Garza sends message to Cueto: ‘Grow the hell up’

Garza sends message to Cueto: ‘Grow the hell up’

May 26, 2013, 8:45 pm
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CINCINNATI – Anyone doubting whether there’s any life left in this Cubs team – or wondering why Matt Garza could fit into the organization’s long-range plan – should listen to this. 

Still ticked off even after Sunday’s 5-4 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Garza sent a message to Johnny Cueto at Great American Ball Park: “Hopefully he learns to grow the hell up.”

The pitch Cueto sailed over the head of David DeJesus toward the backstop woke up the Cubs dugout and forced home-plate umpire Bob Davidson to issue a warning in the sixth inning. Teammates and coaches love the adrenaline rush from Garza, who fired his own warning shot through the media.

“Cueto should learn you don’t go after guys’ heads,” Garza said. “Don’t wake a sleeping dog and I think that’s kind of immature on his part and totally uncalled for. He’s lucky that retaliation isn’t in our vocabulary here. 

“That’s kind of BS on his part. Just totally immature. If he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker and definitely I’ll find his.” 

It took 10 innings, with Alfonso Soriano posing at home plate and admiring his game-tying, two-run shot in the eighth and Kyuji Fujikawa walking off the field in the ninth toward the disabled list with an injury similar to the forearm strain he suffered in April.

But the Cubs snapped a six-game losing streak and showed maybe a 19-30 team can set off some fireworks during this week’s crosstown circus with the White Sox. Cueto apparently didn’t like the way DeJesus had been taking his time stepping out of the batter’s box.

“I took total disrespect out of that one,” Garza said. “Zeus has never done anything wrong. He just plays the game the right way. So if Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me and I’ll definitely return the favor. I didn’t like that one bit.”

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Whether it’s a trade-deadline audition or not, Garza became the story on a day where he lasted only four innings, struggling to find his command during his second start since coming off the disabled list. 

The Reds (31-19) lit him up in the third, with Jay Bruce launching a 90 mph fastball 397 feet into the right-field seats. Three pitches later, Garza drilled Todd Frazier’s left arm with a 92 mph fastball, part of the unraveling in a four-run inning. But that didn’t bother Garza the way Cueto did.

“That’s totally uncalled for (when) you’re up 4-0,” Garza said. “I hope he hears this, because I really don’t care. If we want to retaliate, we could have and lost a bullpen guy. but we don’t need that. We play the game the right way and we’re going to take our lumps when we take ‘em and we’re going to hand ‘em out when we hand ‘em out.”

Cueto got suspended for kicking St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue during a brawl in 2010. That concussion forced LaRue into retirement. Garza said he has no personal history with Cueto.

“I don’t know what the deal is between him and Zeus, but he needs to cut it out, because I’ll stop it,” Garza said. “If he wants to do it like that, then so be it. … This could be a warning, this could be nonsense, however he takes it, but (the way the game was played), I don’t like it like that.”

“That’s totally uncalled for (when) you’re up 4-0,” Garza said. “I hope he hears this, because I really don’t care. If we want to retaliate, we could have and lost a bullpen guy, but we don’t need that. We play the game the right way.”

Cueto got suspended for kicking St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue during a brawl in 2010. That concussion forced LaRue into retirement. Garza said he has no personal history with Cueto.

“I don’t know what the deal is between him and Zeus, but he needs to cut it out, because I’ll stop it,” Garza said. “This could be a warning, this could be nonsense, however he takes it. But (the way the game was played), I don’t like it like that.

“Hopefully, the league looks at that. I don’t want him to get suspended or anything. I just want him to learn a lesson.”