Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija’s love life is something he’d just as soon keep to himself.

But Samardzija was forced to clarify a story told by president Theo Epstein that he got rid of a girlfriend in order to commit to making the Cubs’ rotation.

According to the article on Epstein by sportswriter Joe Posnanski, Samardzija’s first meeting with manager Dale Sveum included the pitcher’s comment: “I just want you to know one thing about me. I will do whatever it takes to help this team. And I think the best way to help this team is by being a starting pitcher. I’m eliminating everything in my life that gets in the way. I’m dumping my girlfriend. I’m moving to Arizona. I just want the chance to show you that I’m a starting pitcher.”

Asked on Friday if he truly dumped his girlfriend for a shot at the rotation, Samardzija hedged.

“Well, yeah, last year we met and I told (Epstein) going into the meetings when they hired Dale and everything that in previous years, I didn’t feel like I had done everything I can,” he said. “I thought I worked hard in the offseason and did a lot of things, but I didn’t think, especially in midseason (of 2011) I was putting myself where I needed to be to be the best I can be.

“I really worked hard that offseason and when we met with them, I just told them I had no distractions in my life. This game can be a lot about just minimizing distractions on the outside, and the older you get, the more you realize that.

“I just wanted to level with him that I didn’t have any distractions. The only thing on my mind was making the rotation, and pitching 30-32 starts. Really the best way I could describe that was by saying I didn’t have a girlfriend.”