Jeff Samardzija: Hot Diarrhea Geyser - The TMS Oral History

In every lifetime, there are certain moments that will go down in history as defining moments in American culture. TMS Oral History is a series where we take a closer look at such moments through the eyes of those who made it happen. "Where were you when it happened?" Let's find out.



The following story is one that has been around for years, as much a part of Chicago Cubs lore as the Ryne Sandberg game, Kerry Wood's 20 strikeouts and Jake Arrieta's 2015 second half. Unfortunately, this story is the product of a certain player being less Jake Arrieta and more Brant Brown. That player is Jeff Samardzija, one of the most frustrating players in recent Cubs memory. TMS bartenders Rich, John and Jake (along with other notable contributors) will walk you through the story of the greatest baseball nickname ever.

"What do I know about Hot Diarrhea Geyser? Man, I know that it can bring you face to face with who you are."
 - John

Rich (TMS writer): I can't remember a player that was as equally despised and loved like Jeff Samardzija. The fact that he came out of Notre Dame was the absolute best or worst thing about him depending on who you ask. And the fact that he had a very douchey vibe and look didn't really help.

Jake (TMS founder, Wikipedia vandal): It was September 4, 2013. The Cubs won that day, but no thanks to Samardzija. There was a day game and I had just gotten back from picking up a decent lunch that an adult would eat.

John (TMS writer, BBQ connoisseur): I'm 98% sure that Jake went to get his lunch from a gas station that day.

Rich: I don't remember that day specifically, but Jake usually gets his lunch at gas stations.

Jake: I admit nothing.

Rich: We had been watching Samardzija suck at baseball for a while at this point, and the fact that he had seemed to give himself the nickname 'Shark' just made us hate him more. You can't just give yourself a nickname.

Joe Biden (Vice President of the United States, TMS reader): I'd like to think I've done a lot of good in my life for this country. I'm wrapping up a second term as Vice President of the United States. I've been elected as a Senator 6 times. When you work in the government that much, you see a lot of awful, despicable, immoral things. So trust me when I tell you that Jeff Samardzija giving himself that nickname is one of the more unforgivable things I have ever witnessed. He was really setting himself up to be taken down a peg or two, and that's exactly what Jake and the Thunder Matt boys had in mind.

The pitching box score of the fateful game.
John: A little background on me: I've loved the Cubs since I was a little kid, but every now and then I'll out-and-out despise one, like a mother pelican eating the runt of the litter. The litter of pelicans, see. Neal Cotts, Neifi Perez, John Grabow, Jeff Blauser - they've all felt my vengeful pelican wrath.

Rich: John once sent me a drunken rant about Justin Grimm that would make Donald Trump blush. When you get on his bad side...let's just say don't get on his bad side.

Jake: I think John might have actually murdered Jeff Blauser. Has anyone seen Jeff Blauser lately?

John: There was one guy in particular who was not only a crap-ass player, but an inexplicable fan favorite: Jeffrey Alan Samardzija. A big part of that is that he went to Notre Dame, and Notre Dame fans are even more insufferable than White Sox fans in this town. I'd estimate that 97 percent of the local green-clad mouth breathers never sniffed a class in South Bend, and god forbid you meet a local who did. You'll know them by their trashy gigantic class ring (a touch of faux-Italy in faux-Ireland) and their smirk, which will call to mind someone named Chad or Brayden or Bode. To hear them hoot for a shitty reliever with no control and a 1.45 WHIP was about the only unpleasant part of the 2008 regular season.

Rich: Now if I remember correctly, Jeff didn't really have too terrible of a start to the game. I think it was 3-2 Cubs going into the top of the 5th inning. That was the thing about Samardzija - he would lull you into a false sense of security before uncorking a torrent of pure, uncut filth all over the dining room. He should have had an exclusive deal with Stanley Steemer.

John: He got Christian Yelich out, and we thought things were looking fine from behind the bar in the Saloon. But the old seismograph we keep on the wall suddenly started going haywire. This could not be a good omen, I thought.

Jake: Mike Stanton singled. Justin Ruggiano singled. Logan Morrison walked. And naturally, Adeiny Hechavarria, whose career slugging percentage was a whopping fucking .336, blasts a majestic grand slam off Samardzija. That was what, one of 14 home runs he hit in his whole career? And then Koyie Hill doubles off him, which is probably even more embarassing.

John: The guy who literally stuck his hand in a table saw managed one more "you suck" hit right up the pipe. The boos were thick, rich, and acrid that day when Samardzija left the mound, like a New England Cham Chowder made with motor oil.

Joe Biden: It was an embarrassment. It was a national embarrassment.

Here is a transcript of the live chat at TMS during the game:
Ben: How did Jeff Samardzija turn terrible so quickly?
John: Quickly? He's been bloodfarting on the mound since 2009.
Jake: It might have to do with this the first time he's ever pitched over 180 innings in a season, ever.
John: He was cut off semi-early last year. Also, he's been kinda shitty for a few months. Since June, at least.
Jake: Hey remember when we paid him $3 million in 2010 to pitch 19.1 shitty innings. He was 25 years old then.
John: Good ole Hendry.
Jake: A lot of people will look at those big contracts dished out to Z and Soriano but the offer Hendry gave Snork may be the dumbest contract he ever offered.

Rich: It was funny because we knew better. We knew better than to think that this wouldn't happen all over again. And we still got sucked in. And despite seeing this happen time and time again, somehow this was different. The hate was more acrid, more of a sludge than usual. There was something almost majestic to the hate that we had in our hearts.

John: I needed a way to describe the continual disappointment and anger that Samardzija put me and other Cubs fans who don't give a shit about ND through. He'd just trickled through some trouble spots in the first few, but that fifth inning was an ERUPTION of awfulness. Just a steaming ... oh, man. That was it. A Hot Diarrhea Geyser. That, I figured, would be a fitting nickname for a guy who regularly melted down Zambrano-style but had a legion of mustached white guy fans to defend him. I'd  also always hated the nickname "Shark," which no one calls him and which I'm 98 percent certain he gave himself.

Kanye West (TMS reader, rapper): I was playing an outdoor festival in Paris as this game was going on. I didn't even have the game on, but I could feel it. I could feel that shit happening. I stopped in the middle of performing Heartless and walked off stage. 120,000 screaming fans and I just left them. I couldn't go on. It made me hate sharing a species with Jeff.

John: But see, I'm only a passively terrible person. An Eddie Haskell, if you will. I politely asked fellow bartender Mr. Terrible Cubs Fan to intercede with the folks at Wikipedia, then I went off to a soul-killing meeting. When I came back, it had already started happening. It was unbelievable. It was magic.
John: I don't know. In terms of just being a spraying geyser of hot diarrhea, you have to look at Grabow and Marmol's contracts. Who the fuck did Hendry think he was bidding against there?
John: Jake, can you please change his nickname on Wikipedia from "Shark" to "Hot Diarrhea Geyser?"
Jake: OK but screencap it because I bet some ND Douchenozzle lords over that page from his parents basement.
John: Ready to go.
There it was. Jake had made John's wish come true.



Jake: 2:21 PM on September 4, 2013 the edit went live. It lasted until 8:55am on September 5, 2013. Apparently this was enough time to effect the Google preview of his Wikipedia page. We got a good laugh out of it and I assumed within an hour or two it would be taken down. But then social media got a hold of it.
Rich: I remember that Tom Fornelli from CBS Sports tweeted about it. It started having a life of its own.

Jake: The Score picked it up.



Rich: Yeah, Jay Zawaski (Executive Producer, host and hockey columnist at 670 The Score in Chicago) was the guy at the Score that picked up on it.
Joe Biden: I had a nice chuckle when I first heard the name. Hillary didn't get it.

John: People I knew were forwarding it to me not knowing that I was the one that was behind it.

Jake: The next morning I announced its death. It lived to the ripe old age of 18 hours and 48 minutes. The impression was left though.  Hot Diarrhea Geyser on Google still comes up with his page. Don't look at the image search results for that though. You can even look at Twitter search results and see that people actually used it as his real nickname for quite a while.

Twitter search results.

HDG still being referenced in late 2013.
Rich: Even now, I still hear the nickname being used once in a while. It's nice, and it's definitely fitting.
Still being referenced in 2015.
Kanye West: I loved it. I loved it. Really sticking it to Samardzija was my inspiration for The Life of Pablo. I was challenged to put something into the world that was as creative and bold and forward-thinking as Hot Diarrhea Geyser. It changed the game, man. Yeezy is great, but HDG is the best nickname of all time. Of all time.
"Oh, if only you got paid to do these things."
  - Jake's wife
John: Hot Diarrhea Geyser was a bad pitcher, and a bad man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors... and geysering hot diarrhea, and as a pitcher he diarrhea geysered the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and... up to... Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Hot Diarrhea Geyser. Hot Diarrhea Geyser, who loved geysering hot diarrhea. And so, Hot Diarrhea Geyser , in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

Rich: Hot Diarrhea Geyser wasn't the nickname Jeff Samardzija needed. Hot Diarrhea Geyser is the nickname he deserved.

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