Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bye Bye Birdie???

I was down at the Jake last night, and I have to say, my respect level for the Paul Byrd reached an all time high. When he left with two outs in the 8th, I was one of the 24,000 strong giving him a well deserved standing ovation. In what could have been his final start as a member of Wahoo Nation, the Byrd Man was brilliant, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the team with the second largest payroll in the game. The 5-0 win on a gorgeous night in C-Town was a ray of light in a season of clouds and rain.

Byrd did what he usually does, pound the strike zone. But since he tinkered with his windup three starts ago, he is 2-0, allowing just four earned runs in 19 innings and hasn't give up a home run, something he hadn't been able to avoid. He had allowed 11 in his previous seven starts.

Here is the bottom line, now is the time to say goodbye to the Byrd Man. His market value will not get any higher than it is right now. He seems to have righted himself and a pitching-starved contender like the Phillies, or maybe the Diamondbacks who are watching Micah Owings get lit up light a Christmas tree each outing could use a crafty, playoff tested pitcher like Byrd. Lets not forget that while C.C. and Fausto floundered against the Red Sox in the ALCS, Pauly won his start in a pivotal game four. Remember who started, and won the clincher against the Yankees in the Bronx? Paul Byrd. In 2005, he made three postseason starts for the Angels and in 2004 he made two for the Braves.

Even a mid-level prospect for Byrd would be a wise investment. It would clear some money and you never know with a prospect. Had any of you honestly heard of Coco Crisp when the Indians got him from the Cardinals for Chuck Finley? Losing Byrd would mean Aaron Laffey would step back into the rotation, no real loss there. Yes, Laffey has been struggling, but he is the future. Let him work it out with Carl Willis up here. He has been humbled with the recent demotion.

It's a no-brainer.

Reminder...tomorrow night at 6 PM on channel 23 Time Warner on the East Side and channel 17 on the west side, yours truly and Paul Cousineau from the Diatribe will be on More Sports and Les Levine.

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