February 17th, 2013
About halfway through Dale Sveum’s speech prior to the first full squad workout on Sunday, the players started to take off their jackets to reveal bright orange hunting gear tops. Then, they put on the orange caps.
“Of course, they gave me one with a target on it,” Sveum said, chuckling.
The quick clothing change was a humorous response to Sveum being accidentally shot by Hall of Famer Robin Yount while the two were quail hunting in Arizona before the Winter Meetings. Sveum was hit in the ear and back.
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza thought the orange crush helped ease things on the first day.
“Guys laughed it off and Skip laughed it off,” Garza said. “I think it was a good icebreaker for a bunch of guys. I think it loosened the tone in there, loosened the feeling going on. Everybody’s first meeting, they’re a little nervous. Good one, whoever did it.”
It helped that Sveum took it well.
“He was laughing,” Garza said. “That’s always good. When the person who gets it is laughing, it’s good. If you get a mean face, it’s probably not the move you want to make.”
“It was actually funny,” Sveum said of the players. “All of a sudden, people are taking their jackets off, and it was like, OK, cool.”
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza has a mild lat strain on his left side. It was not believed to be serious, and he was in good spirits after being examined by the team doctors. He ended his throwing session early on Sunday, and left the field with athletic trainer PJ Mainville. During the first day of live BP, Garza faced three batters, and then Jorge Soler stepped into the cage. Garza stopped his session, stepped off the mound, and appeared to be trying to get loose. Manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio went to the mound, as did Mainville. Garza then exited. This was the first time he’s faced batters since his last start July 21, missing time last year because of a right elbow injury. He was scheduled to throw 40 pitches, and threw 20.
“I threw the first fastball from the stretch, and it was like a water cramp,” Garza said. “I didn’t drink that much water today. Naturally, I’m not going to push it. My arm felt fine, so I was pretty pumped about that. The ball felt good coming out of my hand. I think that’s what I’m most upset about — I was like, ‘Yeah.’ It shouldn’t be a big thing and we’ll see [Monday].”
– Carrie Muskat