Jeff Samardzija wants to preserve six-game crosstown series
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 19, 2012 10:00PM
Travis Wood went six innings and gave up one run and four hits. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: July 21, 2012 6:30AM
Jeff Samardzija figures he’ll get his shot, figures he’ll eventually get to make that start at the White Sox’ ballpark that he drives past every night on the way home to Indiana from Wrigley Field.
But if one scheduling change under consideration by Major League Baseball goes through for next year, it could mean only three or four games for the Cubs against the Sox in 2013 and possibly none at U.S. Cellular Field.
‘‘I don’t really think that you can lose these six games,’’ said Samardzija, an Indiana native who grew up rooting for both teams and attended more games at the South Side park. ‘‘They’re a big thing for the city. They’re a big thing for these two teams that have played each other for a long time.’’
Commissioner Bud Selig has said he’s sensitive to trying to preserve the handful of natural rivalries in their home-and-home formats.
But when baseball goes to 15-team leagues with the Astros’ move to the American League, interleague games will be a part of every week of the season. And MLB is considering a more balanced interleague schedule per division, which could limit the rivalry games.
‘‘I’d be disappointed,’’ said Samardzija, who missed a chance to pitch in this week’s series when he had his last start backed up a day and swapped with Ryan Dempster’s spot. ‘‘These are fun series. … That’d be a bummer.’’
After losing his big-league starting job and spending two stints in the minors, Randy Wells isn’t about to start over-thinking his call to fill in for the injured Dempster for at least two starts.
‘‘I’m not going to say I’m not excited to go out and possibly do something really special and help the team win,’’ Wells (0-1, 6.23 ERA in two starts) said, ‘‘but I’m not putting that added pressure of having to prove something. That’s not really the case. I’ve done it before. I’ll be ready.’’
Shot for Stewart
Ian Stewart is no closer to figuring out what’s wrong with an ailing left wrist that hasn’t felt right in more than a year, but the team is hoping a cortisone shot behind the wrist will take care of the problem at least in the short term.
Stewart is eligible to return from the disabled list late next week.
Contributing: Toni Ginnetti