Matt Garza has some fightin’ words for his former team. The right-hander doesn’t have any real grudge against the Cubs, as he previously stated that he enjoyed playing in Chicago, but vowed to try to “kick their teeth in” every time he’s on the hill for the Brewers against them.
Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“And I wish them the best,” he said. “But I like where I’m at, and I’m going to try to kick their teeth in every time I get a chance.”
Nothing personal. Mostly.
Garza has only made three starts against former teams. He handled the Twins well, but was shelled by the Rays.
- vs. Twins (2 starts): 14.0 IP, 4 ER, 15 K, 4 BB, 2 HR
- vs. Rays (1 start): 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
As Cubs are an NL Central rival, Garza should make two or three starts against them by the end of the regular season.
The Brewers signed Garza to a four-year, $50 million contract at the end of January. In two and a half seasons with the Cubs and a half-season with the Rangers, Garza posted an aggregate 3.62 ERA with 429 strikeouts in 457 innings. Now 30 years old, the Brewers are hoping Garza can continue pitching well — he has posted an ERA of 3.95 or lower in every single one of his full seasons in the big leagues.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.