2/13 Johnson shows up early
Cubs pitchers and catchers have to report on Sunday but outfielder Reed Johnson was one of the early birds at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz. He was eager to return to Chicago, where he played in 2008 and ’09.
“It’s great to be in a spot where you’re familiar,” Johnson said. “It’s tough going to an organization in Spring Training having to start all over again. I feel like there’s still a lot of pieces in place here. [Kerry Wood’s] back here, too. We’re all working our way back.”
Position players don’t have to report until Feb. 18 but Johnson has a 1-year-old and a new puppy, and wanted to get settled in Arizona quickly so he showed up at Fitch early.
When Johnson realized he would likely have to sign a Minor League deal, he tried to get back to the Cubs. Fans showed him very early how knowledgeable they are about the game. One of his early at-bats at Wrigley Field, he recalls grounding out to second and driving in a run, and the whole stadium stood up and cheered.
“I think the fans in Chicago appreciate the little things,” Johnson said.
— Carrie Muskat