June 21, 2006

(Note – see release at http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/062106aaa.html for complete Jeff Samardzija info., including updated bio. capsule, link to transcript of his post-draft press conference and links to a variety of articles).

Excerpts of Jeff Samardzija’s comments from appearance on ESPN’s Cold Pizza (June 21, 2006):

“It doesn’t affect anything at all [regarding football]. I’m going to be doing what I can out here this summer with the Hawks and getting everything I can out of this summer short-season. And then, after that, report back for summer camp and take everything from square-one with Notre Dame football.

“[People at Notre Dame] have been very supportive of it and everything I’ve seen, they have wished me luck and been real excited about it. They just want to see me stay healthy, for one, and enjoy the summer and then come back to Notre Dame and have a great season. That’s my plan, too, and obviously staying healthy is number-one and after that giving everything I’ve got to both the Cubs and Notre Dame and hopefully winning a lot of games on both sides.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to be more cooperative than the Cubs are. From day-one, they have been on the same page with what I wanted to do with going back to football and everything. They have been supportive of it so I can’t complain at all and, because of that, that just makes me want to give more to the organization that is willing to work with me so much. So it’s been amazing.

“I can’t sit here and come out and say [I will choose] one or the other. Right now I’m just enjoying playing baseball, it’s baseball season and the summertime and I’m doing everything I can to be successful in that. And I’m going to put all me heart into that. And when August 6 comes around, all my work and everything is going to go into football. And that will play itself out and when the time comes, if I have to make a decision, I’ll sit down with the right people and make a decision. But hopefully, if everything works out the way I’m planning on it, we’ll have two teams that are willing to work with me and we can go from there. Hopefully we can get out on two different fields and make it work. It would be amazing.

“If you talk to anyone and just look at the odds of the situation I’m in, it’s doubtful that anyone can do what I’m trying to do and that’s fine. … If you ask [Notre Dame football] coach [Charlie] Weis, there’s no doubt in his mind that he’s going to support what I do. That’s just the person that coach Weis is. There’s no other coach that I’d rather be playing for on the football field than coach Weis. If there is anyone that is going to say it to you straight, it’s going to be coach Weis and that’s what you expect as a player. And as a person that’s around him, I want him to tell me how it is. And that’s the truth. It’s going to be a tough thing to do and the chips are going to have to fall in the right places for it to work but all I can do is hope that they do fall in the right place and that I just take advantage of it.

“Right now I’m playing for the Irish and that’s number-one in my heart. A World Series is a long ways away right now. I’m in Boise and not in the big leagues. … There’s nothing more important to me than going back to Notre Dame and working hard and getting to where we want to go on the football field.

“As long as you’re doing it the right way and playing hard with your teammates around you and as long as you’re winning games, things are going to happen.

“I came out here and everything ran itself and I decided to get a little haircut. I’m playing baseball right now so we’ll cut it a little short and in a couple months it will be back. In football season, it’s going to be hanging out of the helmet. There’s no doubt about it, so it’s allright.”