Things happen in the heat of the moment but Jeff Samardzija said Friday he wouldn’t mind a do over on a few events Thursday.
The White Sox pitcher — who has been at the center of tension between his team and the Kansas City Royals since he hit Lorenzo Cain on Opening Day — could twice be seen charging into a mass of bodies during Thursday’s brawl that resulted in five ejections, including his own. Samardzija seemed to be interested in engaging Cain and instead took down Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele, who appeared to try and keep the two apart. On Friday, Samardzija talked about unfortunate incidents happening when emotions and passion are involved.
[MORE: Brawl builds bonds: White Sox look for a spark]
“Nobody wants to act that way,” Samardzija said. “In a way it’s embarrassing, and you want to come back and show [that] you want to be known for what you do on the field and the way you play the game. Obviously look back on it and you're not happy about it, you’re not proud about it. But I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I care for my teammates and I want to win every game.”
Royals players have expressed their distaste for Samardzija. From Cain saying “I’m not a big fan,” to others citing Samardzija “chirping” from the bench after Christian Colon lined into a double play in the sixth inning, Kansas City doesn’t appear too fond of the right-hander.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
As for ramifications from the brawl, Samardzija said he’s not focused on whether or not he could be punished for his actions during the brawl. But it’s hard to imagine that he’d escape without some sort of suspension. There’s also no telling if Chris Sale could receive a suspension after he made his way to the Royals clubhouse in the eighth inning.
“We need to pitch every game we can,” Samardzija said. “That’s the consequences you deal with. Like I said, we need to act a little more mature and understand that things happen within games and we need to control ourselves better and we’ll go about it that way and we’ll learn from it, like we said. But we understand as two starters on this team that we’re very important to this team and we need to play and you definitely can’t do your team any help when you’re watching from afar.”
When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.
That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.
One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.
Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.
Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.
This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).
The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.
Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).
Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)
He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).
He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00). Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:
White Sox Talk Podcast