Seriously. This revelation was made almost two full years ago. Steve Henson at Yahoo! Sports wrote about Byrd's business relationship with Victor Conte on June 24, 2009:
Byrd was so pleased that he agreed to promote the products, to become a “SNAC athlete.” Byrd sent Conte a photo of himself crushing a baseball and signed it: “To Victor. Thanks for the help. The man with the plan.” Just last week Conte added the photo to an online gallery that includes obviously juiced body builders as well as Bonds, Jones, Romanowski and other pro athletes whose careers are forever linked to steroids.
Henson even included a detailed list of the exact supplements Byrd was receiving from Conte:
Soon tubs of “Proglycosyn: The Ultimate Post-Workout Recovery Formula,” tubes of “Physiobalm: Muscle and Joint Rejuvenator,” and bottles of “Aerobitine: The Ultimate Anti-Fatigue/Fat Loss Formula,” “Vitalyze: The Mental and Physical Performance Enhancer” and “ZMA: Rapid Anabolic Sleep Enhancer” began arriving at Byrd’s New Jersey home. Later he had the products sent to the Rangers’ spring training site in Surprise, Ariz., and to the Rangers’ clubhouse in Arlington, Texas.
So the cat was pretty much out of the bag at that point. The toothpaste was out of the tube. The beans had been spilled. Basically, this is old news. So why am I writing about it here in 2011? No, this is not one of my Retro Posts where I re-hash an old post as new content in a fit of nostalgia. For some reason, the media is talking about Marlon Byrd and Victor Conte again. I have no idea why.
For reasons passing understanding, HBO did a bit about Byrd and Conte on "Real Sports" in February and now everyone is talking about Conte and Byrd again like we are just now learning of the relationship. This would be like if TMZ reported that Ellen Degeneres is a lesbian. We already knew that and we either don't care or we have moved on from our shock.
But Carrie Muskat followed the HBO story with her take that included the following quote from Byrd:
"I want to say all Major League Baseball knew when it came out," Byrd said of his relationship with Conte. "I'm sure the Cubs knew. They wouldn't have signed me if there were any worries. I'm a supplement guy. The Phillies knew it when I was drafted. I looked the same way."
Exactly, Marlon. Everybody already knows. It is not news.
Nevertheless the story probably made Bud Selig feel like he had to say something about the Byrd/Conte pairing or it would seem that he doesn't care. He probably doesn't care, but he can't SEEM like he doesn't care, so he had to get on a soapbox. Per Gordon Wittenmyer on March 6:
"We’ve talked to him, and he knows how we feel," commissioner Bud Selig said Saturday in Mesa. "It’s not a situation that makes me very happy."
Again, I'll leave it to Marlon to put this in perspective:
Byrd’s response to Selig’s comments: "We talked about it in 2009. I mean, it’s 2011."
Well, that ought to make this non-story go away. Nope. Bruce Levine still has to get in his two cents about Byrd feeling pressured by MLB as a result of his relationship with Conte.
So here are the facts as we know them and as we have known them since 2009:
- Marlon Byrd is a client of Victor Conte
- Byrd has never made any attempt to cover that relationship and talks about it freely
- Byrd has never failed a mandatory random drug test
- The list of supplements Byrd uses are not banned by MLB
- Water is wet
- Ulysses S. Grant is buried in Grant's Tomb