Posted May 27, 2013

Matt Garza has some words for Johnny Cueto, including ‘total disrespect’

Johnny Cueto, Matt Garza
Matt Garza, Cubs

Matt Garza took exception to a pitch from Johnny Cueto that sailed over the head of the Cubs’ David DeJesus. (AP)

Starting after the very first pitch of the Cubs’ 5-4 win over the Reds on Sunday, Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto was frustrated by Chicago leadoff man David DeJesus stepping out of the batters box, something DeJesus does after every pitch. Cueto, trying to establish a rhythm and his typical quick pace, was demonstrably upset during DeJesus’ at-bats in the first and fourth inning, but he didn’t do anything about it until the sixth inning, when he fired an 0-1 pitch over DeJesus’ head at 91 miles per hour.

The pitch seemed more like a warning than an actual attempt to hit DeJesus; it was way over his head and hit the net behind home plate on the fly. Nonetheless, Home plate umpire Bob Davidson correctly warned both benches. Opposing starter Matt Garza, who was already out of the game by that point, having given up four runs in four innings and burned through 92 pitches, issued his own warnings to Cueto in  a long rant after the game. Among other things Garza said, ” If he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker, and I’ll definitely find his,” and ” I don’t know what the deal is between him and [DeJesus], but he needs to cut it out, because I’ll stop it. I’ll stop it. And that’s just the way it goes. He wants to do it like that, so be it.”

Here, from MLB.com, are the rest of Garza’s comments (with some editing for language):

“Cueto should learn, you don’t go after guy’s heads. Don’t wake a sleeping dog. I think that’s kind of immature on his part and totally uncalled for. He’s lucky that retaliation isn’t in our vocabulary. You play each game like it’s a new one. That’s [nonsense] on his part — just total immaturity. If he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker, and I’ll definitely find his.

“I took total disrespect out of that. [DeJesus] has never done anything wrong. He just plays the game the right way. If Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me, and I’ll definitely return the favor. I didn’t like that one bit. We don’t retaliate. We take it game by game. Hopefully, he learns to grow the [heck] up. That’s totally uncalled for.

“I hope he hears this, because I really don’t care. If we want to retaliate, we could’ve and lost a bullpen guy but we don’t need that. We play the game the right way. We’ll take our lumps when we take them and hand them out when we hand them out. I think we responded well to the warning and just play the game well.

“I just didn’t like what he did. I don’t know what happened, but the guy is an always down-in-the-zone guy and he threw into the arm-side-away box and that takes effort. As a pitcher, that takes a lot of effort. I don’t know what the deal is between him and [DeJesus], but he needs to cut it out, because I’ll stop it. I’ll stop it. And that’s just the way it goes. He wants to do it like that, so be it.”

“If the game was played that way, I don’t like it like that. You don’t go intently and try to injure somebody. Hopefully, the league looks at that. I don’t want him to get suspended or anything. I just want him to learn a lesson. Hopefully, his players will warn him. It is what it is — they run their own show. We’ll see him again down the line.”

The Cubs and Reds will next meet in two weeks for a four-game set at Wrigley Field from June 10 to 13. Cueto is currently projected to pitch the second game of that series on Tuesday afternoon, though if the Cubs stay on rotation, Garza won’t pitch until the following game because the Cubs have an additional off-day in the interim.

23 comments
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Rickapolis
Rickapolis

There is nothing new about what DeJesus is doing. It's called gamesmanship. And, apparently, he is using it very effectively. 

I-71_Exile
I-71_Exile

Please. If Cueto wanted to hit DeJesus he would have and if it's okay for DeJesus to step out and go through his little OCD routine after every pitch to "get inside Cueto's head", then it's okay for Cueto to hit the bull to show that he has succeeded. He picked a benign way of doing it. He could have plunked him like the Cubs did later in the game to Choo. Despite the earlier warning, there was no ejection.

That fight against the Cardinals was ugly all around, but claiming Cueto ended LaRue's career is a stretch. He was at the end of the line and the concussion just cemented it. His career was shortened by a few months--regrettable, but not deserving of a ban.

Garza should just be happy that he netted a no-decision thanks to Dusty's inability to manage.

DavidN.Johnson
DavidN.Johnson

I watched DeJesus for many years as a Royals fan. Though I obviously rooted for him to do well, even I and other Royals fans got tired of him not only backing out of the box after virtually every pitch but going through the same pointless ritual of hitting one shoe, then the other, staring up at the bat while he gripped it, then taking a couple of half swings before stepping back into the box. His youth coaches should have cured him of that nonsense years ago, and MLB should now do something about it. I have no idea what sort of individual Cueto is but I can understand his frustration.

24orellana
24orellana

No class!! They should send him back where he came from whatever 3rd world country he came from!

Mark_James
Mark_James

Cueto us a punk. His antics with St. Louis should have gotten him suspended for a lengthy period, at minimum.

Garza was polite but said we don't play that way as a team, but if YOU want to, I will. I agree with Garza. When you're part of a team, you stand up for your team and you live and die together.

So for some of you on here posting that Garza is a nut job or whatever, it's obvious you've never been involved in a team sport. It's easy to be a couch coach, but reality is way different than your fantasy world of checking stats eating Cheetos.

RD
RD

St Louis fan here and I just want to say that Cueto is punk loser with no class.  He was in a fight against the Cardinals a couple of years ago and his response was to kick instead of fight.  He kicked Jason LaRue in the head hard enough to give LaRue a concussion forcing him to retire. Cueto is a wuss.

TerryLee
TerryLee

I don't see a problem with a batter stepping out between pitches to disrupt the pitcher's rhythm.  It happens all the time.  Cueto is a jerk.  He should have been banned form baseball for spiking the Cardinal's Jason Larue in the head in 2010 and ending Larue's career.  Brushing a batter back is one thing,  Kicking them in the head (along with kicking and spiking several other Cardinals while grabbing the backstop screen) is another.  Dusty Baker, whether in San Francisco, Chicago or now Cincinnati seems to bring out the worst in his players' behavior. 

mistercharlie
mistercharlie

What a numnuts. Multiple comments about how "we don't retailiate" but multiple "I'm gonna retaliate" threats.


Cueto is right to be irritated, but not right to throw at someone, like a little baby who's not getting his way.  The only reason to incessantly step out of the box is if you have one of those awesome OCD rituals like Nomar used to have.  Otherwise Dejesus should get in there and try to keep the game under 4 hours.

brodilitz
brodilitz

On the other hand, bball is slow enough - stay in the box and play the game.  The incessant stepping out, unattaching and reattaching velcro, readjusting supporters - sheesh.

In another generation, Gibson or Drysdale would have put one (or more) in the ribs of anyone trying such cheesy antics to gain an advantage.

Theo
Theo

Garza has indeed always been a basket case. Probably just trying to fire up that dreadful clubhouse that somehow still houses Alfonso Soriano . . .

GordonBombay
GordonBombay

what an idiot. I guess the Cubs are so pathetic  they have to grasp at anything they can to fire them up.  it was a pretty innocent throw, one that had Dejesus laughing at the plate. During the game it looked like the pitch just slipped. Garza has always been a basketcase.

Huskerstildeath
Huskerstildeath

@Rickapolis yeah, that crap gets old, and part of the reason that baseball loses viewers. Who wants to see a guy step out of the batter's box every time he sees a pitch. It is boring, and there is no need for it. Swing, stay in the box and get the game moving.

ScottA
ScottA

@24orellana What a classy comment. I'm sure you throw your jacket over puddles of water so all the ladies don't have to get their feet wet.

soxwinagain
soxwinagain

@Mark_James really ? stick up for your teammate on a pitch that manute bol would not have had to duck under ? garza was just crying

DavidN.Johnson
DavidN.Johnson

@TerryLee DeJesus clearly doesn't step out to disrupt the pitcher's rhythm, he does it because it's what he does. On almost every pitch by every pitcher in every situation. He needs to quit doing it.

ScottA
ScottA

@TerryLee Still hung up on something that happened 3 years ago? Quit living in the past.

soxwinagain
soxwinagain

@mistercharlie he didn't hrow at him : he threw it 10 feet over his head & it's the same gamesmanship as DeJ was doing: Get your butt in the box & play ball !!!

24orellana
24orellana

Cueto has no class end of story!

Mark_James
Mark_James

Speaking of getting feet wet or maybe 2 hit shutouts, did you catch the game today soxwinagain? I'm sure it was Garza's fault or DeJesus stepped out of the box and threw the white sox off their game. Maybe it was Manute Bol's fault???