Scraping the barnacles off his 2012 calendar year – a 50-game suspension, a .210 batting average – Marlon Byrd found three pieces he considered worth salvaging.

He got to live in Mexico.

He learned to speak Spanish.

He found a glare-free corner of the globe, a secluded spot where he could tinker without the bright-light, big-city distractions.

"I got to go play baseball without any pressures," Byrd said before Monday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Tradition Field. "[I haven’t gotten] to do that here. Everything for seven-and-a-half months, everything is under a microscope."

The microscope’s focus becomes more intense when you get nailed for using a banned substance, which Byrd did last season. Byrd tested positive for tamoxifen. Earlier this spring, he told reporters that only an idiot would get caught and "I was one of those idiots."

But as Byrd chases a spot as an everyday outfielder with the Mets – he knocked in both runs during Monday’s loss – he supports the idea of cranking up the penalties and issuing stricter sentences.

"I think there should be … a clause in the contract," Byrd said. "If you’re trying to cheat, void that contract."