Steve Clevenger and Edwin Jackson bury the hatchet over bench-clearing incident
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com February 13, 2013 10:43PM
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:38PM
MESA, Ariz. — Today they’re laughing together. Five months ago, Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was flailing at anything in a Washington Nationals uniform, and Edwin Jackson — a guy in a Nats uniform — was being held back as he shouted and pointed over several teammates at Clevenger.
Jackson, smiling, still feigns dismay and memory lapse over the suggestion he was particularly animated during last September’s bench-clearing incident between the Cubs and his Nationals team in Washington.
But he remembers enough about that night to bring a memento to spring training for his new teammate, Clevenger:
“He’s got a new nickname,’’ Jackson said, “ ‘Money.’ ’’
“I guess ’cause he got fined, and it cost him money,’’ Clevenger said, laughing.
Clevenger who also was fined — ejected and suspended, too — never encountered Jackson personally before that night. Jackson, the team’s big free agent this offseason, never met Clevenger before becoming the Cubs’ newest starting pitcher.
Any hard feelings were long gone by the time Jackson threw his first bullpen pitch to Clevenger on Wednesday. They even shared a hug after the pen session.
“It’s over,’’ Clevenger said. “We talked about it. We’re teammates now, and we laugh about it and joke about it.’’
NOTES: Scott Baker is healthy and doing regular early-camp work, but his status for opening the season on time remains in doubt. “We’re not going to put a timetable on it,’’ said manager Dale Sveum, who added Baker will be “a little more babied” than others in camp as he slowly increases workload.
◆ During the first days of throwing sessions, Sveum said he’s been particularly impressed with left-hander Travis Wood and right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who on Wednesday threw “probably the most dominant bullpen as you’re going to see.’’