Everyone who rolled their eyes at the Phillies' first season move may have done so prematurely. Well, they definitely did it prematurely, but premature of more than they even realized.
You see, when the Phillies let Byrd go all those years ago, they did so with a purpose. No, not to acquire Endy Chavez. In addition to that, they let him go so that, unbeknownst to the rest of the league, he could assimilate with other organizations and pass secrets back to the Phillies from his position outside of the team.
Never was this confidential strategy more valuable than 2008.
Marlon Byrd says he's kept eyes on Phillies for a while...texted Jimmy Rollins during 2008 WS to tell him Matt Garza was tipping pitches.
— Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidman) January 23, 2014
Who knows how things could have turned out without Byrd's valuable intel? And now with Garza back in the NL, this sort of background is essential. Someday, when Byrd retires and an unmarked star is placed on the Phillies locker room wall in his honor, we shall think back to 2014 and all of the unseen effects he had on the season that we may never know.