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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Cubs running into outs, more spring drills

By Doug Padilla

DENVER -- The Chicago Cubs are showing that even the most obvious scenarios on a baseball field can’t be taken for granted.

That’s why days at spring training will get a little longer as manager Dale Sveum plans on adding some new base-running drills.

It’s what happens when not one, but two Cubs base runners ended up costing a run over the past two weeks.


In a game at Houston on the last road trip and another at Colorado on Wednesday the Cubs had runners on second and third base with one out. A fly ball was hit in both instances and a runner trying to move from second base to third was thrown out before the run could score.

Dave Sappelt was the guilty party at Houston, while Joe Mather did it against the Rockies. Sappelt ended up losing out on an RBI when Mather was thrown out.

“It’s one of those things where if you were to bring it up in a group session there will be a lot of eyes rolled by the group of players,” Sveum said. “Unfortunately it has been a reality here the last couple of weeks. It’s almost a learning tool. It’s like, ‘All right, don’t be rolling your eyes. This actually happened twice in two weeks.’”

Sveum was even asked if it’s another sign that the current generation lacks focus and a detailed approach to things.

“I don’t know about that,” Sveum said. “I think for some reason you do see a lot more mistakes like that and I don’t know why. Whatever the reason, there are definitely a lot more base running mistakes from just common sense things. Like I said, I don’t remember seeing that in 30 years in the game and it’s happened twice in two weeks. Slowing the game down just isn’t as easy anymore and I don’t know why.”