Paul Byrd – 2007 Topps

October 26, 2010

“Look Into My Eyes…You Are Getting Sleeeeepy!”

The Topps photographer needs to back off a bit here. But Byrd seemed to hypnotize managers into keeping him around.

In 2006, Byrd was the veteran presence, and he had a winning record (10-9) but a high ERA (4.88) and was only 0.3 WAR. All that for $7 million!

While collectors were opening Series 2 packs and seeing Byrd put the voodoo on them, he was having his last good full season. 2.1 WAR, 15-8 record with a 4.59 ERA (ERA+ of 99). He was probably a bit lucky, but he was definitely a steadying presence as Cliff Lee (yes, THE Cliff Lee) and Jeremy Sowers (yes, THE Jeremy Sowers) were found lacking, and Jake Westbrook was hurt for some of the season. The Indians won the division thanks to great pitching by Sabathia and Carmona, and good performances by Byrd and Aaron Laffey “Taffey”.

Stats aside, Byrd was quite valuable, and probably was good in the room and taught those young-ins a thing or two about pitching.

Sabathia, Lee, Carmona, and Westbrook have done alright for themselves.



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