You say that its not dirty or malicious and that you always try and flip infielders because thats how its supposed to be played. You are supposed to get on base relentlessly but youre not supposed to be smashing into infielders with that kind of intent, you jerk. Also, your Spartan batting helmet looks stupid. If youre such a tough ball player, stop hiding behind your modified helmet and start producing for the team.

Sounds like marlon wants to go to the cardinals. You basically went out of your way to defend Holliday. Keep it to yourself

Marlon,you have youre opinion, and I have mine. The slide was not called for, not that far off the bag. Holliday should have been called out, period. If you had played when I was playing, the slide was legal, as you well know it is not now and an out should have been recorded the double play allowed.

That’s a bunch of BS Byrd. Your explanation of the play may sound good in theory but it does not hold water in the rule book. MLB Rule 7.09 (f) states….. “If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a fielder in the act of fielding a ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner.” …..At no point does the rule book state your case Byrd. As you may see, the rules clearly state just the opposite. By MLB rules, all a runner can do is go after his base. Aggressively of course but they MUST be going after the base, which in this case the runner clearly did not do as he didn’t even touch his base. A runner is not allowed in any way to interfere with a fielder, regardless of where the runner is positioned. I’m not sure where you’re getting your rules but I would seek out a more reliable source. There is a reason these rules are in place. If he had been doing his job, the Umpire right in front of the play should have called Rule 7.09 (f) on the play. The runner never even came close to making contact with his base. He not only came in with a block and late slide but he then proceeded to kick the fielder. The block and late slide and missing the base were more than enough to apply Rule 7.09 (f) but the kicking of the defender was also cause for ejection from the game which would normally result in probably a 2 game suspension from the League office. But all of this hinges on one thing: the umpire doing his job. Today’s umpires are the biggest advocates out there for Instant Replay. They are lazy, they don’t get into position to make good calls, and they can get by with horrible performance year after year because they have their union to back them. I have no bias on this play whatsoever. Yes, the slide was probably the dirtiest play I have ever seen made on that particular play, and I’ve been closely watching MLB since 1969. I did see Bill Madlock came close to being that flagrant once and he was probably the dirtiest player of his era – but at least he admitted it! I don’t like to see dirty players and plays on the field, regardless of whom they do or don’t play for. And I especially loath umpires that are not giving the game a 100% effort. One final trivia: What is the #1 cause of players, coaches and managers being ejected from a ballgame? Answer: Being the victims of a bad call by an umpire. Way to have your manager’s backside Byrd. Maybe you should go roost in another nest.

I lost a lot of respect for you today, Marlon. If you’re going to condone dirty play by an opponent you don’t have to tweet about it. Holliday kicked his cleats out and spiked Castro. He was past the base when he finally hit the ground. How you saw that he wasn’t “spikes.up” I’ll never know. Maybe because Starlin was so far off the base the spikes here “out” and not “up”, but they somehow sliced his shin. The umps flat-out blew the call. Yeah, Castro should have kept his head in the game and thrown to the plate but that still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a dirty play. It should have been called a DP and maybe Starlin was expecting that.

I am really bothered by this blog. I can’t believe you, of all the players on the Cubs, would publicly disrespect your teammate this way. You are certainly entitled to your feelings about the play but you should never have blogged, tweeted, facebooked or spoke those feelings at all. How is a 21 year old player supposed to trust his team, his coaches and his front office to have his back after one of the leaders on the team does what you did to him? You should have talked with Castro in private if you really wanted to tell him the play was ok, not went public with it. I used to admire the way you played, your hustle and your attitude but after hearing you say that you would do the same thing as Holliday, I guess I misjudged you. I really don’t think I want to be a fan of any player that says he would blatantly try to spike another player just to break up a double play. You disappointed a huge amount of Cub fans tonight…and I have to thank ESPN for pointing out during the game that you said what you did or I might have missed out on your true character.

Until a moment ago…I had much respect for you, Marlon Byrd. After reading this blog, most of that respect has been replaced with confusion, disappointment, and doubt. How can you seriously say that slide was clean? Do you really think that, or is this blog some phony P.R.-spun charade? If you did honestly write this blog, you should have kept it to yourself. Also, you should go play for another team- if this how you stand up for your TEAMmates. Cowardice is the last thing the Cubs need more of. At the very least- drill Holliday in the next at-bat…did that happen? no…this is a no-brainer…I’m sick and tired of what has become “Cubs Baseball” – the way they play the game- and this blog is a microcosm of why…fear is malignant and contagious…there is a fear that exists in the minds of the cubs- a fear to lose- and it affects thought processes right down to the micro core level of the mental strength and focus required to…put together a good approach at the plate….or pitch with success consistently…much less to stick up for Starlin. Do you fear something, Marlon?….b/c a good teammate would defend his fellow with force no matter what. The Cubs need to put together a core of guys that would bleed for each other. We should have sold more before this deadline and we damn well better do something logical and constructive with the payroll we are clearing after this season. Build for the future. Come on Cubbies…LETS GO…damnit

Marlon… I love ya. You are my fave Cub because of the way you play hard every day. You hustle more than anybody else on the field (I wish that would rub off on Soriano and Ramirez). But, the thing that really bothers me the way he slid late and stuck his leg out to right field. I know it’s a baserunner’s job to break up the double play but you’ve got to TRY to make it look legit. And he wasn’t even near the base. You play hard, but I can’t imagine you doing what Holliday did.

Cubs 2011 is the absolute worst “team” I have ever watched in my 20+ years of being a fan. You guys are a disgrace.

It’s no wonder the players on this team don’t want to be traded because they 0 accountability. They fail, who cares. They publicly go against the team and manager on a weekly basis, who cares. Being from Atlanta, watching the recent Cub teams has been pathetic. You guys are nothing but overpaid, underachieving losers.

Hey Marlon… did you go… did you go… did you go… did you go… did you go…

Cleats up and leg extended means you’re trying to hurt someone.

It MEANS your trying to break up a double-play . Not only was that accomplished but it lead to the tying run waltzing home. Now if Castro got up with his leg dangling by the tendons, i still expect him to at least ROLL the ball toward the catcher.This is the difference between ‘cornfield ball” and “city ball” …this is the difference between a perennial pennant contender and successful dynasty and a perennial bottom dweller and successful travesty . And lest we forget this statement /blog was made by one of our own players who took a cement block in the face from a 90mph + fastball and still wanted to take third base because he thought he hit a triple. I want a whole Cub team of Marlon Byrd’s playing tuffball every inning if that gets us to the promised land! And you can bet Castro is playing EYES WIDE OPEN now.

It’s pretty easy to tell the men who played the game from the boys who didn’t. The ones who played will all tell you that this is the way the game is played at every professional level. The ones who didn’t play past HS will quote rule books (which has nothing to do with this discussion by the way) or whine about the “intention” of the play. As a baserunner, you are obligated to break up a double play. Should Holliday have been called for interference? Hell yes.
The “spirit” of the rule is that the baserunner needs to make a legit attempt to reach the base. Holliday did not. But that is on the umps to call. Would you call it a dirty play if an O-lineman holds a defender to spring someone for a TD and the ref blows the call? Hell no. Holliday did what he had to do to help his team score. And he did it in a hard, but clean manner. Orel Hersheysquirts needs to shut his mouth and go away. Calling the play dirty and then suggesting to throw at Holliday’s head?
As for a teammate backing up another teammate. Starlin is 21 years old. In this situation he needs to be told to shut his mouth and play harder. I saw the play live, saw the half dozen replays and then watched it again after the game. Castro went down like Peter McNeely against Mike Tyson. (You know the guy who made the Pizza Hut commercial where he got hit by the crust of a pizza slice and went down to mock his dive against Mike Tyson). Male soccer players were offended by his flop on that slide.

Marlon…All i can say is I love you. I think you are great for the team, you give 100% to every game you play. I totally agree with you… that is how the game is played and if it would have been the opposite way around, we would not be having this discussion. Everyone may not agree with your view but thats whtat makes the difference between true fans and faired weathered fans. No matter what anyone thought about the play or the call that was made, Castro should have never assumed it would be called interference and got up to make the double play. Look all the other player who were yelling at him to get up and throw the ball didn’t assume anything. Dont get on a pissing band wagon becasue you dont like the opiniion of a veteran player who plays with all his heart and you have other players who can even make simple outs in the infield.

I agree with Byrd here. But on the another note, since when does arguing a play ever make it change? If Quade yells down to the home plate empire for a bad ball/strike call. will the ump change it? absolutely not! The Umpire’s rule is law! besides, can anyone really memorize the whole rule book? baseball is a freaking kids game. Yes, maybe arguing plays bodes well with fans. But no ump appreciates being questioned. Castro shouldve toughed it out… I was hoping to see the opposite that his shin was shattered and unable to play, but it would seem he stayed in the game. whiner…

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you’re catchin alot of flack Byrd, but i gotta say, if i was the manager, you’d sit for a week if not longer. Mike got thrown out the game over this, c’mon

you say he didnt come in spikes up, sure looked like he did to me , next time i would jump in the air and kick the dirty sob in the face and that is how ty cobb would have played hard.

I felt he was a tad overly aggressive. I would have plunked him. That’s how you play the game too.

Marlon, I have a ton of respect for you. You play the game hard and always give it your all. I wish that I could say that for all of your teammates, some of whom make tons of more $$$ than you. Also, I believe that you are right in your assessment of the play, borderline as it seemed. Of course, us Cub fans are an emotional flock of Byrds. I, for one, have been a Cubs’ fan for a few years. For instance, my friends and I would clean the bleachers for one hour after a home game, say, in 1969, and get a free bleacher ticket to the next home game. Then we would ride our bikes back home. I’ve been there long enough not to get too excited about any one play, or any one year.
However, if I had been in your shoes, I probably would have done my darndest to hold my tongue. Perhaps you are much more outspoken and passionate about things than I’ve grown old to be. I do appreciate your passion on the field, good day or bad. I wish your teammates could learn something from you and apply it on the field.

Hi Marlon!

I see you’re taking some serious heat for your opinion of the Holliday play. In my opinion, we should just be really glad if we make holiday pay! I mean, making money when you’re not working? That’s where it’s at if you ask me. It’s one thing to get vacation time, but to stay at home on “Labor Day” and get money for it is phenomenal. Think of the irony there. We’re talking about a day named after hard work yet we’re getting paid to not work at all! What’s that? You do have to work that day? Come on, Marlon…you play baseball for a living…that’s what I do on my day off.

Church league softball was kind of a wreck this week. We played against the team that’s coached by Mustache Mike. He’s the guy, you probably remember, that accused me of throwing at him from the outfield on a play at the plate. Well, last week he lost his mind during a game against someone else. After some on the field confrontations he approached a girl on the other team and told her he was going to “bash that guy’s (stink)ing head in”. He didn’t say “stinking”, Marlon. Then his son challenged a guy to fight later in the parking lot. Those guys are no longer allowed at games…

Did I say “no longer allowed at games”, Marlon? Well then why was Mustache Mike at the game against us yesterday? Further, why was he barking trash talk from up above field when he was supposedly there as a “babysitter”? Why, after we asked the team to quiet him down did he feel compelled to come down and sit on the bench behind home plate? Why did he bring up the “it’s a public park” argument as though this was some kind of Constitutional issue? Because the guy has no class, Marlon. He’s a Holliday. So my brother-in-law Andy had to announce that the game was over and we were willing to forfeit…then the guy went up to the stands. I thought we should have actually ended it there. I really don’t think there are many Christians on that team. They again accused me of throwing at a player at home plate, this time a girl. I promise you I have never tried to injure a woman and I certainly didn’t decide yesterday was the day to do it…people have no perspective.

About the Holliday thing, Marlon…the truth is I don’t really watch anymore and I didn’t see the play. I’ve lost my passion for the Cubs. I didn’t do it intentionally. I just don’t find myself emotionally tied to the team anymore. I’m an Eagles fan and it’s been an “asomugha” week if you know what I mean!

So my sister-in-law Tara put together a pretty great looking tournament team for next weekend. I think we have the ability to go all the way on this one. She wanted me to ask you if you think that the word “embarrassing” originates from the humiliation of baring your arse. Do you think that’s the case?

Marlon, remember that despite the fact that Jim Hendry didn’t make any deals or unload any of his terrible contracts, there’s always next year when he will be able to retool the team through bloated and backloaded contracts for players who are past their prime. I’m thinking Jim Rice would look good splitting time with Soriano in left right about now.

Read more of my thoughts on various topics are http://dirtwank.blogspot.com.
Keithman

“Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.” – William Turner 1545

hey, flock you! what’s that supposed to mean? buck up and say it in your own words.

“It’s as simple as that. I try to play winning baseball, and that’s all that is.”

Is that what the Cubs are calling it these days? Maybe the Cubs should try a different approach if they’re “trying to play winning baseball.” The current plan isn’t really working, is it?

Marlon, you really are one of the only players on this team I like. I’ve seen many many terrible Cubs teams over the years, but the team that has taken the field the last three years has been depressingly bad. So bad, that I can honestly that it’s arguably the worst Cubs team I’ve seen since the early 90′s. I’m sure if I were in your situation, I would be asking for a trade too, but you’re still a Cub and you still need to stand by your team. If I were to speak publicly in a way that contradicts my employer, I would b shown the door. It was a dirty play that looked to intentionally injure a young player.

I gotta ask, were you taking this stance in hopes of a trade to St. Louis?

Thanks Mr. Byrd. I for one support your view on this play , and furthermore, thank you for your selfless play and hustle in center and at the plate for our team. Holliday could have “lights outed” Castro had he chosen to . I’m not going to thank Holliday for his hustle but i am going to say Castro has much more awareness of what’s barrelling at him from first base in these situations because of this close call. Castro made the needed adjustments and made 2 excellent plays covering second last night. Castro was 3 feet in the air when he turned the final 1-6-3 double play last night. Castro has already made the adjustment and this can only mean more success for a very talented youngster who still has many more bumps and bruises waiting for him. Be ready for ANYTHING.

I can’t believe I am hearing this from you Marlon. I have always viewed you as a team player. But this A hole goes out of his way to try and injure one of your team mates. You should have said nothing instead of defending Holliday. So much for you being a team player. The Card’s don’t need any help in the outfield so stop kissing their a#@!!!

If I’m umpiring, Holliday can stretch out as far as he wants, but he HAS to TOUCH the bag as he goes by it, which he did NOT. Therefore, ball dead, Holliday out, runner at first out. The Cubs should plunk Holliday in the leg next time he visits Wrigley. It’s that simple. And Mr. Byrd, I love you, but please don’t contradict Mr. Q in the media. Go Cubbies in 2012 woo hoo! Left Field Bleachers Rule!

Marlon, you are one of the bright spots on the Cubs and I so appreciate your hustle, positive attitude and hard work. Admittedly, I was a little taken aback when I heard that you yelled “take me with you” in the midst of Fukudome’s trade conference and while maybe you said it in jest (with a little truth sprinkled in), it was disappointing. This is also disappointing.

It was clear the Mr. Halliday purposefully went out of the line of the base to break up the double-play and it seemed intentional that he trip Castro. Yes, I’m sure it is quite acceptable to go into second base hard with that intent but this seemed way too out of his way. Not even close. There are many things in this world that are illegal yet somehow acceptable and understandably, one might turn a blind eye because it is just the way things are done. On the other hand, It is distasteful to address this in the media (yes, the guys from ESPN got wind of this and it is spreading from there) since this does go against your manager and teammate. Maybe you felt Castro should have handled it differently? Great, you are a leader, let him know in private. Maybe you don’t like Quade – or maybe you do but this opens up speculation. And my worry is that this may unwittingly add to the problems that are contributing to the Cub’s horrible year.

Neither offense is unforgivable and don’t forget that us fans are very disappinted this year. As I’m sure you are. I still maintain, “Go Cubs”!!!

Marlon, I think you are one of the most sportlike players in the game. I doubt you would do what Holliday did. I’ve watched Holliday throw a temper tantrum and break his bat after striking out. Karma will visit Matt Holliday someday and it won’t be pretty. The play was dirty. Downright dirty. Matt Holliday should be ashamed of himself.

uh…it was not a even a decent slide. one would be where holliday would at least reach for the bag. there was not even a look at the bag. the umpire was incompetent. there was absolutely nothing obstructing his view. holliday was 11/2 to 2 feet away from 2nd at the closest point to any part of his body. can’t agree with the rationale by marlon, can understand it but no sale to this person.

To everyone else watcing the play it was plain ass the nse on your face the runner was out..where was the ump looking ….our class of umpires are missing way too many call on the infield and at the plate..we need a better group of umps who should go back to rule book school.

I woulda liked to see you, MB (aka Milton Bradley) play short. no way. You have been pretty lame imo this year for the Cubs. most of your hits have been cheap bloopers or grounders that were mishandled and called a hit. Yet you hot shot around like its all a big show and a smile. Then you throw your team mate under the bus. WTF is this fraternity you speak of anyway? Leave the Cubs, please, You make me sick.

I put my life on pause when my Cubbies play the Cardinals, I love nothing more than see the Cubs win, especially when they beat the Cards in a meaningful game late in the year (which we haven’t had in a while). To hear one of my favorite players come out and publicly DEFEND A CARDINAL and throw a teammate (face of the franchise) under the bus embodies the reason why it is next to impossible to cheer for the Cubs this year. Not living in Chicago, I get enough crap for being a Cubs without one of the few worthwhile players on the Cubs standing up for my my rivals. Stand behind your teammate and get a clue about what the Cubs/ Cards rivalry means to the fans and try to care as much as we do about beating the Cardinals.
P.S. the slide was blatantly dirty, it was not even close and I lost a lot of respect for Matt Holiday.

Marlon, I’ve got to disagree with you here. Breaking up a double play is part of the game but only when you are headed to the base. When your goal is the infielder, as Holliday’s play clearly was, the correct call by the umpires is two outs. Further, I think Holliday or any other player in that situation should be suspended for a few games.

All I can say is the Byrd man better respond to this huge flap. Or go find another roost to perch in. You could regain my respect Byrd but until you come clean on this one, you’re a pile of poop. You’ve disgraced your Manager, your SS, your 3rd Baseman, your 1st Baseman, and Cub Nation. I’m telling you now Byrd, you better come clean here. The sooner, the better.

Reed Johnson can do your job better then you and he would undoubtedly stand up for his team mate, why are you starting?

marlon,
you seem like a great guy, a stand-up dude, as it were, and we appreciate your focus and energy as fans. this play was dirty and unacceptable! from matt holiday or anyone. we, as cubs fans, dont necessarily expect to win, so at the very least, we want the game played the right way. sliding outside the baseline is one thing, staying tall and sliding late is another, but doing all of that with cleats up and leg whipping while not even considering the bag,? that is pure garbage. thats not playing hard, thats playing like a punk. and playing the right way would have called for some visible support of your teamamate. one to the rib cage probably would have made the kid smile, and let him know he was part of a team. i continue to support you on this team, and argue until im blue in the face that you could contribute to winning in chicago… but if you ever slid like this, i would want you out of our stripes that day and forever. castro is the future of this team, yet quade has vocally criticized only him, despite the fact that, on the second worst team in baseball, there are players more deserving of blame and criticism than he. he is one of few bright spots on a season of pure dissappointment. The manager (and i use that term loosely) hates the best player on the team, so its even more important that his teamates support him. you could have supported him by saying nothing. but by defending a cheater, a goon, and a punk you decidedly told castro you dont give a shit about him, or about winning with this franchise. you and the other veterans on this team should be ashmaed of yourselves. i suggest you come clean, apologize in public to starlin, and figure out how to make this right with your team and you fans… because cub nation can tolerate losses, but we cant tolerate goons and cheaters or the people that support them.

Mr. Byrd,

You are obviously a respected and admired player. Cubs fans appreciate your attitude, your hard work, your love of the game, your talent, and your commitment to the team. You were chosen to represent the Cubs by writing this blog because of these attributes.

Please respect your position. Please respond to these legitimate questions from fans.

1. Yes. It was a hard slide. Yes, Matt Holliday was trying to break up a double play. Yes. This is what good players on good (contending) teams do. And as Mr. Holliday made the slide, I’m sure he was aware that his actions were illegal and might possibly end the career of a promising young player, but he felt it was worth the risk because he wants his team win. But, how can YOU defend this action, rather then defend your own teammate’s health and career, and your own team’s chances of winning?

2. The replays of the slide clearly show that Matt Holliday did not make an effort to contact second base. His move into second base was not a slide. It was a sideways roll block, with elbows up and his right foot up to trip Starlin Castro. This is not legal under the rules of baseball, and the act runs the risk of injuring the shortstop. The umpires should have immediately called the batter out to complete the double play. But they did not. Shouldn’t there be some sort of punishment for this risky and illegal play? Matt Holliday should clearly not be rewarded for this kind of play — and he was, with the go-ahead run scoring, the inning continuing, and now… a defense in the nation press by his opponent (you!). Why do you reward this kind of play? Do you feel that baseball should be played in a way that creates un-needed and illegal injury risk? Or, do you feel that this kind of play should not be rewarded? If so, what sort of punishment do you recommend that Matt Holliday receive?

3. And please, explain why you have taken the side of the opponent in this situation? Why have you written a blog post that explains this incident from the point of view of Matt Holliday, but not written in defense of Starlin Castro, a hugely talented TEAMMATE, who could have been gravely injured and had his promising career cut short?

Please respect this forum with responses to these (and other) concerns. Or, please consider removing yourself from this blog.

Thank you.

Mr Byrd, I have to respectfully disagree with you. At the very least, what message are you sending to a young Starlin Castro that one of his team leaders doesn’t support him publicly? You are a wonderful Cub, and I’m very glad that you’re on the team. You play with dedication, heart, and enthusiasm. I however feel for Castro, who has to feel like his team has abandoned him in this…no public support, no retaliation, etc. That was a dirty play…I agree, you have to try and break up the play, but not the dirty way, where there is a (good) chance you could injure the other player.

I root for 2 teams: the Cubs, and anyone playing the Cardinals. So you throw your talented young teammate under the bus in favor of a Cardinal? Even if the play wasn’t dirty (which it was), you should be ashamed of yourself.

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Had it been any other player on any other team there wouldnt be this controversy. This is a professional baseball players opinion if you dont agree with him dont read his blog. There is no where that states Byrd has to back his teammate on this, had this play been reversed all of you fans would be on here saying how it was clean. Its their job to break up a double play when in the position to do so and Holliday did it. Castro had a 50/50 chance that he would prolly mess up the throw anyways. Get realistic on baseball Castro cried like a little girl after a clean breaking of a double play.

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