02/26/11 3:55 PM EST
Colvin working hard at first to not look foolish
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Colvin, whom the Cubs want to see play first base as well as outfield, has been spending a lot of time on infield drills.
"This is something I enjoy," Colvin said Saturday. "I really do like taking ground balls. I'm used to this because it's exactly what I had to do at Clemson."
Cubs manager Mike Quade has asked Colvin if he's comfortable at first to make sure the transition is smooth. On Sunday in the first Cactus League game, Colvin will sub in right field.
"Everything's great," Colvin said. "I just need to know where I need to be in certain situations. I can always ask Carlos [Pena] -- he's been great. We'll see what happens in the games. I'm excited about it."
Pena has been his No. 1 tutor and Colvin is making sure to ask for guidance.
"I didn't have that luxury last year to talk to [Derrek Lee] about it because I didn't start taking ground balls until he left," Colvin said. "We have another Gold Glover here [in Pena] and I'd be an idiot if I didn't pick his brain."
For example, if there's a man on second base and the ball is hit up the middle and Colvin is at first, he can't just stand there and watch.
"I have to remember, I'm the cutoff man and I have to get out there," Colvin said. "It's little stuff like that that worried me last year. You're fine taking ground balls but once you get in the game, you have to do a lot more than just catch the ball.
"You don't want to look like a fool out there," he said.
Moreland ready to settle in on radio broadcasts
MESA, Ariz. -- New Cubs radio analyst Keith Moreland is excited, a little melancholy, nervous, and hoping fans will be patient with him.
Moreland arrived at HoHoKam Park on Saturday to get prepped for his first Cactus League broadcast on Sunday with partner Pat Hughes. Moreland is taking over for the late Ron Santo, who died in December.
"There's excitement, obviously, and sadness, too," Moreland said. "Ron was a great friend and a major part of this organization for 50 years. I have sadness and excitement all at the same time. You can't replace Ron and all I can do is be me. It's nice to have a Hall of Fame-type guy sitting beside me because Pat makes you feel so comfortable."
Moreland, who played third, outfield and was a catcher for the Cubs, remembers when he first met Santo, and Santo said he liked how he played the game. They have shared a lot of laughs.
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The Cubs will wear patches with No. 10 on their sleeve this year to honor Santo. March 10 will be Ron Santo Day in Mesa as well.
Will it be tough for Moreland to criticize players?
"The first thing is there is no substitute for hustle," he said. "Effort is the one thing you can control. The game of baseball is a game you cannot control the outcome. You can hit the ball four times right on the button or make five really good pitches in a row and two could leave the ballpark. You don't have control sometimes of the outcome, but you do have control of your effort. If there is a point that I could be critical of it will be effort."
Is he nervous?
"Heck, yeah, I'm nervous," Moreland said. "I just hope people allow me to be me. Again, [Santo] is irreplaceable, and that's not my intention in any capacity. Because of that, I have some apprehension. I get to turn to my right and look who's sitting beside me -- he's the best straight man in the world."
Hughes, who has been the Cubs' radio play-by-play broadcaster for 16 years, has said he wants Moreland to shine and be the star.
"All I can do is be me," Moreland said. "There's nothing other than that. I can butcher the English language with the best of them and I'm not sure what words mean sometimes. I try my best to get a point across of what's taking place on the field."
Cubs manager Mike Quade won't be calling for a hit-and-run early in Spring Training. "I told the club today, it's not rocket science," Quade said Saturday on the eve of the first Cactus League game. "[I told them] 'The first week or two, you guys play, show us what you can do, use your judgement, my catchers will run the running game.' I want to watch guys play and think on their feet. If I'm creating a bunch of robots, that's not good." ... By posting lineups for three games in advance, players get a heads-up. "No one can say they weren't ready," Quade said. ... Greg Maddux, a special assistant to general manager Jim Hendry joined the Cubs on Saturday. He will work with the pitchers and do some scouting. ... Several of the Cubs players were attending reliever Bob Howry's retirement party on Saturday. Howry pitched for the Cubs from 2006-08 and again in 2010. He appeared in 38 games last season with the Cubs, and his final appearance was July 28.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.