Love, hate? Samardzija takes shot at Sox

CHICAGO -- Jeff Samardzija prepared for his first start during a Cubs- White Sox game by taking a little dig at his cross-town rival on the eve of the series.

The former reliever, who claimed to be a fan of both Chicago baseball teams when he grew up in Northern Indiana, sounded Thursday as if he may have had an affinity for the White Sox when he was younger. But that didn’t stop him from taking a shot.

Samardzija, who is starting in the series opener Friday, was asked if there was any phrase or saying from White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson that he enjoyed in his youth. He started out praising the White Sox’s old broadcast team, then turned on the club.

“There’s a lot of them, man,” Samardzija said. “I always liked the ones where he didn’t talk for like an inning and a half. Then all of a sudden he’d be like, ‘The 2-2, two outs …’ It’s like, well, where were the other 15 pitches that happened that inning?

“That was when (Darrin Jackson) was (on TV) too. I loved watching those guys. They’re entertaining. I always liked his ‘Hose’ call. That was my favorite. They’re fun to watch, fun to listen to. Like I said, you can always get a good nap in during the Sox game.”

It wasn’t as if White Sox fans were going to give the former Notre Dame wide receiver a free pass anyway. He just made sure to get the loudest reaction when games shift to U.S. Cellular Field for a June 18-20 series

“I’m actually looking forward to pitching down there,” he said. “That’s like pitching in my backyard. It’s like 20 minutes from my house.”

It might be close, but don’t expect White Sox fans to let him feel like he’s at home.