I remember when Marlon Byrd was supposed to be the next big thing for the Philadelphia Phillies. I remember when all of us thought that he would be one of the pieces of a World Series winning puzzle.
Unfortunately, things haven’t worked out that way for Byrd, and now he has been hammered with a 50 game suspension for using a banned substance.
He maintains that he did not mean to enhance his performance but was rather using the medicine to treat a condition that arose over the winter and, to use his own word, was “careless.”
While it absolutely was that, at 34 years old, Byrd is definitely not getting any younger. In fact, with his poor performance and now this charge, time might really be running out for this formerly hot prospect.
Byrd broke into the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002, but he only appeared in 10 games. His true rookie season in 2003 set the tone for what would be a solid, yet not overwhelming, career.
That season, he hit .303 with seven home runs, 45 RBI and 11 stolen bases to come in fourth place in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Due to limited playing time as well as ineffectiveness, he only survived in Philadelphia for two and a half seasons before being shipped off to the Washington Nationals.
That tenure did not go incredibly well either, but once he joined the Texas Rangers, his career began to come together. In 2009, he put up what was probably his best campaign as he hit .283 with 20 home runs, 89 RBI and eight stolen bases.
Off of that high note, he made his first All-Star appearance in 2010 as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
2011 was a little bit of a drop off, but 2012 really did him in. He appeared in 13 games for the Cubs and was only managing a .070 batting average before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.
While things were not entirely great in Boston, they were beginning to look better until the hammer fell.
Even though Marlon Byrd was not a Philadelphia Phillie for very long, I enjoyed watching him play. I hope that for his sake he can rebound from this suspension and come back a stronger player. Time might be working against him and now he will be given a label for the rest of his career, but I really do want to see him overcome this unfortunate misstep.