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What's in the Locker? Paul Byrd

Byrd keeps messy nest

Paul Byrd makes no bones about it.

"I guarantee you," he said, "I have the messiest locker in the clubhouse."

One look at his locker, which is overflowing with an assortment of baseball equipment, clothes, electronic gadgets, exercise gear, health products and even a chess set, confirms this statement.

Back in Spring Training, Byrd invited us in for a peek into his locker. Here are the highlights, with comments from the messy man himself:

"I have to keep my glove conditioned. If I don't, as a pitcher, you get dry ball. In other words, the ball gets slick. The glove is your best friend when a ball comes back at you. You've got to take care of it. It's like taking care of a horse saddle."

"As my son Colby says, I'm just average. So I get an average amount of fan mail. I'm like the 'nice guy' popular, so older ladies write me nice letters. Wholesome stuff."

"I'm big on '80s music. My favorite bands are Third Day and U2. What I listen to depends on mood. Before a game, I don't want to bang my head against a wall. I want to relax. So I'll listen to a little bit of classical music and take a deep breath. The most stressful part of my job isn't while I'm on the mound; it's the two hours before I'm on the mound. It's like sitting there waiting for a shot."

"This year, I'm trying to pull off a sort of 'Tom Cruise in the mid-80s' sunglasses look. But I might be too old for these. I might have to switch to a different style."

"I put these in my protein shakes. I love oatmeal, any way it comes. But I put this in my shakes and grind it up. It makes it real grainy.

"As a pitcher, your forearm strength and finger-grip strength can never be too good."

"Right now, I've got a couple. The one I'm reading right now is 'A Generous Orthodoxy.' My favorite is 'Wild at Heart,' by John Eldridge. Some people like to read novels, some people like to read biographies. I like to read Christian books. I'm around the game and on the field so much, so it's a good way to not just pick up a sports page every second."

: : :   This Edition: April 5, 2006   : : :
This edition's Game Face features:
Diabetes can't stop Jason Johnson
Byrd's Nest: Paul Byrd's Locker
Behind the Scoreboard
Game Face goes online
• Jason Michaels:   56K | 350K

"Because I'm out in the sun so much, I have to protect my face. I don't want to look 45 when I'm 35."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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