Marlon Byrd is Ready to Help Brett Jackson Take Byrd’s Job

Marlon Byrd took to his personal blog yesterday to discuss the nature of aging in baseball, and the future of the Chicago Cubs’ outfield.

Byrd, who is under contract for one more year with the Cubs, knows that top prospect Brett Jackson is on the way, and knows that Jackson is probably going to take his job next year. Impressively, Byrd is just fine with that. In fact, he wants to help.

In Spring Training 2002, I had lunch with Doug Glanville right after one of our practices. People who don’t know, Doug played in Chicago, but he was the center fielder in Philly before I was there. He took me to lunch. I didn’t know what he wanted to talk about. We sat down, and the first thing he said was, “It’s inevitable.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “It’s inevitable. You’re going to come and take my job and I will go somewhere else. My job right now is to make sure, as much as possible, that you’re ready to come to the big leagues.” …

That word “inevitable” — it’s going to happen. [Brett Jackson is] a great talent out there, five tools, very explosive. But at the same time, you can’t come up here and dominate at the big leagues. You have to have that baseball I.Q., and I think it’s important for veterans like me to pass the torch and make sure whoever comes in behind me is 100 percent ready….

That’s the way it works. When Brett’s ready, I’ll move on. That’s just the nature of the game and I accept that and I understand that. I want him when he comes up to go through all the good times and know everything negative that I’ve gone through in baseball — being outrighted, being designated — I don’t want him to have to go through that. I want him to come here ready.

Byrd is one of the best teammates I can remember the Cubs having, so none of this is particularly surprising. Byrd, who knows there’s a chance he might not even last with the Cubs long enough to mentor Jackson, is exactly the kind of player you want a young man learning from.

If the Cubs get a good offer for Byrd this Winter, I still hope they take it. But, if they don’t, you won’t hear me complaining.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

24 responses to “Marlon Byrd is Ready to Help Brett Jackson Take Byrd’s Job”

  1. Fishin Phil

    He is a classy individual.  I hope Brett Jackson appreciates Byrd’s attitude and learns as much about how to be a good team mate as how to be a pro.

    Thanks Marlon

  2. RY

    This is awesome, maybe byrd can now platoon and give jackson a rest once a week!

  3. Bails17

    Put him in LF and get rid of Soriano!

  4. EQ76

    you know who else is a really nice guy??  Pena… way to go!!   I always admire the nice guys and clubhouse guys..  But do you know what would be even nicer???? If either one of them could hit their weight with runners in scoring position…  that would be NICE!

    1. MichiganGoat

      Exactly!

  5. JulioZuleta

    You know who else is a nice guy?? My grandpa, but I dont want him int he Cubs starting lineup next year either.

    1. Fishin Phil

      Let’s not be so hasty.  What is your grandpa’s line with RISP?

    2. MichiganGoat

      ***Chuckle*** My Papa taught me how to throw a curve and played in college he might be able to hit .200 with RISP

      1. JulioZuleta

        Yeah probly, that reminds me of last year when some draft prognosticator, or beat reporter (might have been Carrie Muskat) defended the Hayden Simpson pick by saying completly seriously “If he can put up numbers similar to what he did in division II, this pick was a steal”

      2. Keith

        The granpda comment is great! It reminds me of the Ty Cobb movie with Tommy Lee Jones – check out this clip starting at 6:40:

        http://youtu.be/bKsLsbiV-bc

  6. RY

    Brett, who would be the top 3 teams in your opinion that we would have more than a snowballs chance in hell of pawning sorryano off to?

    1. EQ76

      I’m not Brett, but my best guess would be Baltimore, Angels, and the Yankees.. especially if we cover the majority of his pay.. all 3 teams could use him at DH next year.

  7. Ron

    Byrd is a class act and the game is about more than just hitting with RISP. He would be a great mentor.

    By the way, nice to see benchmade advertise here, good knives.

    1. Toosh

      I love it. Some people wouldn’t mind if Byrd was back next year. Others feel the same way about Pena or Ramirez or Soriano or Zambrano. Yet, everybody wants different results next season. Hmmmmm.

  8. RY

    i think when we hire a new manager with half a brain, learn to field the ball better, learn to move runners and hit better with risp, and learn to throw more strikes and walk less batters, we will be right back in the thick of things regardless of who we have back next year! It is a simple game really!

    1. EQ76

      I agree.. and it’s not like these guys can’t perform.. they have before… I wonder what Byrd’s BA with RISP was last year??

      1. Toosh

        Rehire Hendry. Re-sign Fukudome. Hope for better weather and better luck next year.

  9. Juniorbors

    Wasn’t Byrd the same guy that threw Castro under the bus about a month ago when there was a very questionable slide? See ya buddy, keep in touch with your balco buddy you will need him as you get older.

  10. Deez

    He may be as sweet as pumpkin pie, but Byrd’s no Willie Mays! It’s not like he’s a legend “passing the torch.” Dude has 387ABs & only 28RBIs. I hope he doesn’t pass that on!

  11. Steve

    Sorry. I don’t want a 6.5 million dollar mentor. It’s baseball…something Jackson’s done for his whole life. He will figure it out.

  12. Hangman

    Brett,

    Email got hacked sending you a new one.

  13. Coal

    I think having *some* clubhouse guys, mentors around during the next couple of seasons would be great with the influx of kids we are expecting. But we don’t need more than a few – and ideally ones who can also contribute on the field significantly.