A Day Without Byrnes

Over the course of the first 124 games of the 2007 regular season there has been one constant in the universe. Eric Byrnes could be found somewhere in the Arizona Diamondbacks line-up. Byrnes is the only player who has played in every game this season starting all but one (he came in as a defensive replacement in the one game where he did not start). Byrnes, who is sometimes lovingly referred to as “pigpen” has been by far the most consistent of all the Diamondbacks players. During the first half of the season there were long stretches where he carried this team on his shoulders with his acrobatic catches and timely hits. Many believed he was the one legitimate all-star on the Arizona roster which made it all the more difficult to comprehend how he could be left off the roster of the mid-summer classic. Byrnes took the snub in stride and instead used the all-star break as an opportunity to hone his skills as a reporter for Fox Sports. He took those three days off because he had to but still you could tell he would rather be playing. Bob Melvin found out when he attempted to give Byrnes today off that it is not something that the outfielder is accustomed to and it doesn’t sit well with him at all.

With the Arizona Diamondbacks making a push to the post season it is going to be important for all the players to be strong and rested if they hope to go any further than the first round. A 162 game schedule can be brutal over 6 months and there are times that everyone needs at least one off day to try and regroup physically and mentally. Players know and understand this but it doesn’t make it any easier when it comes time for them to sit one out. Manager Bob Melvin is very good at communicating with his players letting them know when they are going to get a day off so that they can prepare mentally. It’s funny, you don’t think about needing to mentally prepare to sit on the bench and watch a game but it does take a certain thought process that is different than when you are playing. For people like Byrnes and teammate Orlando Hudson it is almost as important to notify the other players so that they can prepare for the barrage of non-stop talking that is going to occur when these starters are not in the line-up.

You’ve got to be under 21 to crack this lineup.

– Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes

Byrnes could be seen going up and down the bench as antsy as ever hoping that manager Bob Melvin would relent and let him play. That didn’t happen and in the end Eric was able to be a spectator for the first time this season, an experience he hopes not to repeat again until early November when he is able to sit at home and gaze at a replica World Series trophy that sits on a shelf commemorating a world championship.

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