Jake Peavy thinks Jeff Samardzija, MLB don’t get it
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org May 19, 2012 11:38PM
Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs pitches in the first inning at Wrigley Field Friday, May 18, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:33PM
The White Sox have a new scouting report on Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija.
“The kid better learn how the game is played and stop chirping,’’ a Sox player said Saturday.
Sox pitcher Jake Peavy wasn’t about to go down that road and said he was impressed with Samardzija.
“[Samardzija’s] going to do some good things,’’ Peavy said. “He means to that side of town what Chris Sale means to us going forward.’’
But Peavy does have a problem with a baseball code that’s getting trampled on by the major-league office and by young pitchers who no longer understand how “business should be handled.’’
In the Sox’ 3-2 victory Friday, Paul Konerko was hit in the face by a Samardzija split-finger fastball and had to leave the game. Samardzija said it was an accident, and, to a man, the Sox still believed him 24 hours later.
But Samardzija, MLB suits and too many fans don’t fully understand: In this case, intent doesn’t absolve you.
Intent has nothing to do with it when it’s a player of Konerko’s stature. So, of course, someone had to receive payback, and it came on a pitch that sailed behind Bryan LaHair’s back.
So while several Cubs and, of course, the radio talk-show hosts were playing the intent card, Peavy was dumbfounded that there was even a debate.
“When our man gets hit, gets hit in the face, there’s something to be said about that,’’ Peavy said. “I know this is a sensitive subject with baseball, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but if your big guy is going down, intentional or unintentional, there’s got to be something done about it.’’
The debate involves the target. Peavy came up in the National League with a different code. The American League will go after the big bat. In the NL, the opposing pitcher is often the target.
Samardzija thought if someone was going to get hit, it would be him.
“I was ready for it,’’ Samardzija said. “No worries. Sometimes you deserve it.’’
But Samardzija didn’t think he or any of his teammates deserved it because the pitch to Konerko wasn’t intentional.
“It’s an eye-for-an-eye thing,’’ Peavy said. “If I accidentally hit someone [Sunday], I hope I get hit three times. I certainly don’t want them to hit one of our guys because of someone I hit.’’
Peavy’s concern is the league office is on a dangerous path that’s hurting the game by taking more and more away from what a pitcher controls. He pointed out that Sox reliever Nate Jones was fined last week for throwing inside to Eric Hosmer after giving up a home run to Jeff Francoeur.
“Ridiculous,’’ Peavy said. “The biggest thing we have as pitchers is the hitters fear the ball. We have to move feet. That’s part of pitching.
“With what has happened so far in this series and warnings issued [Friday], it affects me going out there with certain hitters that we have planned for. Say I hit a guy trying to go in, unintentionally, but now it looks bad. The whole crowd will go ooh because of the intensity, a warning is given and now it affects my game plan. We as pitchers are having too much taken away.’’