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Eric Byrnes lands roster spot on softball team

May 6, 2010, 1:21 AM EDT

byrnes-100505.jpgAfter going 3-for-32 and earning his release from the Seattle Mariners, it didn’t take long for Eric Byrnes to land on his feet.

The 34-year-old outfielder, who once stole 50 bases for the Arizona Diamondbacks (a feat the D-backs are still paying for), has earned a roster spot with a rec league softball team sponsored by Dutch Goose, a burger and beer pub in Menlo Park, Calif.

If you think this post is an audition for The Onion, you’d be mistaken. Here is Byrnes talking to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com:

“This is going to be a blast,” he said. “Playing with my buddies. I can’t wait for my first hit. I’m going to ask for the ball.”

That’s because there haven’t been enough hits for Byrnes the past three seasons.

Gilbert beat me to the punch line, but that’s OK as the Mariners should provide plenty more opportunities this season. As far as Byrnes goes, he’s provided enough already.

In addition to his poor hitting, Byrnes drew attention when he pulled back his bat on a suicide squeeze bunt, leaving Ichiro hung out to dry, then ducked the media by exiting the clubhouse on – of all things – a bicycle.

(I swear this isn’t an Onion story)

Byrnes says he expects that his MLB career is finished, and if so he’ll spend more time with his family (don’t they all say that?) and working on a clothing business that he founded with his wife. Also don’t be surprised to see him focus on a broadcasting career.

“I’ve always had two passions in my life,” Byrnes said. “One of them was playing sports and the other was talking about sports.”

Maybe Byrnes is an odd guy. Maybe he’s a free spirit. Maybe he’s just a “dude.”

Either way, his softball team should be pretty good this year.

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  1. Question Mark - May 6, 2010 at 5:28 AM

    WHAT’S WRONG WITH A BICYCLE?
    “off-shore drilling seems like the ‘shooting-up between ur toes’ phase of oil addiction”
    -ezra koenig

  2. Moses Green - May 6, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    Let’s contrast the reaction to Eric Byrnes with that to Milton Bradley. When Byrnes flakes out everyone just laughs – try to imagine the media and H.T. commenter firestorm if Milton had ridden his bicycle through the locker room to avoid questions after that kind of on-field breakdown. Hmmmm
    And don’t say “Ohh Moses, Byrnes is playing softball while Bradley makes $21 million in MLB, you can’t cry racism.” The ONLY reason Byrnes is gone is that he can’t hit. Milton can. In that regard alone, baseball is a meritocracy. If you can hit or throw a slider, the forgiveness of MLB is virtually limitless. Just ask Steve Welch.

  3. Jeff K - May 6, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    Steve Welch??? Who is Steve Welch, Moses?

  4. Moses Green - May 6, 2010 at 6:48 AM

    Errrr Bob Welch – he of the 20 second-chances.

  5. the merc - May 6, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    steve welch is most likely an amalgam of steve howe and bob welch, who combined for about 35 second chances in their baseball careers…

  6. 515geo - May 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Hey moses, You have no clue in life except to try a racism angle. Milton Bradley has a problem with all people. He fights with fans, with teammates, with managers and when all else fails he accuses anyone who will listen that he is a target of racism. This excuse is so overly abused that MLK must be rolling over in his grave. Keep your racist spewing garbage to yourself.

  7. APD - May 6, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    The only difference between the two players that leads to them being portrayed differently is that Byrnes doesn’nt act like a jerk and bradley does….its as simple as that.

  8. 515geo - May 6, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Very, Very, well said.

  9. Lysander - May 6, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    “oil addiction”? Yeah, right. I also have an “addiction” to oxygen, food,
    clothing and a roof over my head. If it wasn’t for “oil addiction” , your
    smug self righteousness would turn to bitter resentment.

  10. Milton Bradley - May 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Your righrt I can hit. 15 hits vs. 24 strick outs this year….I am the man, a good teammate and citizen. Look I am batting 214 points higher than you are.

  11. Lysander - May 6, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    “Moses”, you seem to confuse “flaky” with confrontational, rude, ill-informed, bigoted,
    paranoid, and generally dysfunctional. The former may not have earned his $200k
    but he didn’t blame everyone but himself for his shortcomings.

  12. Question Mark - May 6, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    @Lysander
    Way to completely miss the point, and, rather than saying anything productive, resort to unfounded ad hominem attacks. WHAT’S WRONG WITH A BICYCLE?

  13. scatterbrian - May 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    I think you guys are thinking of Steve Howe.
    .
    “Ohh Moses, Byrnes is playing softball while Bradley makes $21 million in MLB, you can’t cry racism.”
    .
    If anyone does say that, remind them that Byrnes is actually getting paid more than Bradley this season.

  14. wsb - May 6, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    tell ezra koenig that you can still shoot in your hands, your wrists, or under your tongue once the veins in “ur toes” collapse. and there’s always your neck, just watch out for the carotid artery!

  15. Ikancagin - May 7, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    What’s up with criticizing Byrnes; I loved softball when I played and there wasn’t a ball park that could hold me. Besides I like his hair.

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