View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Sunday

8

April 2012

101

COMMENTS

Game 3 Recap: They Can't Make Me Love Them

Written by , Posted in General

Nationals 3 @ Cubs 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Or maybe they can? I knew going into the recap that I would have to write about one of my least favorite Cubs, Jeff Samardzija. Little did I know at the time my other least favorite Cub, Alfonso Soriano, would also figure prominently in this, the Cubs first win of 2012!

Jeff Samardzija pitched a beautiful game, taking only 110 pitches to get 26 outs. 72% of his pitches were strikes, and if I said I was surprised about how successful he was that would be an understatement. I really have to give him props.

Jordan Zimmerman also pitched a good game, seemingly helped by the Cubs’ first-pitch-aggressiveness. In the second inning he only had to make five pitches to retire the Cubs, and in the fifth only one of four batters saw more than one pitch. Bob Brenly mentioned more than once (as did Keith Moreland) the reason the Cubs were swinging at so many first pitches was because Zimmerman was throwing so many strikes. At first I thought this was another of the myriad excuses Bob makes for this team on a daily basis. But as the game went on and Zimmerman et. al. started throwing fewer strikes, the boys indeed showed more patience. Sorry Bob!

Not only did Alfonso Soriano drive in two runs (Castro via a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning, and Barney on a single in the 6th), he also laid himself out in the top of the 4th and made an excellent defensive play. Yes, that’s right, I said it. Alfonso Soriano made an excellent defensive play, robbing Adam LaRoche of what appeared to be a sure hit. I have to give him props too.

Other Tidbits:

  • After Ian Desmond’s leadoff double, Samardzija retired 15 Nationals in a row.
  • Washington chose Jordan Zimmerman with the compensatory draft pick they received when Alfonso Soriano signed with the Cubs.
  • Steve Clevenger, making his first start of the year, got the Cubs’ first hit of the game.
  • Carrying over from last season, Starlin Castro now has a 14 game hitting streak, and has gotten on base safely in the last 43 games.
  • Sadly the defensive side of Starlin Castro isn’t nearly as impressive. Castro made a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. It came perilously close to changing the outcome of the entire game. After the error, Samardzija gave up a home run to Adam LaRoche, bringing the Nationals within one and costing Samardzija his first career complete game.
  • When Dale Sveum visited the pitching mound after Castro’s error (but before LaRoche’s home run) there was a very audible “NO” from what seemed to be the entire remaining crowd.
  • When Dale Sveum visited the pitching mound after LaRoche’s home run and signaled for Carlos Marmol, the entire remaining crowd threw up a little.
  • When Marmol proceeded to walk the first batter he faced, the entire remaining crowd simply left. Ok that’s not entirely true. But I bet it crossed their minds!
  • Marmol picked up his first save, and lowered his ERA to 20.25.
  • Cubs win! And today, yes, I love Samardzija and Soriano!

Today’s discussion point comes from Joe. Take it away Joe!

In the bottom of the 7th, with the Cubs leading 2-1, Bryan LaHair led off the inning with a double. That immediately sparked a small debate on Twitter between myself and another person. I argued that the use of the sacrifice bunt in that situation by Marlon Byrd was a complete waste of an out. My feeling is that by giving them an out, it reduces the run expectancy of the inning from 1.170 with a man on 2nd and no outs to 0.989 with a man on 3rd and one out. I was rebutted by someone who argued that while the total run expectancy for the inning reduces, the probability for that runner to score actually increases from 63.7% to 67.4%

My feeling is this, if you want to play for one run each inning, then have fun playing for 3rd and 4th place. Winning teams don’t play for one run. They play to score big innings, especially when we have a pen nursing wounds from two straight implosions. You have to play for the big inning. I see very few, if any, reason why a non-pitcher should ever be laying down a sac bunt.

Agree or disagree?

  • Jedi

    Samardzija’s going to make me eat my words.  8.2 innings and only 2 Cubs saw more pitches at the plate today than our ninth place pitcher!  Let’s hope this isn’t the high water mark for him.

    • You’re so right, Jedi, he was among the most patient hitters as well. I didn’t cringe when he batted. That’s kind of scary.

  • Jedi

    Samardzija’s going to make me eat my words.  8.2 innings and only 2 Cubs saw more pitches at the plate today than our ninth place pitcher!  Let’s hope this isn’t the high water mark for him.

    • You’re so right, Jedi, he was among the most patient hitters as well. I didn’t cringe when he batted. That’s kind of scary.

  • Buddy

    Way more often than not, playing for one run is a bad idea. 

  • Buddy

    Way more often than not, playing for one run is a bad idea. 

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    On the discussion point, I feel like it depends on who is coming up, and your confidence in them to hit the men home from 3rd and or 2nd. At the end of the game like it was, with the bottom third of the lineup coming up I saw no problem with the sac bunt.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    On the discussion point, I feel like it depends on who is coming up, and your confidence in them to hit the men home from 3rd and or 2nd. At the end of the game like it was, with the bottom third of the lineup coming up I saw no problem with the sac bunt.

  • cap’n obvious

    wow!  All I can say about Samardzija throwing 97 MPH into the 9th is wow!  8K’s, ZERO walks, and a thorough dispatching of the Nats, who really didn’t hit anything hard until Laroche’s bomb in the 9th, which should never have happened.  Consistently over 95mph with the fastball, and a lot of late movement.  Color me impressed with him…so much life and movement on his fastball so late in the game…he’s clearly in great shape and worked hard this offseason.

    On the flipside, Marmol looks like he put on some weight in the offseason.  He doesn’t look like he ate Prince Fielder (yet), but he’s growing a little Ray King boiler.  He scares the crap out of me.  I was sure he was going to blow it. 

    Nice RBI single by Alf in the 6th.  A testament to his ridiculous talent that he can try and succeed in pulling a pitch that’s a foot outside through the 5-6 hole.  A terrible example of textbook hitting, but probably only about a dozen hitters in the league are able to hit that pitch, even a 19 hopper, through that hole into the outfield.

    Not 1 but 2 wasted leadoff doubles by LaHair.  I won’t say you have to bunt him over in the 5th, Joe; but in the 7th, with a 1 run lead, it’s the right call.  If you have a major league hitter that can get a bunt down.  Byrd’s effort was atrocious.  Still waiting to see some of the fruits of all this fundementals work Sveum put them through in Mesa. You do have to at least try to hit the ball to the right side, which it appeared Byrd was doing in the 5th on the comebacker…and he moved the runner. Clevenger made good contact in the 5th and hit an at ’em ball.  His whiff in the 7th was exasperating, as I don’t think any one pitch of that AB was actually in the strike zone.  At least he’s got all his digits and isn’t named Koyie. 

    All of the above can be taken with a grain of salt, as this win was over the N(AA)tionals, who look like a last place team in the east.  We’ll see how it goes against the Brewers.  At least Sveum should have their playbook. 

    One final thought…David Dejesus looks to have the worst outfield arm I’ve seen since Juan Pierre. 

  • cap’n obvious

    wow!  All I can say about Samardzija throwing 97 MPH into the 9th is wow!  8K’s, ZERO walks, and a thorough dispatching of the Nats, who really didn’t hit anything hard until Laroche’s bomb in the 9th, which should never have happened.  Consistently over 95mph with the fastball, and a lot of late movement.  Color me impressed with him…so much life and movement on his fastball so late in the game…he’s clearly in great shape and worked hard this offseason.

    On the flipside, Marmol looks like he put on some weight in the offseason.  He doesn’t look like he ate Prince Fielder (yet), but he’s growing a little Ray King boiler.  He scares the crap out of me.  I was sure he was going to blow it. 

    Nice RBI single by Alf in the 6th.  A testament to his ridiculous talent that he can try and succeed in pulling a pitch that’s a foot outside through the 5-6 hole.  A terrible example of textbook hitting, but probably only about a dozen hitters in the league are able to hit that pitch, even a 19 hopper, through that hole into the outfield.

    Not 1 but 2 wasted leadoff doubles by LaHair.  I won’t say you have to bunt him over in the 5th, Joe; but in the 7th, with a 1 run lead, it’s the right call.  If you have a major league hitter that can get a bunt down.  Byrd’s effort was atrocious.  Still waiting to see some of the fruits of all this fundementals work Sveum put them through in Mesa. You do have to at least try to hit the ball to the right side, which it appeared Byrd was doing in the 5th on the comebacker…and he moved the runner. Clevenger made good contact in the 5th and hit an at ’em ball.  His whiff in the 7th was exasperating, as I don’t think any one pitch of that AB was actually in the strike zone.  At least he’s got all his digits and isn’t named Koyie. 

    All of the above can be taken with a grain of salt, as this win was over the N(AA)tionals, who look like a last place team in the east.  We’ll see how it goes against the Brewers.  At least Sveum should have their playbook. 

    One final thought…David Dejesus looks to have the worst outfield arm I’ve seen since Juan Pierre. 

  • BLPCB

    The only time you should ever be playing for one run is when that’s all you need to win a walk-off. Because no lead is safe in baseball

  • AC0000000

    The only time you should ever be playing for one run is when that’s all you need to win a walk-off. Because no lead is safe in baseball

  • So happy to see a Wood-free game for a change

  • So happy to see a Wood-free game for a change

  • Norm Bothwell

    You shouldn’t criticize Castro’s defense!

    Discussion point, both of you are right. It reduces the total run expectancy, but if you are ONLY looking for one run, it improves.
    Winning teams do indeed play for 1 run when needed, but I don’t think the 7th inning is that time.

    • I made up for it, Norm, by praising Sorianos. That’s gotta buy me a few Castro criticisms!!!! 🙂

  • Norm Bothwell

    You shouldn’t criticize Castro’s defense!

    Discussion point, both of you are right. It reduces the total run expectancy, but if you are ONLY looking for one run, it improves.
    Winning teams do indeed play for 1 run when needed, but I don’t think the 7th inning is that time.

    • I made up for it, Norm, by praising Sorianos. That’s gotta buy me a few Castro criticisms!!!! 🙂

  • Eddie Von White

    No mention of Golden Boy’s error in the 9th to ruin Smarja’s complete game performance? I feel like we lucked out on this one in spite of Samardzija’s performance.

    • ????? Of course I mentioned it. It was a huge part of the game.

      • Chuck

        Why on Earth are any Cub pitchers going for complete games in week 1 of the season?  Doubly so for a guy who was a reliever last year?  Was Dale posessed by the ghost of Dusty Baker?

      • Joe Aiello

        His pitch count was low, velocity was still strong and our bullpen sucks. Did you not watch game 1 and 2?

      • flyslinger2

         And you chided me for my bullpen comment in game 2 wrap up.  You buy the first beer when we are at Nats together!!

      • they’ve all barely broken 100 pitches… I see no reason to dip into the bullpen unless it’s necessary, even if we DID have a good bullpen

      • Eddie Von White

         Actually, I was talking to everybody else on here, Lizzie.

      • Jedi

        What’s there to mention?  Castro’s error cost Samardzija a complete game.  The Cubs still won.  If it cost us the game, I can see being all bent out of shape about it – but it didn’t…so what’s the problem?

      • Eddie Von White

        It’s the same old story. I refuse to accept mediocrity as normal. I have a problem with that.

      • Jedi

        Castro is mediocre?  How many teams out there would NOT install him today as their SS?  Rockies, Rangers, Yankees…that might be it, and the Yankees would be deciding with their heart.  Maybe the Phillies…but I’m not so sure about that.  Castro is elite, I’m sorry you can’t see it.

      • Eddie Von White

        Exactly -and he knows it – that’s why he hasn’t mastered his defense – he doesn’t have to because he knows he gets a pass because he’s an elite player. Fine – but he’s better than that and I want him to be the best he can be.

      • Jedi

        I tend to think he hasn’t mastered defense because he just turned 22 about two weeks ago.

      • Eddie Von White

        I hope you’re right and we’re not still making excuses for his defense 10 years from now.

      • Jedi

        What’s there to mention?  Castro’s error cost Samardzija a complete game.  The Cubs still won.  If it cost us the game, I can see being all bent out of shape about it – but it didn’t…so what’s the problem?

      • Eddie Von White

        It’s the same old story. I refuse to accept mediocrity as normal. I have a problem with that.

      • Jedi

        Castro is mediocre?  How many teams out there would NOT install him today as their SS?  Rockies, Rangers, Yankees…that might be it, and the Yankees would be deciding with their heart.  Maybe the Phillies…but I’m not so sure about that.  Castro is elite, I’m sorry you can’t see it.

      • Eddie Von White

        Exactly -and he knows it – that’s why he hasn’t mastered his defense – he doesn’t have to because he knows he gets a pass because he’s an elite player. Fine – but he’s better than that and I want him to be the best he can be.

      • Jedi

        I tend to think he hasn’t mastered defense because he just turned 22 about two weeks ago.

      • Eddie Von White

        I hope you’re right and we’re not still making excuses for his defense 10 years from now.

  • Eddie Von White

    No mention of Golden Boy’s error in the 9th to ruin Smarja’s complete game performance? I feel like we lucked out on this one in spite of Samardzija’s performance.

    • ????? Of course I mentioned it. It was a huge part of the game.

      • Chuck

        Why on Earth are any Cub pitchers going for complete games in week 1 of the season?  Doubly so for a guy who was a reliever last year?  Was Dale posessed by the ghost of Dusty Baker?

      • Joe Aiello

        His pitch count was low, velocity was still strong and our bullpen sucks. Did you not watch game 1 and 2?

      • flyslinger2

         And you chided me for my bullpen comment in game 2 wrap up.  You buy the first beer when we are at Nats together!!

      • Deezer Irons

        they’ve all barely broken 100 pitches… I see no reason to dip into the bullpen unless it’s necessary, even if we DID have a good bullpen

  • Doug S.

    A very good outing by Shark and Soriano.
    I’ll eat my words.

    Sveum probably did the right thing by leaving Shark in for LaRoche, it just didn’t work out.

    Marmol makes sure Cubs fans get their daily sweat on.

    • BLPCB

      Wouldn’t be a bad thing making us sweat. I could use some help dropping a few lbs

  • Doug S.

    A very good outing by Shark and Soriano.
    I’ll eat my words.

    Sveum probably did the right thing by leaving Shark in for LaRoche, it just didn’t work out.

    Marmol makes sure Cubs fans get their daily sweat on.

    • AC0000000

      Wouldn’t be a bad thing making us sweat. I could use some help dropping a few lbs

  • Gymjok

    A predict the Cubs record this year is on the game 2 recap post.
    Not many responded.
    I’m guessing it either came on to late or not many wanted to come out and play.
    Thought I post it here in case it’s the former and not the latter.
    Just post the win/ loss record if you’re interested.  

  • Gymjok

    A predict the Cubs record this year is on the game 2 recap post.
    Not many responded.
    I’m guessing it either came on to late or not many wanted to come out and play.
    Thought I post it here in case it’s the former and not the latter.
    Just post the win/ loss record if you’re interested.  

  • Dusty Baylor

    I would have to disagree about the Nationals being a last place team in the East.  

    • Chuck

      I agree with your disagree.  The Nats are on the rise.

  • Dusty Baylor

    I would have to disagree about the Nationals being a last place team in the East.  

    • Chuck

      I agree with your disagree.  The Nats are on the rise.

  • Chuck

    The only time you play for one run is the bottom of the 9th and the score is tied or you are down by one with the bottom of the lineup up next.
    The Shark turing into a bona fide top of the rotation starter would be a very pleasant surprise.  To me the best stat he had was zero.  As in zero walks.  maybe I have been involved with youth baseball too long but to me walks = runs.  I can live with guys getting hits (to a points) or jacking taters, but walks drive me nuts.  Throw strikes and be aggressive.

  • Chuck

    The only time you play for one run is the bottom of the 9th and the score is tied or you are down by one with the bottom of the lineup up next.
    The Shark turing into a bona fide top of the rotation starter would be a very pleasant surprise.  To me the best stat he had was zero.  As in zero walks.  maybe I have been involved with youth baseball too long but to me walks = runs.  I can live with guys getting hits (to a points) or jacking taters, but walks drive me nuts.  Throw strikes and be aggressive.

  • Doc Raker

    Smarja, wow- what a pitching performance. That went beyond impressive, he changed speeds and hit his spots like a cy young candidate- his transformation from the beginning of last year has been monumental. He kept hitters off balance all day, hit 97 in the 9th inning and DID NOT WALK ONE BATTER. Let me repeat that, Smarja pitched 8.2 innings and did not walk one batter. Until Catro’s error in the 9th he had a 3 hitter going. If this is what we are going to get out of Smarja, wow- thank you Jim Hendry for this signing.
    *
    Swammy needs to start looking for new bullpen guys, Marmol and Wood are the opposite of Smarja-  slowly decaying pitchers that have no control. I am not saying Marmol and Wood should be released but they should not be set up and closer right now. 
    *
    7th inning lead off double with Marlon Byrd, Clevenger and Smarja due up. What are the statistical odds of either Byrd, Clevenger or Smarja (cause you wouldn’t take Smarja out at that point) of getting a hit to score the run, higher or lower than with a sac bunt? In a pinch hit for the pitcher scenario the odds are probably better if you don’t bunt but in that situation Smarja should be allowed to hit and you have to look at getting that run in before Smarja comes to the dish. Under those circumstances I like the bunt, in fact I like two bunts in a row to score the run. Then you let Smarja end the inning and go out to the mound and end the game.

    • Gymjok

      Or 1 bunt and 1 contact play. 🙂

      • Doc Raker

        Sure, if you want to lower your odds of actually scoring the run put on the contact play.

  • Doc Raker

    Smarja, wow- what a pitching performance. That went beyond impressive, he changed speeds and hit his spots like a cy young candidate- his transformation from the beginning of last year has been monumental. He kept hitters off balance all day, hit 97 in the 9th inning and DID NOT WALK ONE BATTER. Let me repeat that, Smarja pitched 8.2 innings and did not walk one batter. Until Catro’s error in the 9th he had a 3 hitter going. If this is what we are going to get out of Smarja, wow- thank you Jim Hendry for this signing.
    *
    Swammy needs to start looking for new bullpen guys, Marmol and Wood are the opposite of Smarja-  slowly decaying pitchers that have no control. I am not saying Marmol and Wood should be released but they should not be set up and closer right now. 
    *
    7th inning lead off double with Marlon Byrd, Clevenger and Smarja due up. What are the statistical odds of either Byrd, Clevenger or Smarja (cause you wouldn’t take Smarja out at that point) of getting a hit to score the run, higher or lower than with a sac bunt? In a pinch hit for the pitcher scenario the odds are probably better if you don’t bunt but in that situation Smarja should be allowed to hit and you have to look at getting that run in before Smarja comes to the dish. Under those circumstances I like the bunt, in fact I like two bunts in a row to score the run. Then you let Smarja end the inning and go out to the mound and end the game.

    • Gymjok

      Or 1 bunt and 1 contact play. 🙂

      • Doc Raker

        Sure, if you want to lower your odds of actually scoring the run put on the contact play.

  • Shark for president.  Great game.  I’m hoping the rest of the staff gets the memo that the bullpen becomes efficient at 26 outs.  

    • Seymour Butts

      AND..he has great hair!

      • I wonder if Wells is trying to grow out his hair in Iowa.  It is only a matter of time until someone ends up on the DL…it will be interesting to see if Wells shows up sporting a Mike Fontaneau ‘junior mullet.’

      • Doc Raker

        Why not have Wells in the pen?

      • There isn’t very much room over there.  It would make more sense to run a garden hose from the clubhouse, through the dugout, behind the tarp roll, and into the pen.  It would be safer than a well, unless well cap technology has improved vastly.  

      • Doc Raker

        Although Randy Wells worst inning is usually his 1st inning of work which may bod badly coming out of the pen. But we need to pitch people other than Wood and Marmol is my point.

  • Shark for president.  Great game.  I’m hoping the rest of the staff gets the memo that the bullpen becomes efficient at 26 outs.  

    • Seymour Butts

      AND..he has great hair!

      • I wonder if Wells is trying to grow out his hair in Iowa.  It is only a matter of time until someone ends up on the DL…it will be interesting to see if Wells shows up sporting a Mike Fontaneau ‘junior mullet.’

      • Doc Raker

        Why not have Wells in the pen?

      • There isn’t very much room over there.  It would make more sense to run a garden hose from the clubhouse, through the dugout, behind the tarp roll, and into the pen.  It would be safer than a well, unless well cap technology has improved vastly.  

      • Doc Raker

        Although Randy Wells worst inning is usually his 1st inning of work which may bod badly coming out of the pen. But we need to pitch people other than Wood and Marmol is my point.

  • Tony

    Cubs only team in baseball w/out a Home run

    • flyslinger2

       Don’t need HR’s to win a game. 

  • Tony

    Cubs only team in baseball w/out a Home run

    • flyslinger2

       Don’t need HR’s to win a game. 

  • Tony

    Starting pitching has been great, hopefully Volstad and Malholm continue the great pitching. I feel like the only way Marmol gets a save anymore is pure luck. Also Castro has 4 steals, he is real aggressive stealing this year and is becoming a smart baserunner. 

  • Tony

    Starting pitching has been great, hopefully Volstad and Malholm continue the great pitching. I feel like the only way Marmol gets a save anymore is pure luck. Also Castro has 4 steals, he is real aggressive stealing this year and is becoming a smart baserunner. 

  • flyslinger2

    Good game.  Samardzija was determined to make the starting rotation.  He worked his tailbone off in spring training and he was very disciplined.  He also looked confident at the plate unlike Garza the day before.

    Score ’em when you can.  Chances are, if a pitcher is giving up one run, he is in a moment of vulnerability.  Take advantage of it.  Rattle him and get everything out of him you can.

  • flyslinger2

    Good game.  Samardzija was determined to make the starting rotation.  He worked his tailbone off in spring training and he was very disciplined.  He also looked confident at the plate unlike Garza the day before.

    Score ’em when you can.  Chances are, if a pitcher is giving up one run, he is in a moment of vulnerability.  Take advantage of it.  Rattle him and get everything out of him you can.

  • Jedi

    Does it concern anyone else that it took the expiration of Samardzija’s first contract for him to put all his efforts into being a closer?  I mean he’s been afforded this opportunity before (to earn a spot in the rotation), but only now when his salary is likely to be determined on an annual basis with arbitration in mind does he actually take the opportunity seriously.  Not real keen on guys who need money to be motivated; and maybe that’s not the case with Samardzija, but it certainly seems like he’s flipped a switch for focus/determination.

    • Norm Bothwell

      Really?

      • Jedi

        It should’ve said “efforts into being a starter”…but yes, his comment all spring was essentially “I’ve been given the chance before, but this time I really put forth a complete effort from the day the offseason started.”  So to me it begs the question…what was different this offseason than after 2010 (especially) or 2009 (to a lesser degree).  He’s the one that brought it up repeatedly – he could’ve just as easily said “I didn’t really think I was ready before” or “there were other parts of my game that needed to improve first.”  I’d rather not sign another guy who is clearly putting forth a greater effort when he knows a payday looms at season’s end.  Thankfully, we can keep renewing Samardzija annually for a while.

    • Eddie Von White

       Not sure if there is anyone in the major leagues who is not motivated by money – not sure if there is anyone anywhere not motivated by money. 

      • cap’n obvious

        the only people that aren’t motivated by money are those that already have too much of it…

      • Eddie Von White

        And that would be…?  Someone asked John Rockefeller how much money was enough and his answer was: “Just a little bit more.”

      • BLPCB

        I just had an argument about this. How paying teachers more makes them more effective? The ONLY improvement it makes is bringing recently retired teachers out of retirement, and old teachers holding off retirement

      • Seymour Butts

        I think the point is higher salaries might attract smarter people to the field. Where I went to college, Education was the major of the jocks, because some exercise physiology guy took over the PE department and made it too hard.

      • The majority of our jocks ended up in cardio thoracic…our physiology dean was a PE guy.  

      • Jedi

        There’s a difference between being motivated by it and needing it to be motivated.  (See Albert Belle, Latrell Spreewell for extreme examples)

  • Jedi

    Does it concern anyone else that it took the expiration of Samardzija’s first contract for him to put all his efforts into being a closer?  I mean he’s been afforded this opportunity before (to earn a spot in the rotation), but only now when his salary is likely to be determined on an annual basis with arbitration in mind does he actually take the opportunity seriously.  Not real keen on guys who need money to be motivated; and maybe that’s not the case with Samardzija, but it certainly seems like he’s flipped a switch for focus/determination.

    • Norm Bothwell

      Really?

      • Jedi

        It should’ve said “efforts into being a starter”…but yes, his comment all spring was essentially “I’ve been given the chance before, but this time I really put forth a complete effort from the day the offseason started.”  So to me it begs the question…what was different this offseason than after 2010 (especially) or 2009 (to a lesser degree).  He’s the one that brought it up repeatedly – he could’ve just as easily said “I didn’t really think I was ready before” or “there were other parts of my game that needed to improve first.”  I’d rather not sign another guy who is clearly putting forth a greater effort when he knows a payday looms at season’s end.  Thankfully, we can keep renewing Samardzija annually for a while.

    • Eddie Von White

       Not sure if there is anyone in the major leagues who is not motivated by money – not sure if there is anyone anywhere not motivated by money. 

      • cap’n obvious

        the only people that aren’t motivated by money are those that already have too much of it…

      • Eddie Von White

        And that would be…?  Someone asked John Rockefeller how much money was enough and his answer was: “Just a little bit more.”

      • AC0000000

        I just had an argument about this. How paying teachers more makes them more effective? The ONLY improvement it makes is bringing recently retired teachers out of retirement, and old teachers holding off retirement

      • Seymour Butts

        I think the point is higher salaries might attract smarter people to the field. Where I went to college, Education was the major of the jocks, because some exercise physiology guy took over the PE department and made it too hard.

      • The majority of our jocks ended up in cardio thoracic…our physiology dean was a PE guy.  

      • Jedi

        There’s a difference between being motivated by it and needing it to be motivated.  (See Albert Belle, Latrell Spreewell for extreme examples)