Right Field Is Right For Beltran

By Doug Glanville | ESPN.com

Carlos Beltran‘s week reminded me of something.

In my first professional spring training with the Cubs, I learned a hard lesson. One morning, during an outfield drill with our instructor, Jimmy Piersall, we decided to work on communication. So Jimmy would throw balls between the center fielder and the corner outfielder to teach you how to call for the ball if you thought it was in your territory. It is a given that the center fielder is the captain of the outfield and has priority when he calls the ball, but sometimes there are these perfectly hit balls that come down right when you both are converging on the spot … and that’s when things get fun.

On one toss, Piersall threw a ball between me and my right fielder, Paul Torres. Paul’s nickname was “Kong” so you can imagine that my 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame was no match for him. The ball was right in between us; I called it late and too softly so Kong just went after it until we ran into each other.

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