Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Campana "humbled" by Cubs' fans reaction to his departure

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MESA, Ariz. -- Even Tony Campana figured he'd be the odd man out when the Cubs finally made room on the roster for new free agent outfielder Scott Hairston.

``I kind of made myself ready for it just in case it happened,'' he said.

What he didn't expect was the high-pitched outcry among Cub fans as their favorite, speedy, scrappy outfielder was designated for assignment eight days ahead of Monday's trade to Arizona.

``It was kind of crazy,'' said Campana, who led the club with 30 stolen bases despite being a part-time player last year. ``I wasn't really expecting that. I thought [the DFA] was going to happen to me. When everybody got so mad, it was kind of a humbling experience for me.''

Campana, the most popular player by far during Cubs Convention discourse last month, also was a favorite among teammates and field staff. But general manager Jed Hoyer said the club's relative depth in the outfield and lack of pitching depth left Campana as the eventual choice after a "tough" decision-making process.

"The fans here are awesome. They were always awesome to me,'' Campana said. ``And the Cubs have been awesome to me. I'm kind of sad to go, but excited to start a new thing with the D-backs.''

So what had he been doing with his downtime since getting DFA'd?

``I found a [batting] cage,'' he said ``I was paying to hit in a cage and paying for a gym for the last week. I'm glad to actually get to go hit and lift for free now.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on February 18, 2013 9:06 PM.

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