Marlon Byrd had been in the Pittsburgh Pirates' clubhouse for all of five minutes when the newly acquired right fielder found his name penciled in as the cleanup hitter Wednesday night against Milwaukee.
Asked if he was surprised about being thrown into the lineup so quickly, the 12-year veteran the Pirates hope will help ignite a sagging offense just smiled.
''Of course I'm going to play,'' Byrd said, laughing. ''That's why I'm here.''
Besides, time is running out. For Byrd and the Pirates both.
Pittsburgh brought in Byrd and reserve catcher John Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday believing their presence will help the franchise to its first playoff berth in 21 years. That's fine by the two newcomers, who have played a combined 2,269 games in their respective careers. None of those games, however, have come in the postseason.
It's why Byrd didn't complain when New York general manager Sandy Alderson called him early Tuesday morning and told him he headed to Pittsburgh. The...