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Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd is a physical specimen. Look at those guns.

You don’t get that way without some serious training, and serious nutritional support – and I don’t meant that euphemistically. Byrd has never been linked to PEDs, and I don’t suspect it now. I think the guy just works really hard, eats well, and supplements appropriately.

But MLB still has some concerns about Byrd’s methodology. Specifically, they don’t much care for his relationship with BALCO head, and convicted PED pusher, Victor Conte.

Major League Baseball’s concerns about Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd’s ongoing association with convicted steroid dealer Victor Conte goes all the way to the top.

‘‘We’ve talked to him, and he knows how we feel,’’ commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday in Mesa. ‘‘It’s not a situation that makes me very happy.’’

Byrd — who sought out Conte three years ago, long after Conte’s BALCO-related conviction and jail term — is the only major-league player working with Conte.

Byrd, who says he follows a supplements and training regimen prescribed by Conte, never has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs under MLB’s program and never has been accused of using banned substances.

Earlier this winter, Byrd said he believes in Conte, who claims he is reformed and is trying to be a leader in legal methods of improving athletic performance.

Byrd’s response to Selig’s comments: ‘‘We talked about it in 2009. I mean, it’s 2011.’’ Chicago Sun-Times.

While it sounds like mostly a non-story, it’s generally never a good idea to piss off the man at the head desk, even if he is insufferable. Byrd, however, is widely considered a good face for MLB – he’s a hard worker, a good teammate, and always has a positive attitude. I suspect that Selig’s comments are less about being unhappy with Byrd, and more about reiterating MLB’s official position that PEDs are bad.

  • wax_eagle

    Byrd seems like a great guy, but I still struggle to wrap my head around this whole thing. Why would you want to associate with Conte? The guy is bad news and how do you know that he won’t screw you at some point. What if what he is giving you supplement wise is just something that isn’t detectable yet?

    Not sure why you would want to live on the edge of suspicion like Marlon does. He is a high character guy from what I have seen, and as he has never tested positive, he shouldn’t be suspected of using. But his association with Conte is something difficult to look past. Why can’t he use a supplement guy or trainer who isn’t quite so shady?

  • Jeff

    Guy’s got a bulls eye on his back, but he’s so transparent about everything. He seems like a smart guy and I’m sure he knows what he is putting in his body, so I trust his judgement.

    In regards to the title of this post; I am not a fan of Bud Selig, and not sure there are many Cubs fans that have a high opinion of him. So who cares what he thinks if it’s within the rules.

    • wax_eagle

      I care, 50 game suspensions aren’t exactly a laughing matter…

  • Mike

    @ wax_eagle. That is correct. 50 games will still be the case whether you know it or not. I would not be associating myself with anyone that has a background in steriods. Especially given Marlon’s size. Granted, he’s not hitting HR’s like that either. But I would try to separate myself from anyone that would make me look suspicious. Because if a report came out that Conte told the media that Byrd is using, they would believe him in a heartbeat.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Selig needs to go. He looked away when he knew Sosa and McGwire and others were using steroids. And he even let McGwire back in the game. And now he’s worried about Byrd? I bet he’s been tested and found clean. Guilt by association only?

  • jstraw

    Selig needs to law down the law that everyone in MLB is prohibited from associating with Conte…or shut up.

    • Ace

      Law down that law!

  • Jeff

    Marlon Byrd has been a supplements guy since he was playing in Philly. He has been in many sports and fitness magazines flaunting the benefits of his training and vitamin/supplement regimen. I am sure Byrd knows the ramifications of working with Victor Conte. I don’t believe the guy to be stupid enough to put experimental or unknown drugs in his body, not with the way he trains and monitors his own fitness. I don’t trust Conte anymore than the next guy, but Marlon has always been a stand up guy and is being very open and up front about this, so I trust Marlon’s judgement. Plus, he’s sticking it to Bud Selig, which I can never get enough of.

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