- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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MESA, Ariz. -- Matt Garza sees a happier bunch of a campers this spring compared to last year, his first season with the Cubs, and he credits manager Dale Sveum for the changes.
“[He’s] blue-collar. That’s what you need here,” Garza said. “I’ve said that over and over again. We don’t work 2 to 11, we work 9 to 5. You have to get up and put in your work like a blue-collar worker. That’s the way Cubs baseball should be and that’s what I think it’s going to be.”
Garza thought that last year’s team didn't always respond under manager Mike Quade.
“Last year was a little tough with the guy in charge because he was always going a mile a minute all the time and really didn’t stop. Dale is more of a laid back guy … not easy going, but [he] slows things down. I try to get him to where I am and my intensity level. I want to show him my competitive level and that I know how to draw the line.”
The Cubs’ top starter pitched two innings on Tuesday, allowing two runs on three hits in his first spring appearence. He is hoping his energy level is picked up on by his teammates.
“It’s not fun just sitting out there for nine innings 162 times a year,” Garza said. “It gets boring, so I’m very antsy. Why not have some fun out there? You have to make things happen. This is the National League. These guys [now] are all action, action, action. Why not do that? It’s a lot of fun. Put pressure on the other team and let them make some mistakes.”
Garza will be Sveum’s No. 1 or 2 starter when the season begins on April 7. Sveum will choose between Garza and Ryan Dempster.
“He looked sharp,” Sveum said of Garza’s effort on Tuesday. “Very enthusiastic and had some good pickoff moves to first.”
Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-3 with two home runs and a double in the Cubs’ 11-4 win over Colorado.
Brett Jackson also went deep for the first time this spring. Sveum said that Jackson needs to play every day, which indicates he will start the season at Triple A-Iowa.
RHP Casey Coleman looked sharp, throwing two shutout innings on Tuesday.
Darwin Barney will probably be the team’s starting second baseman and backup shortstop again in 2012.
Matt Garza says new manager Dale Sveum has set the right tone at camp.