Campana's speed creates distraction for Cubs

Campana's speed creates distraction for Cubs

Campana's speed creates distraction for Cubs
CHICAGO -- Tony Campana is fast, and the Cubs outfielder and Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan have challenged each other to a foot race.

"We talked and bickered about who is faster," Campana said prior to a 3-2 win on Tuesday. "[Morgan] said we have to put something on it, so I told him to put his paycheck on it. He said his was bigger than mine, so that wasn't fair. I said, 'If you really think you can beat me, that shouldn't matter.'"

Of course, Morgan and Campana aren't the only speedsters in the Majors.

"Dee Gordon can run," Campana said of the Dodgers shortstop. "We've talked about racing. We came up through the Minor Leagues together. We've been talking about it for a long time. We've been talking a lot of trash."

For now, Campana will stick to his day job of creating havoc on the bases. On Monday, he delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth, drew seven pickoff attempts from the pitcher, and eventually stole second, then third.

On Tuesday night, he singled in the 10th and stole second on a controversial play that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny argued. Matheny ended up getting tossed. Campana scored the winning run a few batters later.

"If he's swinging the bat, it's hard not to play him," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Campana. "He makes pitchers make mistakes because they're paying attention to him. He brings a lot to the table, that kind of speed. You can't defend it sometimes."

"I like when I get reactions out of people," Campana said. "I can kind of see when they're getting frustrated. I like that and want to make them think about me, so they stop thinking about the pitch they have to make."

Campana's speed is his best asset, but this spring, that seemed to be the only thing he had working. He batted .222 in Cactus League games and was bothered by a wrist injury. Campana was sent to Triple-A Iowa to start the season, but he was recalled on Friday.

"I wanted to make the club, but I didn't do all that well in Spring Training," Campana said. "I struggled and I didn't really deserve [to be on the Opening Day roster]. I knew I had to go down there and show what I could do. I was excited when I got the call again."

He'll share center field now with Reed Johnson and Joe Mather, following the departure of Marlon Byrd, who was traded Saturday to the Red Sox.

"Marlon taught me a lot on defense," Campana said. "There were different things to look at when you're in the outfield to get better jumps and take better reads. I appreciate it 100 percent. He told me any time I have a question to give him a call."