Or Marlon Byrd soars. Or Marlon Byrd takes off. There is no shortage of tired bird-related cliches. But however you put it, Byrd has exceeded all expectations this season, which is easy when there were none.
When the Mets signed Byrd to a minor league contract after finishing up a PED suspension, did anyone think Byrd would make the team, let alone be tied for the team lead in home runs with 12 halfway through the season? Hell, did anyone think Byrd would hit 12 home runs for an entire season? If you answered “yes” to these questions, you are either Kreskin or a liar.
Half of Marlon Byrd’s home runs have come in June, including a two-run shot Thursday that gave the Mets a win over the Rockies to cap off a very successful 7-4 road trip.
In addition to his homers, Byrd has 38 RBIs, second on the team. His .260 average, while mediocre, is good for third best on the offensively-challenged Mets. His defense in right field started out a bit shaky, but now he is very adequate out there. He made a perfect throw Thursday to cut down a runner trying to stretch a single into a double in the bottom of the ninth to help save the game.
Credit Sandy Alderson, which I hate to do, with having the foresight to dig Marlon Byrd out of the bargain bin. Most of those moves have not worked the Alderson during his time in Flushing, but this one is certainly paying dividends.