Marlon Byrd is seeking help from the MLB players union to void his contract with the Chicago Cubs. It looks like the Cubs fooled Byrd into thinking that he would be part of a major league level team during the 2010 MLB schedule when GM Jim Hendry signed him to a 3-year, $15 million this past January. But as it turns out, the team the Cubs fielded for 2010 was simply a shell of a major league team and their results on the field thus far are proving Byrd’s allegations to a tee.
The Cubs are 8 games under .500 at 31-39. They are a miserable 10-16 in 1-run games and they have lost 8 more contests in games decided by 2 runs. They are a pathetic 18-18 at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field and 8 games under .500 on the road. Against the weak NL Central where only the Cards and Reds have winning records, the Cubs are an embarrassing 13-20. Ouch – you can’t get much worse than that.
Byrd’s production in 2010 far exceeds several Cubs “stars” who are getting paid anywhere from $10 to $16 MILLION DOLLARS MORE than Byrd is earning in 2010. Check out these shocking numbers:
Byrd – $3,000,000 ($12,000,000 owed over next 2 years) – leads team with .323 batting average. Byrd has the 3rd highest on-base percentage (.366), the 2nd most home runs (9), the 2nd most RBI’s (34); the most runs scored (40); and the most doubles (25). Byrd also has just 1 error in 178 fielding chances, good for a .994 fielding percentage. Kosuke Fukudome and Koyie Hill are the only position player regulars who have not committed an error during the 2010 MLB schedule. Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy have also committed just 1 error, but they have combined for only 72 fielding chances compared to Byrd’s 178. Oh, and by the way, Byrd hustles on every single play and is considered a consummate teammate and leader in the clubhouse.
Now to the other Cubs “stars”:
Alfonso Soriano — $19,000,000 — – surprisingly, the most productive of the group who has stats just below Byrd’s – .279 batting average; .349 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 36 runs scored; 35 RBI’s; 20 doubles; and 4 errors.
Aramis Ramirez — $16,750,000 — .168 batting average; .232 on-base percentage; 5 home runs: 17 runs scored; 22 RBI’s; 6 doubles; and 6 errors.
Kosuke Fukudome — $14,000,000 — .281 batting average; .370 on-base percentage; 6 home runs: 24 runs scored; 24 RBI’s; 8 doubles; and 4 errors.0
Derrek Lee — $13,000,000 — .230 batting average; .336 on-base percentage; 10 home runs: 34 runs scored; 33 RBI’s; 10 doubles; and 4 errors.
When you consider that Carlos Zambrano is making just under $19,000,000 this season (and is owed another $37,875,000 over the next 2 years), it is shocking to think how poorly Hendry has concocted this team for the future. Zambrano has gone just 3-5 with a hefty 5.10 ERA and 1.65 WHIP and has even worked out of the bullpen because of his inconsistency as a starter.
Given these facts, it is clear that Marlon Byrd is right. The 2010 Cubs really don’t deserve to be considered a major league level team and he should be able to void his contract and join a team that actually has a shot to compete to win a baseball game night in and night out.
Now sure, I am clearly joking when I talk about Byrd’s plight in a Cubs uniform. But after watching another painful close loss last night (2-0 to the Mariners), it is clear to me that it is time for the Cubs to blow this group up and start over under “Year 2” with the Ricketts Family taking more firm control. The Cubs need a new manager, a new GM and then maybe, just maybe, they can get back to prominence in the National League in the near future once a few of Hendry’s bad contracts are finally off the books.
Oh yeah – the game – Byrd had 2 of the Cubs 6 hits. The Cubs had only 4 hits during the game’s 1st 8 innings. Soriano had 3 hits. Ryan Dempster tossed another great game, but as it has happened so often, he has made 1 or 2 bad pitches and those bad pitched have come back to haunt him. Despite giving up only 5 hits in 8 innings, 2 of those came in the 2nd inning and one of those happened to be a home run that plated 2 runs. That would be the only scoring of the game. Dempster is now 5-6 with a 1.16 WHIP and a 3.56 ERA – talk about a hard-luck loser in 2010.