Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cubs president Theo Epstein tells the media in the Wrigley Field pressbox that Kevin Gregg misunderstoo manager Dale Sveum's comments in a recent meeting. Epstein, nonetheless, said he is considering releasing Gregg.

All was peaceful in the Cubs clubhouse prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Braves at Wrigley Field.

It was such a departure from Friday's bizarre postgame scene that featured complaints against the organization by closer Kevin Gregg and a threat to release him by Cubs president Theo Epstein. Both Gregg and Epstein later walked up to the Wrigley Field pressbox following the blow-up to give their sides of the story.

The Cubs announced prior to Saturday's game that Gregg's apology was accepted and he would not be released. Friday's postgame drama surprised Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

"Yeah, I can't lie about that. It caught me completely off guard," Sveum said Saturday morning.

Gregg initially was miffed that Sveum had delivered a message to him a few days ago in Milwaukee that he was going to lose his closer role to Pedro Strop. It was explained later that Sveum and Epstein simply want to see what they have in Strop moving forward.

"I'll take some credit for that. I guess the communication, somewhere down the line, just got miss-communicated. But like I told you (media) guys, we might give Strop an opportunity. And it is the same thing I told (Gregg). But I guess it got miss-communicated and obviously it turned into a mess. It's all fixed now and we accept the apologies and move on."

Sveum said he could understand Gregg's uneasiness.

"You want competitive people that are competitive every pitch, every game, no matter what the record is, what the situation, what the score of the game is," Sveum said. "You want to see everybody be competitive because, No. 1, it's your job to be competitive all the time. And, two, it is one of the traits that you want from all 25 guys on your team."

Gregg has resurrected his career this season, recording 32 saves after being released by the Dodgers in April.

"It's never no fun to be on top of the world, and then people lose faith in you," Sveum said. "And you get a chance again and you take full advantage of it...and obviously he saved our butt this year and done one heck of a job for us all year long."

Meanwhile, the Braves were hoping to celebrate after Saturday's game. With their magic number at 1, a victory would give them the NL East title. A loss by the Nationals against the Marlins would do the trick, as well, if necessary.

Lefthander Travis Wood (9-11, 3.05) got the start for the Cubs against Kris Medlen (14-12, 3.32)

Twitter @kicker34

Source: Chicagotribune

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