Jeff Samardzija may be a traditionalist who grew up a Cubs fan in northwest Indiana, but as far as he's concerned sentiment has no place in his workplace.
Even if that workplace is Wrigley Field, and even if the owner has threatened to move the team from the 99-year-old landmark if the club can't erect ballpark signage.
"The roster wins games. The stadium doesn't win games," said Samardzija, the Cubs' Opening Day starter. "Unfortunately, this is stuff you have to deal with as a player and it comes with the territory. But in this locker room, the way this team is playing is exciting, and that's what should be talked about, and that's what we should be worried about instead of sideshow stuff.
"We could play in a parking lot, and it's not going to make a difference."
But the Cubs without Wrigley?
"It's definitely a weird concept to say," Samardzija said. "Then, again, we're here to play ball. We're not here to talk the aldermen or talk to whoever. We're kind of along for the ride, like everybody else is. The players and the fans are kind of in the same boat. Obviously, everybody wants to stay here in Wrigley and wants to make it work here."
But if they moving vans haul them to, say, Rosemont?
"It's the same players, and it's the same plan. And the 101 years is still there," said Samardzija, having lost count of the Cubs' lean years. "the goal of winning a championship is still the No. 1 goal regardless of where the games are being played at. If we're playing them on the South Side because this is getting renovated or we're playing somewhere else, as a player it really doesn't matter. Because you're here to win baseball games, regardless of venue, regardless of weather, regardless of the situation."