Opening Day is exciting. I’m very excited about Monday’s game. We’re still focused on these two games in Cincinnati and trying to win this series. It was a heartbreaker last night but today’s a new day and we’ve got our ace on the mound and we’ll be fine.
Going into Opening Day, it’s going to be a little different for me because it’s my first time running out on Wrigley in Cubs pinstripes. I don’t care if it’s 10 degrees or 100 degrees, I’ll be out there and be ready.
My thing when I run out there? It’s going to be a feel after a while. We’ll see what the bleacher bums do — I’m sure they’ll be very receptive to me and vice versa. I’ll figure out my thing with them. I’ll say a little hello to the bullpen, like I did in Texas. I’ll have my whole skit lined up.
I always say hello to the bullpen. You need the bullpen to win. You say “what’s up” and give your high fives and everything to everyone in the dugout but you pay your respects to the bullpen because they close it out for us. I know they’re not close to center but I’ll find them.
Opening Day is a double whammy for me because it’s my first year with the Cubs and this is my hometown. This is going to be big. I have a lot of Sprayberry [High School] alumni, a lot of people who I went to middle school and elementary school with who bought up a whole section, so there will probably be 80, 90, maybe 100 people from Sprayberry so it’s going to be big. Fans get to check me out — again — being back in the National League. I haven’t played in Atlanta since 2006 so it’s nice to be back.
My parents have seen me play since then — they’ve come out to Texas. They haven’t seen me in Atlanta since ’06. Now, I’ve come back home and they can drive and go right around the corner to a game.
Everyone’s thought process with this team is that the playoffs start now. Tomorrow is going to be Day One of our run to October.
– Marlon Byrd