During spring training last year, then Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd said that
he was a big believer in Victor Conte when it came to training and advocating nutritional
supplements. Conte was the mad chemist behind "the clear", "the cream", and everything
else that came out of the BALCO laboratories in San Francisco. Conte had worked with
Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and just about everybody else who sprinted
for gold or slammed home runs for a living.
Good ole Victor eventually was brought down, sent to prison and considered a pariah by
every athlete in the sports world. Associating with Conte was akin to going to Bernie Madoff
after he was arrested and asking him to invest your money. Flat out stupid. And that's what
everybody thought of Bryd after he professed his belief in Conte. Heck, many people
thought that if you so much as talked with Conte on the phone, you could test positive for
performance-enhancing drugs, he was that flammable.
On Monday afternoon, word came down that Bryd, who was released by the Boston Red Sox
earlier this month,had tested positive for something that got him banned for 50-games by Major League. T.J. Quinn of ESPN, who co-authored "Game Of Shadows", the book that delved
into Conte's steroid factory in San Francisco reported that Byrd's urine had an estrogen blocker
that dopers use to deal with the side effects from steroids. As Gomer Pyle once said,
How can anyone be shocked by this development? If you dance with the devil, and Conte is
clearly the devil, you're bound to get burned, and Byrd is now fried. Career? Shot. Reputation?
Done. He can try to pull the Ryan Braun excuse and say that his urine sample was tainted
because some FexEd driver left it in his basement for 48 hours until he could mail it out or
he can pull a Clemens and "misremember" everything. Perhaps, he can blame it on Miquel
Tejada and say he thought it was a B-12 shot that turned out to be tainted. I'm sure will hear
some fascinating and creative excuses by Byrd or his agents over the next few days.
Bryd is sure to join Rafeal Palmeiro in the dumb ass Hall of Fame. You remember Palmeiro,
don't you. He had his ticket to Cooperstown all but punched before he wagged his finger at
Congress and said, "I have never done steroids." Then a few months later, he gets busted for
a positive test for steroids that will essentially keep him out of the Hall of Fame and make him
the butt of a lot of jokes for the rest of his life. I can still hear Will Clark laughing after finding
out his former teammate, friend, and nemesis got busted for PED's.
Wow. Forrest Gump was right. Stupid is as stupid does and Marlon Byrd is one dumb guy.