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Marlon Byrd on the Phillies: “we’re not an old team”

Jan 26, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT

marlon byrd getty Getty Images

With the signing of Marlon Byrd and Bobby Abreu — and because they’re counting on Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to be the motors of the offense once again — the “Phillies are old” jokes have been all over the place this winter.  My favorite two so far are (1) the one about how they’re going to rename the stadium to Senior Citizens Bank Park; and (2) the one in which the announcement of Billy Joel playing a concert there this summer actually lowers the team’s average age.

Yuks are yuks, of course, but it’s not like an old team can’t win. The 1983 Phillies — nicknamed the “Wheeze Kids” — won the pennant. The 1993 pennant-winning Phillies were no spring chickens either. And like the man said, age is just a state of mind. Just ask new Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who tells that he uses a different measure of age than the year on someone’s birth certificate:

“All of us do. You keep hearing old, old, old … we’re not an old team,” Byrd said. “We can still play. Once you can’t play, then you’re old. We still have a lot in the tank, we just to have to show that and stay healthy.”

It’s all the stuff of offseason optimism. History shows that, occasionally, an old team can stay healthy and produce. If the Phillies do that then, sure, they could be an interesting team. It’s just not the most likely outcome.

  1. AlmostForty - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    “It’s just the most likely outcome.”

    It sure is Craig. It sure is.

  2. plmathfoto - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Don’t roids temporarily give you the feeling of being young again (this was a question to Mr Byrd btw)?

  3. chacochicken - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    In a stunning statistical anomaly, the entire starting lineup of the Philadelphia Phillies has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and prescribed Adderall. They’ve volunteered to clean up the park after the game.

  4. rjmarrella - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    They are old. Howard has become an unknown. Utley battles mid-30s brittleness. But still, it’s just become habit on this site to make fun of their perceived weaknesses. But Washington severely underachieved last year. Atlanta has surrendered too many moving parts to be considered as effective as last years surprise division title. And the Mets are, well the Mets. And then there is that Triple-a team from Miami.
    Worry about scoring runs and not the age of your starters.

  5. apkyletexas - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    > “Just ask new Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who tells that he uses a different measure of age than the year on someone’s birth certificate”


    The number of cc’s in the syringe?

  6. yahmule - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    “You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic mofos. Mofos who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don’t.”

  7. tfbuckfutter - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Does anyone but Ruben REALLY think Byrd is even going to hit .200 this year?

  8. greymares - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    yes Craig they were funny jokes, but not as funny as your Braves signing Freddie Garcia. now that’s funny.

    • realgone2 - Jan 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      Yeah and the phils signed Bobby Abreu and are eyeing vernon wells………I wouldn’t recommend throwing rocks in that glass house of yours.

  9. CJ - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    “We’re not an old team, we’re a REALLY old team in denial. That’s different”

  10. rje49 - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Sure the Phillies just might have a good year. So might the Astros. But I wouldn’t bet on either one. However, I would bet that if the Phillies bomb again, Mr. Amaro is gone. Problem is, nobody would bet against me.

    • greymares - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      I will bet against you if the Phillies bomb as you say there will be a complete roster overhaul (after all the new T.V. money will kick in) but AMARO will still be in the drivers seat, This ownership group led by Dave Montgomery love this guy. bet on that.

  11. cackalackyank - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    “… and stay healthy.” As a Yankee fan, after having seen NYY 2013 season I can easily identify this statement as being the big flaw in Byrd’s reasoning.

  12. nymets4ever - Jan 26, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Byrd was awesome for the Mets last yr, both on the field, and in the clubhouse according to the players/writers. So speaking as someone who is rooting for him…he should have stayed in PIT.

  13. scotttheskeptic - Jan 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    …and then Mr. Byrd put down the 2004 Media Guide…

  14. musketmaniac - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    He was really good last year in N.y. and Pittsburgh. but i don’t think the Pirates pursued him aggressively for a reason.

    • craigssideburns - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      When does Pittsburgh pursue anyone aggressively in free agency?

  15. musketmaniac - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    point, but unlike most years they have plenty of money to spend.

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