When Padilla was released by the Rangers in 2009 for what the team called a "disruptive clubhouse presence," then-teammate Byrd ?? a friend of Padilla's from their days in Philadelphia ?? ripped the pitcher's behavior on the way out.
"About time," Byrd said after Padilla's release. "It's absolutely a positive for this team. We have to get rid of the negatives to make a positive, and I believe this is a huge positive for this team."
The moment the Red Sox traded for Byrd on April 22, it stirred up questions about the lingering tension. And during Byrd's opening news conference, he made no mention of Padilla when referring to reunions with ex-teammates in the clubhouse.
Nearly three weeks later, however, the rift is history. There was no meeting between the two needed to patch things up. In fact, it all started when Byrd simply approached Padilla and extended his hand.
"Everything that happened, well, it happened," Padilla said. "That's life for you, but you know, we're working for the same goal for the same team, and we have to move forward to help the team."
Before games, Byrd and Padilla can occasionally be found joking in the clubhouse, such as the day after the recent 17-inning thriller, when the reliever urged Byrd to step up his pitching skills like Darnell McDonald.
"I can hit 88 [mph]," Byrd joked to Padilla the day after.
From 2002 to 2005, Byrd and Padilla cultivated a respectable relationship as teammates with the Phillies. But Byrd's comments to reporters following Padilla's release from Texas seemingly complicated the situation.
A year after Byrd's comments, Padilla drilled Byrd ?? who was with the Cubs ?? in the back the first time he faced him as a member of the Dodgers. It fueled speculation that hard feelings resonated.
Although Padilla has historically denied that he intentionally plunked Byrd, he's just happy to quash the negative memories.
"I'm honestly not sure about what he said, but it's in the past," Padilla said. "It's been too long to worry about that, and we're on to new things. I know he's a tremendous ballplayer with great defense, and he's not scared to hit the wall to make a play. It motivates me as a pitcher to know we have an outfielder that will give it his all like that to make a play for you."
Byrd and Padilla were teammates in Texas for three seasons, from 2007 to 2009.