DENVER - Matt Garza sat at a table in the middle of Coors Field's visiting clubhouse, checking his phone while eating after Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Perhaps Garza was on "Garza Watch" before the team's flight to Phoenix.
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Edwin Jackson has pitched for eight teams in the last nine seasons, so he knows all about the madness this time of year. A big contract (four years, $52 million) and underperformance (6-11, 5.03 ERA) has kept his name out of the trade rumors.
But team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer believe no one is untouchable, and Twitter has been a game-changer for the industry, spitting out good and bad information.
"It's more probably irritating than a distraction," Jackson said. "You answer the same questions over and over and over. We don't really have any control over what's going to happen. So it's just more frustrating on that end, having to answer the same questions over and over and over when you really don't know what's going on. You don't have a clue. You have to ask the people up top. You have to go to Jed and Theo with those questions."
Jackson has looked more like the reliable pitcher Cubs executives thought they getting, going seven innings against the Rockies (48-51) and giving up four runs, three earned, while ending a personal three-game winning streak.
Jackson knows getting traded is not necessarily a bad thing. He wound up with a World Series ring after a July 27, 2011 deal that sent him from the White Sox to the St. Louis Cardinals (through the Toronto Blue Jays).
"You have to get ready and prepare," Jackson said. "You can't really worry about stuff you can't control."
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While giving a bounce-back-tomorrow quote after hitting his 14th home run, Anthony Rizzo slipped in a line - "we got, hopefully, Garza pitching" - that framed the upcoming four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"(Garza's) handled it really well," Rizzo said. "Outside of the noise in the media, it's just a joke in here. We have fun with it. He's gone about his business the right way and he'll be ready to throw strong tomorrow for us."
The questions will keep coming when manager Dale Sveum does his pregame media session on Monday in the dugout at Chase Field.
"There's no question that you kid around about it," Sveum said. "You hear guys talk about it: 'Hey, am I still here today? I made it through the break. Where am I going?' You hear all the little comments. But (that) goes on in everybody's clubhouse."