Jul 25, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers defeated the Athletics 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s just say the front office of the White Sox has made baseball fun again for White Sox fans (hopefully) as they’ve shown now for the past two offseasons they want to win and win now.
Winning now will be fun, but it seems like the White Sox are set up to win in the future as well, which is also something to be excited about.
Samardzija said the following at the Tuesday press conference, which of all the White Sox offseason moves is my favorite, because a team can never have too much starting pitching:
"“It is like playing in my backyard. You get that same type of weather. You get that lake effect and I’m 30 minutes from home. It just reminds me of being at home, so there is a certain comfort level of being here.”"
It seems like the word for Samardzija was “exciting,” as he not only described Chicago baseball, but the entire Chicago sports landscape with the Cubs, Bulls and the Blackhawks … not so much the Bears right now.
What I’m excited to watch with Samardzija is the 2.99 ERA with the 202 strikeouts he’s bringing with him, in terms of what he accomplished on the pitcher’s mound last season. A pitcher with those numbers, along with being in the same rotation as Chris Sale and Jose Quintana will be something very exciting and special to watch this upcoming season.
Plus, when a player changes his cap from a “C” to a “SOX,” that makes him a more improved baseball player. It is basic science and in all of the textbooks.
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He did allow 20 home runs last season, so playing in US Cellular more in ’15, I’m not sure that number will decrease any, but that’s fine as well, because with the White Sox, he’ll have more offensive help to support than he had in his two previous stops.
Then there is the fact, like Samardzija mentioned, he’s playing basically at home, which I’m sure for any professional athlete is a big deal, and I hope the White Sox have enough success in ’15 to be able to re-sign him to a long-term deal for future seasons.
The White Sox need to keep Samardzija home.
Samardzija was correct … this is an exciting time to be a White Sox fan, and I believe all of this excitement can carry over into the season, and who knows, maybe the White Sox will be competing for an AL Central title in the final month of the season.