Marlon Byrd has tested positive for steroids. The drug is called tamoxifen and is used to treat breast cancer. MLB has deemed that Marlon Byrd does not have breast cancer and he will therefore be suspended for 50 games.
The Cubs traded Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox earlier this year. He signed a 3 year deal worth $15 million in 2009 with the Cubs. He was able to score this deal because he hit 20 HR’s in 2009 and was a huge contributor to the Texas Rangers. He went to the all-star game in his first year with the Cubs. He scored the game winning run in that all-star game after drawing a walk. He also made a great play in the field tat could have saved the game. In May 2011 Byrd was hit in the face by a pitch and has never been the same. Byrd lost 40 pounds coming into the 2012 season and looked poised to return to form for 2012. Byrd started slow and was traded to the Red Sox for Michael Bowden and a player to be named. Byrd was designated for an assignment and then subsequently released o June 12th. He hit a combined .212 with one home run in 2012.
Byrd had recently been working out with Victor Conte. Conte was busted in California for having a lab that supplied many athletes with steroids. Byrd did not seem to have any remorse for interacting with someone who had helped fuel the steroid era in baseball. Byrd was even taking some “nutritional” products supplied by Conte. Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, was obviously opposed to the idea.
Byrd released a statement through the players’ union:
“Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons. I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a Club win later this season.”
Players usually have an excuse like this. Although, most of them usually say they didn’t knowingly take the drug or in Ryan Braun’s case you blame someone else. I wonder when a baseball player is going to have the stones to admit that they took steroids. Marlon Byrd had a clean cut image and he was known as a hustle machine. That image is now gone and he will only be a cheater. It makes one wonder how long he was a cheater and if it infiltrated the Cubs’ locker room. I hope not.