After criticizing the trade of starting pitcher and new-found friend Scott Feldman, Valparaiso’s Jeff Samardzija has softened his stance a bit on the Cubs’ rebuilding-oriented deals.
“It’s tough, but you have to understand the big picture of what’s going on, of what they’re trying to do,” Samardzija said. “It’s a contradiction of the front office doing what they’re supposed to do and players playing. It’s nothing personal.
“As a competitor, you want to play and win every game. The big thing about that is team camaraderie and relationships among the players. It’s tough. All that happened right after the trade happened. Emotions are high and feelings are running wild, just because you’re close to a teammate.”
A cornerstone of the Cubs’ long-term plan, Samardzija must reconcile his own competitiveness that was praised by Feldman with the inevitability of the team taking a loss to try to make a long-term gain.
“It comes down to regardless of what happens during the day, 7 o’clock, there’s a roster of 25 guys on the wall,” he said. “That’s what you take out onto the field to win with. It’s a pretty simple answer. As a player, you play. Regardless of who your teammates are or the moves that have been made, as soon as that first pitch is thrown, you have your team on the roster trying to win that game.
“It might change the next day, it might not. So it’s (something) you understand.”
WGN to mark Wrigley’s 100th: WGN (Ch. 9) is planning a two-hour special next April to commemorate Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday in 2014.
Among those scheduled to appear so far are future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, who was interviewed in Dallas last month. Maddux had two Cubs’ pitching tenures, won the 1992 NL Cy Young Award and worked in the front office for two years starting in 2009.
Crain a spectacular spectator: Even though he can’t play in the All-Star Game due to a strained shoulder, Sox reliever Jesse Crain will soak up the spectacle in New York the next two days.
“It’s something I can’t pass up,” he said. “You never know if it will ever happen again. It’s something I’d never miss.”
Crain realizes his good fortune, being picked to the AL team amid all the often wayward politics of the selection process.
“Just being voted in is amazing, especially by the players,” he said. “There’s a lot of political things to it, so you never know when the time’s going to be.”
The lists: Region players with All-Star team appearances – Lou Boudreau, Harvey (1940-44, 1947-48); Ron Kittle, Gary (1983); Kenny Lofton, East Chicago (1994-99); Mickey Morandini, Valparaiso (1995); Mark Mulder, South Holland (2003-04), and Curtis Granderson, Lynwood (2009, 2011-12).
White Sox pitchers who started the All-Star Game – Billy Pierce (1953, 1955-56), Early Wynn (1959), Esteban Loaiza (2003) and Mark Buehrle (winning pitcher, 2005).