Jeff Samardzija was a two sport star at Notre Dame whose baseball talents earned him a spot in the Cubs organization and whose acrobatic catches helped Brady Quinn fool the Browns into drafting him in the first round.
Frustrated, arrogant, and entitled Notre Dame fans across the country grew to love the gangly white boy with the hard-to-spell last name and the hair that could make Scott Stapp envious.
But things haven’t gone so well for Samardzija since he left Notre Dame and chose baseball over becoming the next Ed McCaffery. And if Samardzija’s page on Baseball-Reference.com is to be believed (and why not?), the Fighting Irish alum has a long way to go if he wants to set a proper example for the youngsters.
The screenshot below was taken from Samardzija’s Baseball-Reference.com page this morning and comes courtesy of a tip from our very own KVB, whose day job is fact-checking every stat for every player on Baseball-Reference.com^. (His attention to detail is impeccable. Like a Tom Glavine changeup.)
As you can see, I’ve spotlighted a particular section near the middle of the image. It is the page sponsorship by someone named “Bootstraps the Bussie.” You are all free to use your imaginations to conjure up hypotheses for what that might mean.
You can click on the image to enlarge it, or just read what the sponsorship says:
NOBODY was more excited about your choosing baseball over football than I was…HOWEVER…your off the field late night activities while playing here in Daytona with the Cubs were VERY VERY sad…please change your ways and become a role model.
Hmm…so it seems as if Mr. Samardzija indulged in some “off the field late night activities” while playing in Daytona (which he did during the 2007 season). I ask you: what kind of outrageous 22 year old (his age while in Daytona) would be out late night?
Oh Jeff, Jeff, Jeff…what are we going to do with you.
Of course, perhaps there is something deeper and more egregious here. Samardzija’s activities are describes as “VERY VERY sad”, which in the context of 22-year old males usually involves too much alcohol and rejection after rejection from females targeted with lame pick-up lines like, “Hey, did you know that if you flip my last name around, it’s pronounced Aww jeez dram ass.”
But as upstanding athletes like Ben Roethlisberger have shown us, winning on the field does not make you a winner off it. (It would have been easier to call Big Ben a loser, but I thought I’d try to be more clever.)
The truth is that Samardzija’s career has not gone according to plan so far. He entered the Cubs system with much fanfare but has compiled an underwhelming 4.28 ERA in 374 innings over four minor league seasons. His major league stats are worse, 5.74 ERA in 62.2 innings, and he will likely get sent down to the minors again later this week after giving up six runs in a third of an inning against the Braves.
I mean, geez Jeff, if you were going to suck this badly you could have just stuck with football, been drafted by the Browns, and then had your collegiate running mate Brady Quinn there to join in your late night off the field shenanigans (like watching Family Guy, perhaps?). But alas, you play for one of the worst organizations in baseball with no chance of winning a World Series. Good luck with that.
Perhaps this Bootstraps the Bussie is an MSF reader, he/she can regale us with tales of Samardzija sowing his off the field late night oats. I remember being 22 so I certainly will not make any judgments or cast any stones. Lord knows what someone would write on my Baseball Reference page.
However, feel free to use the comment section if you’d like toss some hypotheses out there. What could Jeff Samardzija have been doing to draw enough ire from Bootstraps the Bussie that he/she would feel the need to pay $15 to call the Cubs pitcher out publicly? It could be a long day, so please entertain me with your responses.
Update: While doing a little extra research to see if I could figure out who or what “Bootstraps the Bussie” is, I came across a couple of other posts that had noticed this on Samardzija’s Baseball Reference page: Hire Jim Essian and CubsNet.com. And our friend Bootsraps also sponsors another page, for Richie Zisk, who played in the 70s and early 80s.
The mystery of “Bootstraps the Bussie” continues…
* – Jeff Samardzija photo credit: Recliner GM
^ – KVB’s day job is not actually fact checking the stats at Baseball-Reference.com. And I might have over promoted his attention to detail skills just a tad.