2/18 Reed & son ready to go in Cubs camp
It’s tough to say who was more excited coming to Fitch Park on Saturday, outfielder Reed Johnson or his 2-year-old son, Tyce. Johnson drove his family, including dog Yogi, from Las Vegas on Friday and arrived with young Tyce swinging his bat, ready to go.
“We kept bribing him [on the drive] — ‘We’re going to Spring Training, it’s baseball season, it’s baseball season,'” Johnson said of the message they gave his son to keep him quiet during the five-hour drive. “I’m definitely excited. I’ll keep doing this until they rip the uniform off me, that’s for sure.”
Johnson, one of the Cubs’ extra outfielders, wanted to come back to Chicago after hearing about manager Dale Sveum, who has promised he won’t tolerate any lackadaisical play.
“I think that’s a big reason why I came back as well,” Johnson said. “You see Dale and the way he approaches things and you can tell he means that. A lot of coaches and a lot of staff members can say that but you can tell it’s not genuine or they’re not going to follow through. [Sveum] doesn’t care if you’re making $15 million or $450,000. You’re going to go out there and play the game hard and if not, you’re not going to play. For players like me, that’s really refreshing because a lot of times, especially throughout the league and throughout my experiences, that hasn’t been true. If you come in with that attitude, you’re going to be in for a rude awakening with this staff.”
Johnson likes the Cubs pitching, too.
“From top to bottom, we’ve got solid guys,” he said. “I feel in 2008, every time we ran out a starter, we had a chance to win that game. I feel when you look at the starting staff we have now, you feel you have a chance to win that night. I think that’s key mentally for this team as well.”
— Carrie Muskat