6/20 Halfway mark

The Cubs are closing in on the halfway point in the season. As most fans know, it hasn’t been a smooth ride this year.

“We’re the Chicago Cubs, so you know there’s always something going on, something being talked about,” Jeff Samardzija said. “If you can’t deal with that, you better play somewhere else. We’re a great team in here, we get along real well. Despite different things that happen throughout the year, that’s how it goes.”

Dale Sveum said anyone who plays on a large market team knows there’s more scrutiny, more attention and possibly, more pressure.

“Any big market, you’re going to have a lot more on the table than in Oakland or Milwaukee or something like that,” Sveum said Thursday. “There’s just much more media, it’s more magnified. You’re the Chicago Cubs. When I was in Boston, it was a heck of a lot different than the six years I was in Milwaukee. If you can’t handle it, you’ve got to move on to a smaller market.”

Samardzija also told the Chicago Tribune that one of Sveum’s qualities is that he doesn’t sugar coat things in his dealings with the players.

“I don’t appreciate excuses, I don’t like excuses,” Sveum said. “I’m not going to sugar coat the situation or tell somebody what they want to hear just because they think one way. I’m going to give them my opinion without using any excuses.”

Players appreciate that.

Heading into Thursday’s game, the Cubs were 29-41 through 70 games, a five-game improvement over the 24-46 record they had one year ago. The team ERA this year is 3.88; last year at this time, it was 4.35. Also, the Cubs have hit more home runs this year (72) compared to last season (56) at this point.

— Carrie Muskat


“We are a great team?” What planet is Smardjj living on? How many others on this team are as out of touch with reality ? Check the standings, Smardj. Do we not have one of worst records in all of baseball or do my eyes deceive me or am I in early stages of dementia? As for Sveum, if you think one receives a lot of attention and scrutiny where you sit, you should thank your lucky stars you are not in NYC. Now that is a fishbowl, not Chicago; trust me.

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