It's early Saturday in the Cubs clubhouse and Darwin Barney is looking at video of his swings on his iPad. He's just finished half of his cheese, sausage, and jalapeno omelette that Marlon Byrd brings him every day with a side of potatoes.
"I used to have a stomach thing, and I'd come in and feel like crap in the mornings," Barney said. "Marlon had his nutritionist in, and he said the two worst things to eat in the morning are wheat and dairy, and I'm eating a bowl of Cheerios. [Byrd] said, 'Do I need to bring you breakfast?'"
Byrd, 33, who has more than 3,200 big league at-bats, has been delivering an omelette to Barney, 25, who made his Major League debut last year, every day since that conversation. During this interview, Byrd even offered advice on how the infielder should answer questions.
"He's my mentor in all aspects of the game," Barney said.
He's not kidding. Barney's extra effort and devotion to Byrd could pay off with a spot on the Cubs' Opening Day roster.