CHICAGO -- Told that Reds manager Dusty Baker thought Johnny Cueto and Cubs pitcher Matt Garza should fight each other to settle their differences, Alfonso Soriano joked that he'd like to be the judge.
"Garza would win all three rounds," Soriano said, laughing.
The Cubs did their best Monday to downplay comments Garza made about Cueto, who threw a pitch over David DeJesus' head in Chicago's 5-4 win Sunday. Cueto had appeared to take exception to DeJesus stepping out of the batter's box in the first. In the sixth, DeJesus did it again, and Cueto threw a ball over DeJesus' head. Home-plate umpire Bob Davidson issued a warning to both benches.
Garza took exception to Cueto's actions and called it "total immaturity." The Cubs' pitcher wanted to make sure Cueto got his message.
"If the game was played that way, I don't like it like that," Garza said Sunday. "You don't go intently and try to injure somebody. Hopefully the league looks at that. I don't want him to get suspended or anything. I just want him to learn a lesson. Hopefully, his players will warn him. It is what it is, they run their own show. We'll see him again down the line."
On Monday, Cubs manager Dale Sveum tried to dismiss the matter.
"I don't have much to say about that," Sveum said. "Yesterday is over with. It's people's prerogative to make a big thing out of something that was no big thing at all. Those are their comments. I've got nothing to really comment on something that's over with."
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said he appreciated Garza's "fire" and support of his teammates.
"I think it comes from a good place with Matt," Hoyer said. "I think he's trying to support his teammate, but I think that's where it ends and we should let it lie."
DeJesus flied out to right in the at-bat and was laughing as he ran off the field, but that's because he was looking at the Reds' Todd Frazier, who is a friend of his.
"I'm not really worried about it," DeJesus said. "It's great to have guys who back you, your own teammates. You want your teammates behind you, like Garza, who's a great guy to have. I don't think this needs to get blown out of proportion. It gave us a spark that we needed yesterday. We were able to come back and win a big game. We come into this series feeling fresh and feeling positive. I think that's how we need to go. That's over with, that's done with and let's move forward."
What about Baker's comments that Garza and Cueto should duke it out?
"That's not a way to do it either," DeJesus said. "It is what it is now, and hopefully it's over with, and let's just move on. It's not worth putting any more oil in the fire."
There is no history between Cueto and DeJesus, who is very deliberate at the plate.
"I do the same thing every at-bat, so it's not like I'm doing it just against him," DeJesus said. "I have no problem with him, I respect his game, I respect him as a player."
Soriano knows Cueto well but didn't think the pitch was mean-spirited.
"I think Cueto was joking around with him because he takes time getting in the box," Soriano said. "If [Cueto] wanted to hit him, he'd hit him because he has good control. Cueto likes to pitch real quick, and DeJesus is different, he takes his time at home plate."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less