3/26 Location is everything for Russell
If James Russell makes it to the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, give Micah Hoffpauir an assist. When the Cubs moved from Fitch Park to HoHoKam Park, Hoffpauir told the young reliever to pay attention to where his locker was located.
“He said, ‘Look at who you’re between — you have to try extra hard,’” Russell said.
Usually, young players are inserted between the veterans. Russell’s locker is between Derrek Lee and Koyie Hill. Bobby Scales beat the odds when he was in Boston. He was stationed between Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkillis. Chris Robinson knew he wasn’t going to stay long in the big league camp with the Tigers. His whole row was sent down at one time. Lee and Hill haven’t said anything to Russell.
“I’d be more than happy to share half of my locker,” Russell said.
He watched on Friday as coaches told seven players they were being assigned to the Minor League camp. Among them was Russell’s buddy, John Gaub. The two pitchers like to talk hockey. Gaub is from Minnesota and Russell follows the Dallas Stars, who used to be the Minnesota North Stars.
Hoffpauir also helped Russell another way. The lefty pitcher is wearing No. 76 this spring, which was Hoffpauir’s number in his first camp.
– Carrie Muskat