New Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd has some thoughts on what he is hearing about the 2014 team and he isn't a fan of the common perception. Byrd told CSN Philly that the Phillies are "not an old team." He went on to explain "once you can't play, then you're old."
I totally disagree with him. They say age is just a number which I believe but I have no idea what Byrd is talking about. There are plenty of players who produced when they were "old." Look at Jamie Moyer who led the 2008 Phillies in wins with 16 en route to a World Series title at the ripe age of 45. Moyer was old when he did that but he still produced.
I firmly believe having a lineup that features five of the eight everyday players over the age of 34 and four of them over the age of 35 constitutes the team as being old. Ryan Howard (34), Chase Utley (35), Jimmy Rollins (35), Carlos Ruiz (35), and Byrd (36) making up the bulk of the Phillies lineup makes your core "old" or, at the very least, "aging."
I don't know how anyone can deny the fact the team is old.
Could this team stay healthy and produce? Yes, absolutely. Because they stayed healthy and produced, would that make them young? No, that's impossible.
Byrd needs to realize that the Phillies are coming off a 73-win season in 2013, haven't had a winning season since 2011, and fans are being force-fed the fact that this team could contend if it stays healthy. It's not their fault they're skeptical.
Byrd, 36, had arguably his best season as a professional last year split between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates batting .291/.336/.511 with 22 home runs and 88 RBIs. In his 12-year career, Byrd is a .280/.336/.425 hitter who averages 14 home runs and 69 RBIs. He used to be a centerfielder but has lost a step and played mostly corner outfield in 2013.
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