There is precious little to get excited about with the 2012 Cubs, so finding things to talk about on an off day are painful. Enter Jeff Samardzija’s work load:
‘‘We’ve got a plan laid out for him, something we’ve talked about with Jed [Hoyer] and Theo [Epstein],’’ pitching coach Chris Bosio said. ‘‘We’ll follow our guidelines and try to take advantage of some off days and pitch-count days. But he’s a big, strong guy. He wants the ball.’’
What does the Shark see for himself this season?
‘‘Obviously, as a starting pitcher, you’re looking at that 200 number,’’ he said.
Dale Sveum , what say you (please say he swung the bat good that one day)?
‘‘You’re going to keep an eye on everything he does, the innings, the pitch counts,’’ said manager Dale Sveum, who also made it clear he wants to make no excuses for what he called the ‘‘uncharted waters’’ Samardzija is in this season.
‘‘He’s a max-effort guy, and he’s doing things he hasn’t done for a few years now: starting and maxing out. And not only that, but maxing out in the big leagues, where the intensity is a lot more than starting in the minor leagues.’’
So basically, we have no idea just what Samardzija’s limits will be this year, and neither do the Cubs.
Marlon Byrd was back in Chicago last night, playing on the South Side. He’s going to miss being a Cub, but not the losing part, I suspect.
“I knew I was going to be traded,” said Byrd, whose $6.5 million contract will be paid almost entirely by the Cubs, according to a major league source. “Brett Jackson is the future there, but I didn’t know when. I didn’t think it would be in April, but there was a need for me over here. I almost had to apologize to them for starting so slow. They should have been able to get more for me.”
Jim Hendry should’ve traded you last year when he could have gotten more for you. But where’s the part about you missing everyone?
“My family loved it here. They made great friends as did I on and off the field,” Byrd said. “I loved the organization and the Ricketts. We are close to them. I love the Ricketts. This is a business, and it was time to move on.”
Marlon’s crystal ball foresees great things in the Cubs future.
“The leadership right now has to come from the veterans like Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster,” Byrd said. “I‘m assuming that Theo [Epstein] is going to get his base off young guys and then bring in some older veterans like he did here in Boston. You do have to have veterans because they are the only players who know about leadership.”
The timetable for winning under the new regime is anyone’s guess at this point, but Byrd believes the Cubs have the right people in place.
“ It’s going to be a couple of years,” Byrd said. “When Theo came over my guess was 2014 or 2015. They are going to be ready to contend every year, not just be good that year, but from that point on start a dynasty.”
I loved Dynasty.