By Paul Sullivan, Tribune reporter
11:20 PM EST, December 4, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dale Sveum recently was accidentally shot in the right ear during a quail hunting trip with pal Robin Yount.
“He got the bird,” Sveum said.
Sveum said Yount was about 50 yards ahead of him on a hill, and Yount lost track of where he was, shooting at a bird behind Sveum.
“He pulled the trigger, and I was like, ‘Uh oh,’” Sveum said. “Luckily I was just kind of climbing, looking for birds myself when it was behind me. So I got drilled with pellets in the back and one stuck in my ear.”
Sveum had to have the bee-bee removed from the ear. He said it was a “bloody” scene, but he wasn’t at all nervous.
“Nah, we do it all the time,” he said. “Not that close all the time, but we do get bee-bees falling on us.”
Sveum confirmed that after the shooting he referred to Yount as Dick Cheney, the former vice-president who famously shot a friend in the face during a hunting accident.
Sveum asked the media not to overplay the incident.
“It’s not that big a deal,” he said.
Hot corner update: Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer reiterated they would like to re-sign Ian Stewart, who was non-tendered last Friday while rehabbing from left wrist surgery. But there are other third base options available, including Mark Reynolds, who was non-tendered by the Orioles, and Casey McGehee, who opted for free agency instead of accepting a minor league assignment from the Yankees.
McGehee, who the Cubs in 2003, is coming off a poor season with the Pirates and the Yankees, hitting a combined .217 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs. But he had his best season in 2010 for the Brewers, with 23 home runs and 104 RBIs. His hitting coach at the time was Sveum.
McGehee said Tuesday at the winter meetings he would be interested in returning to the organization where he began his career, but was hesitant to infringe upon his friendship with Sveum by asking the manager to put in a good word with Hoyer. The right-handed hitting McGehee could platoon with Luis Valbuena at third and would be a relatively inexpensive option.
Extra Innings: Jeff Samardzija's agent met with Hoyer and President Theo Epstein on Tuesday, but the two sides aren't talking about an extension yet. Samardzija is arbitration eligible for the first time. … Sveum said the spring training bunting tournament, which provided few results once the regular season began, will return. Will it actually work this year? "The second half it did," he insisted. "The first half I was like, 'Wow, that didn't go over too good.'"