Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd returned to baseball this week after getting hit in the face with a pitch last month in Boston. During his first minor league rehab game for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Byrd got hit by another pitch, this one in the back. It was just another in a long line of ignored warnings from the baseball gods that Byrd immediately leave the sport.
“Yeah, those guys have been hassling me for a while,” said Byrd. “It all started when I got traded to the Nationals in 2005. Clearly that was a sign I wasn’t meant to be in baseball, but I didn’t care.”
Later that season, Byrd’s SUV was stolen from the Nationals parking lot during a road trip, another warning message from the gods of America’s pastime.
As a free agent in 2006, Byrd signed with the Texas Rangers, where he battled injuries and bounced around between the big league club and the minors. It wasn’t until 2010 when things got serious.
“That’s when the baseball gods guided me to sign a free agent deal with the Cubs,” said a shaken Byrd. “I didn’t ask for anything like this.”