Freel ‘Overwhelmed with Joy' at Being a Cub

Newest addition can fill in for several of the injury-riddled Cubs.

You've got to credit the newest Cub, Ryan Freel, for becoming one of the team immediately. He had to sit out his first game as a part of the Cubs after being traded for Joey Gathright from the Baltimore Orioles due to soreness in his leg. Welcome to Chicago, Ryan!

Still, the utility player is overjoyed to be a part of the Cubs. Most of his career has been in Cincinnati, with a short stint in Toronto, and so he is familiar with the Cubs organization, the Friendly Confines and the Chicago fans.

"I enjoy this game with all my heart. I know when you get to this level it's all about winning, and then you throw in the mix of being a Cubbie, I think that adds a little bit more to your game, because I know how these fans are. I've been on the other side of the fence. They can wear you out a little, but being on the other side now, it's going to be a fun experience."

His experience with the Orioles -- a team who seems content to lose -- must have been pretty awful as he asked the Cubs' equipment manager to burn the bag that held Freel's equipment, because he didn't want any birds around. Considering the Cubs are trying to overtake the Cardinals for first in the N.L. Central, that's good to hear.

The tightness in Freel's leg isn't serious, and he will be able to contribute for the Cubs who have been decimated by injuries. The latest horror to watch was one of the Cubs offensive leaders, Aramis Ramirez, writhing in pain after dislocating his shoulder. Freel has played third base, so he will be able to contribute right away.

That sits fine with Freel, who feels "blessed and fortunate" just to be a part of the team.

 Maggie Hendricks is a lifelong Chicagoan who has loved sports since she fell in love with Jody Davis at age three. She also writes for Cage Writer, Yahoo! Sports' MMA blog, and Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! Sports' Olympic blog.

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