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


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Darwin Barney's return Tuesday should help the Cubs not only defensively but in having a ``take charge'' player on the field.
``Barney is definitely that kind of guy,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``He has the awareness of the situation and can slow the game down in those 15 seconds [between pitches] and know how the game can change from pitch to pitch and count to count and score to score and hitter to hitter.
``Those are things we're trying to get the rest of the infield aware of. It's something you don't really teach but have to harp on.''
Sveum pointed to Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Giants as the latest example of mental mistakes costing the Cubs.
``There was no error in the box score, but we made five mental mistakes that cost us runs.''

The Cubs signed their one-time closer Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract Sunday, but not to take that role again for the parent team.
Gregg, 34, was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers when he declined a move to Class AAA after spring training. He had an 0.82 ERA in 11 spring appearances.
He pitched the last two seasons for Baltimore.
He had 23 saves for the Cubs in 2009 when he went 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA while dealing with knee problems in the aftermath of off season surgery.
Gregg was assigned to Arizona extended spring training.
Kuyji Fujikawa, who is on the disabled list with a strained forearm muscle, is still expected to be the Cubs closer.

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I'm not sure Barney's return will suddenly turn sows' ears into silk purses, but he should help. I was not in favor of the big money contract fo Fujikawa and was not in favor of his getting the closer role, even though it fell in his lap due to Marmol's continuing issues. Signing Gregg is probably a stop-gap move while Fujikawa is disabled, even though he, ostensibly, will not be the closer.Actually, I'm pretty much down on Japanese 'Besball" players in general.Certainly the money the Cubs have spent on them has been a total waste. In any case, I do think the cubs show signs of being decent if they can keep their relievers from blowing games by having control issues they should have resolved in "Little League." Aren't these players supposed to be the best players in the world? They certainly do not act like it or play like it. At east the Blakhawks seem to be a Chicago professional team.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on April 14, 2013 12:25 PM.

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