I could not be a Cubs fans, or even remotely justify having even a free, lightly developed, Cubs blog, without taking note of this catch, made by Reed Johnson, one of my favorite surprises so far this season, and he just keeps getting better.
This guy, I'd never heard of him before Spring training, late in spring training, when the Blue Jays cut him and we picked him right up. What a pickup. Apparently, the Blue Jays are loaded, or maybe he just needed a change of scenery, but Reed Johnson is the Ryan Theriot of the outfield, with possibly a little more speed, and the same giddyup that is beginning to signify the Lou Piniella era.
I've come to believe that you can tell a coach not by his stars, but by his peripheral players. Rare is the coach that can really change a star player, especially if they are already successful, but it's the players that a coach keeps around to fill in the other spots that tell his ability, and character. I felt the same way when Dusty came in, because his Neifi Perez's actually were a cut above the guys we'd had previously coming off the bench. His unexplained overuse of them, despite performance, is another story.
Lou Piniella plays the hot hitter, period. Want to play some baseball, Mike Fontenot, take advantage of the AB or two you'll get from sitting on Lou's bench and soon you'll be starting, keep it up when you get an extended chance, and you may start sharing time with a regular starter. Conversely, start playing stupid baseball like I've seen the last two outings and you will lose any tan you may be working on sitting back in the dugout shadows. You too, Henry Blanco. There have been some good points, but you need to start acting like the player that signed that nice fat contract.
Reed Johnson knows Lou's game. And he doesn't rest on his laurels, or bitch about his batting postion, or field position, he doesn't bitch, he doesn't even preen for the cameras after making such an outstanding play. One that might have required a five minute semi-pro dance routine anywhere else. He doesn't even bother to put his cap bill back down and he runs away, holding up the ball.
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