9:01 AM CDT, September 19, 2013
Two games in Milwaukee, two Cubs starting pitchers get into it with the manager and a coach.
One pitcher is overpaid, the other wants to be. Fun.The postgame explanations, of course, were that everybody has a competitive streak and nobody likes losing, and blah, blah, blah. It’s a surprise, I suppose, that the confrontations didn’t come earlier with a team this bad. Maybe this bunch is getting used to losing. That would be some ''Cubs Way,'' huh?
Edwin Jackson got into it with manager Dale Sveum during Monday night’s game because he didn’t like being removed in the fourth inning. If I were Jackson, I’d follow orders and not draw attention to fleecing the Cubs out of $52 million while compiling the second-worst ERA on the second-worst team in the league.
Thing is, that pathetic ERA is close to Jackson’s career average, so the Cubs brains deserve blame for foisting this stuff on fans. I think they wanted Jackson to eat up innings, but $19 million up front to eat up innings for another 90-plus-loss team? Yeesh.
The Cubs could’ve found a lot of guys who could do that cheaper, and in fact, they have.
Remember how every dollar seemed precious at both trade deadlines? But yet, here are Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer wasting millions on a pitcher with a bad ERA and WHIP.
Epstein has said the Cubs need all the revenue streams in the Wrigley Field rehab proposal so they can compete on a regular basis. What he should’ve added is he needs the renovation package to be able to buy his way out of silly contracts.
Jeff Samardzija, meanwhile, got into it with coach David Bell over the defensive positioning of first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and I’m thinking, don’t sweat defensive positioning if you can’t keep the ball in play, pal.
Samardzija was lauded for going over 200 innings and 200 strikeouts this season. Yes. Well. He’s 28, and if he can’t do it by now, then when?
Sorry, but it’s hard to laud Samardzija when he has developed this nasty habit of falling apart in an inning. Cubs savior Theo Epstein noted recently that he’s concerned that Samardzija can’t seem to stanch the bleeding and a big inning gets bigger. You don’t know when it’s coming, but when it hits, it has stayed hit.
Samardzija needed a shutdown inning Tuesday night after the Cubs had given him a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh, but then, bang, he gave up a two-run homer to tie it in the bottom of the inning.
Samardzija isn’t far removed from disintegrating against the Phillies at home, and after a strong start to the season, it’s clear that his 4.42 ERA is deserved.
Actually, I thought it would be worse because Samardzija is all about getting worse these days. It's as if he's racing Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to see whose death spiral damages the Cubs' foundation more.
If I were Samardzija, I wouldn’t worry about defensive positioning. I’d just be happy to get out of this season with my right arm attached to my shoulder so I could sign a contract that would overpay me as much as the Cubs overpaid Jackson.
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