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‘Nervous’ Moreland ready to launch post-Santo era

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

MESA, Ariz. — Keith Moreland was admitting to nerves as well as excitement upon his arrival at HoHoKam Park on Saturday in advance of his debut today as Pat Hughes’ new radio partner on Cubs broadcasts.

‘‘Heck, yeah, I’m nervous,’’ said Moreland, acutely aware of the legendary figure he replaces, the late Ron Santo. ‘‘I just hope that people will allow me to be me. He’s irreplaceable, and that’s not my intention in any capacity. And because of that, I have some apprehension.

‘‘But then again, I get to turn to my right and get to see who’s sitting beside me. He’s the best straight man in the world.’’

Moreland said he won’t hesitate to criticize players if he senses lack of effort. And don’t be surprised to hear at least a few Santo-like misfires.

‘‘All I can do is be me,’’ Moreland said. ‘‘I can butcher the English language with the best of them. I’m not sure what words mean sometimes. But I’m trying my best to get a point across of what’s taking place on the field.’’


Manager Mike Quade on posting his first three exhibition lineups two days before today’s opener: ‘‘No one can say they’re not ready if they see three days of lineups. It’s obviously more important during the season. . . . It goes back to trying to create environments where everybody’s happy, and there’s no excuses.’’

◆ Quade said everyone is healthy entering today’s game against the Oakland Athletics in Mesa.

‘‘Now you can just hope that guys perform like you want them to and stay healthy,’’ he said.

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