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Samardzija Hopes to Catch On with the Cubs
MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- When most sports fans talk about Jeff Samardzija, they mention the agile receiver who used to catch Brady Quinn's touchdown passes at Notre Dame. Then, as an afterthought, they mention he's trying to pitch for the Chicago Cubs.

As much as he loves a good football conversation, Samardzija wants this to be the year people are talking baseball when he is the subject.

He spent a month in the Mexican League last fall working on the breaking pitch he needs to be an effective big league pitcher. The tall right-hander snapped off several sharp "slurves" Saturday during batting practice.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild says Samardzija doesn't look like a football player trying to pitch anymore. Now he's a pitcher who played football.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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