The Indians pulled out a 3-2 extra innings win last night despite a milky offense and Casey Blake's usual antics. The hero of the game was the double-pump wonder Paul Byrd who went 7.2 shutout innings, allowing only 4 hits.
At this point I could dissect and analyze the actual game -- talk about the Tribe's shaky bullpen, poor defense or limp lineup. However, that seems unimportant when I consider the real problem in last night's game: the Indians consistent inability to properly market and promote Paul Byrd.
Do you realize how rare it is to have a player on your team who has an animal as a last name? The only other current players I can think of are Randy Wolf, Brandon Lyon and of course Tampa Bay outfielder John Elephant. Its an extremely short list and Cleveland is fortunate enough to have a player on it. The Indians front office seems disinterested though and if they are to capitalize on what could become Byrd-mania, they need to act now. Below is a six point plan to begin the efforts:
1. Have a representative from the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo release a red-tailed hawk (or 6) as Paul takes the hill.
2. Every strikeout should be accompanied by a cockatoo squawking sound effect over the PA.
3. During Paul's warm ups this video should be played on the jumbotron.
4. Free strap-on beaks to first 10,000 kids.
5. "Paul Byrd-Seed Night" (sunflower seeds cleverly packaged).
6. Finally, and most importantly, I have a way to truly turn Paul Byrd into a full blown hero while at the same time ending speculation about his HGH use. I am going to officially start an Internet rumor about Byrd. I will then sell the rights of the rumor to the Cleveland Indians for 1 million dollars. Based off the rumor, here is the press release that should follow:
From: Cleveland Indians
Date: May 2, 2008
Re: Paul Byrd's Medical Condition
It has come to the attention of the Cleveland Indians that Paul Byrd has a medical condition that must be addressed to the media. First of all, it should be known that Paul Byrd's birth name is Paul Stevens. During a little league game when he was 9-years-old Paul was attacked by a white-beaked Kentucky eagle. The bird was abnormally aggressive and young Paul was severely mangled. Moreover, he was so viciously wounded by the eagle that a sufficient amount of "bird DNA" was interwoven with his human genotype. During puberty Paul went through changes no other young men experience. He showed bird-like symptoms and developed an appetite for worms and a variety of seeds. Paul, being the intense person he is, decided not to run from his situation. He fully embraced what was happening to him and on his 18th birthday he officially left behind the name Paul Stevens and became Paul Byrd. Though proud of his eagle heritage, Paul is forced to inject himself with a certain amount of human hormones every month. If he fails to do so his body will break down and the animal inside him will take over. This explains his involvement in the HGH/Mitchell Report scandal. Paul Byrd does not take HGH to overcome an injury or gain strength, Paul Byrd takes HGH so he won't transform into a white-beaked Kentucky eagle and attack those around him.