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Cubs fans already restless after listless start

This news story was published on April 8, 2012.
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By Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — The new era is off to a familiar start, and Reds manager Dusty Baker was prescient when he scoffed in spring training at the idea of Cubs fans being patient because of the new management.

Relievers Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol were booed in the opener and again Saturday.

Is that to be expected?

“It’s early in the season; I wouldn’t put too much into it,” starter Jeff Samardzija said before Saturday’s loss. “They’re just like us. They want to win too. We were just as upset with not getting the victory (Thursday) as the fans were, and I’m sure it’s going to be like that all year. When we win we’re going to be just as excited (as them), and when we lose we’ll be just as upset.”

Byrd watch: A highly placed source with the Nationals denied a report the club has spoken with the Cubs about acquiring Marlon Byrd in a deal for left-handed starter John Lannan. The Nationals have top prospect Bryce Harper waiting in the wings to take over in center field and aren’t interested in Byrd.

The source said they are not actively shopping Lannan, who was demoted to Triple A. The Cubs also are not willing to take on Lannan’s $5 million salary to be a middle reliever and have enough starting depth at Triple-A Iowa.

The quote: Jeff Baker on Matt Garza’s dugout rant after serving up a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche in the fourth inning: “You can tell when Garza is going to get a little emotional, a little frustrated, so you know where to kind of duck and get out of there. But he cares. He wants to win and has passion. I’ll take that any day.”

Extra innings: Rodrigo Lopez was called up from Iowa and infielder Luis Valbuena was outrighted there after clearing waivers. … Starlin Castro has hit safely in his last 13 games.

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