Edmonds patient while Cubs, fans adjust

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What an interesting introduction to Wrigley Field for Jim Edmonds: Something old and something new, sometimes bold and sometimes booed.

When he ran onto the field in the first inning, he was cheered for being in Cub blue.

When he struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, he was booed as if he were still in Cardinal red.

Has he ever had an ovation in Chicago before?

"No, and I've been booed louder," Edmonds said after playing in his first game since the Padres released him.

From foe to friend to failure�"a rather short honeymoon�"all within 24 hours.

"That's what it's all about," he said. "It's baseball. I'd rather have that than a bunch of people watching the game quietly."

Edmonds, who replaced Felix Pie on the roster Thursday morning, batted sixth and went 1-for-4, singling in his first at-bat before leaving seven runners on base in his last three.

"I didn't have too much feeling until about the fifth inning," he said. "The first at-bat was about as nervous and about as excited as I've been in a long time. After five innings, I kind of settled down a little bit."

The first at-bat off Greg Maddux ended with a line-drive single after a polite greeting from the crowd of 40,629.

"That was nice," he said. "Hopefully I can prove I still can play and be a part of this team."

The second at-bat resulted in an inning-ending double play.

The third�"coming after an embarrassing intentional walk to Kosuke Fukudome from his old team, which was paying him about $29,000 for his day with the Cubs�"was an inning-ending fly out and the fourth that strikeout, followed by boos.

"They want to see you do well and the team win," Edmonds said. "They were booing me and booing the situation. But when you have one out and the bases loaded, you have to find a way to drive in a run. That's the way it works."

How much Edmonds can contribute is unknown considering he hit only .178 with the Padres.

How much he will play depends on how much he contributes. With Pittsburgh scheduling three straight left-handed starters this weekend, Reed Johnson will be back in center field�"at least to begin the games.

"Johnson deserves playing time, and he has done a nice job," manager Lou Piniella said. "I'm going to give both of them ample at-bats."

Johnson, who is hitting .256, took the arrival of Edmonds like a loyal soldier.

"The playing time will take care of itself," Johnson said. "This team wants to win, and Lou has said all year he's going to put his best nine guys on the field. If I'm part of that every day, great. If not, then my job is to come off the bench late and help the team that way."

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com ... 6167.story

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