Marlon Byrd thought he had green light
HOUSTON -- Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade didn't assign fault to Marlon Byrd's costly caught-stealing in the ninth inning of Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, instead chalking it up to a simple case of confusion between Byrd and his coaches.
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"It was just a green-light sign [issue] for me," Quade said before the Cubs' game against the Astros on Monday. "It was whether or not [Byrd] had the green light. I didn't think he had it, [third base coach Ivan] DeJesus didn't think so, but [Byrd] thought he did. So we had three guys and the three of us screwed it up. So there's nothing we can do about it, just try not to do that again."
With the game on the line Sunday, Byrd, the potential tying run, was thrown out at second base with the Cubs' top RBI man, Aramis Ramirez, at the plate.
Byrd had singled to lead off the ninth. In that situation, a straight steal is a possibility for players with exceptional speed. The most likely sign would be a hit-and-run, but that would force the hot-hitting Ramirez to swing the bat at a pitch that he might not like. Ramirez had hit three doubles on Sunday before the fateful ninth inning.
The Cubs are ready to learn from the mistake and move on.
"Anytime a problem arises, you start looking for solutions," Quade said. "So the solution might be to change a sign or simplify it. We talked about all of that today."
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.