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As if to prove that the curse of the billy goat extends far beyond the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs manager Dave Sveum caught a little birdshot in his ear and back during a recent wingshooting mishap. The culprit: his hunting pal, Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The two former big-leaguers (sorry, managing the Cubs doesn’t count) were teammates when they played for the Milwaukee Brewers and were stalking quail together in Arizona when Yount went all Dick Cheney on him . . . has the play-by-play:

Sveum said he was about 50 yards ahead of the Hall of Famer went the accident occurred.

“The bird got up in front of him, and he lost track of where I was and pulled the trigger,” Sveum said. “I was just looking for birds myself. It was behind me, so I got drilled with pellets in the back and one stuck in the ear.”

Sveum said he and Yount have fired near each other in the past.

“Well, not that close,” he said.

It’s rough enough taking the inevitable incoming from fans and media that goes along with managing a hapless bunch that hasn’t won anything much in over a century. And while Sveum stopped the #7 shot in the off-season far away from the the diamond, it’s hard not to think that his association with the Cubs somehow played a part.

Since both shotgunners are well past their 20s and 30s (and baseball players are, you’d guess, far less “aggressive” than NFLers), Bob Costas hasn’t had anything to say about the incident. Yet. That won’t stop us, though, from sending Mr. Yount one more piece of hardware to add to his already impressive collection of trophies. But if he’d rather, we’d be happy to forward this one directly to Cooperstown for him.    [h/t Garret C.]

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  1. Damn. Cheney must be an airborne infection!! Read this in the paper this a.m. and thought what the hell?? Did Deadeye Dick Cheney teach him how to shoot?
    Glad he was a better ball player than he is a hunter. I guess the next time I go hunting with someone I will have to take some New Improved Anti Cheney spray!!

    • God, I would think people on a gun/hunting site would know just a little about hunting. The Cheney incident was the fault of the guy that got shot, Harry Whittington, and he said so! Look it up. He was man enough to admit that he did a very stupid thing, something no hunter should ever do. You don’t go running into a point with other hunters around waiting for the flush. That is something a kid learning to hunt does not a 78 year old experienced hunter. If you move you let the others know; you don’t run in on them. Stupid. But yes, by the law it is the fault of Cheney just like the Exon Valdez grounding was the fault of Hazelwood even though he was in his cabin asleep at the time.

      Yes, technically it was Cheney’s fault but every real hunter, including the guy that got shot knows where the real blame lies. I am sure that could never happen to you of course. Somehow you would just know the guy was there when the birds flushed.

      • Ok dude!! I apologize! I was being a smart ass and apparently it went over your head.
        Next time I will be much clearer ok??!!

  2. “the curse of the billy goat”

    I’ve had brewskis and burgers at The Billy Goat Tavern. Great place with great Chicago pub food and drink. This is the place that started the ‘Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Cheeseburger’ comedy-routine joke back in the 1980s. The Tavern is a hangout for the Chicago Tribune Royalty with their own special room for food and drink. Along the walls is a supposedly real Greek word (the whole thing might be a joke) with dozens of letters in it. If you can enunciate the word you get free food.

      • While in Chicago, I hope you had the chance to eat the great pizza and ribs. I haven’t been to the Tavern since the mid-80s. The Cubs should bring in someone to ‘lift the curse’ making a day of it for locals who want to watch it happen maybe over the lunch hour and make a donation to charity while attending the free event, etc.

        • Um, no. I like the curse right where it is, thanks. Obviously having pissed off the gods at some point, I’m a Cards fan married to a Cubs fan. Heaping abuse on the small bears is one of my great joys in life during baseball season. Bartman!

  3. I would wait to judge this incident until there is more known about it. I simply do not trust an article that claims the man was shot by #7 shot since I don’t know anyone in the US that uses #7 shot. Sounds like more gun ignorance to me and makes me think the whole article might well be a typical case of fallacious reporting.

  4. Haven’t hunted in years. Had it pounded into us to “stay on line” when hunting with a group. Nobody gets ahead or pulls back. Only accidental shooting I ever saw was because this rule was violated.

    Have been in a “pellet rain” a couple of times when waterfowling. Distant hunter fires at a flying duck or goose and the shot runs out of steam and comes back down. The shot bounces off of the heavy clothing worn in this type of hunting. This was when lead shot was still legal to hunt with. Never hunted with the steel stuff.

  5. There is a reason why there are very few people I’m willing to hunt with. Most of them are blood relatives. Glad that no one was seriously hurt, in fact I saw Sveum joking about it on the MLB Network last night, I really like both of those guys.

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