Kid K Calls it Quits

It was hinted at on twitter last night that big Cubs news was coming today and news did come.

Somewhat reminiscent of Ryne Sandberg's in-season retirement, Kerry Wood will announce that he's retiring from baseball. I'm sure he'll give his reasons at the press conference, but when elite athletes can no longer do the things that made them elite, the fire to compete can extinguish rather quickly. 

Word on XM radio this morning was that the Cubs would try to get him in one more game possibly today or tomorrow for what would certainly be the most exciting thing to happen at Wrigley Field this season.

These are the times that we're pre-programmed to wax poetic on the life and times of a certain athlete, writing the obituary of their careers. For Kerry Wood, the numbers will never match the reputation and must-see nature of his early career, although he will go out with a K/9 rate of over 10, which is certainly impressive.  There's of course the magical 20K game versus the Astros and the division series wins versus Atlanta in 2003. He made All-Star games, he won a Rookie of the Year, he destroyed boom boxes and he tore his elbow and shoulder to shreds to try and deliver the Cubs a championship. He'll be rememebered as fondly for his pitching as his desire to be a Cub.

In more unfortunate news (or fortunate depending on your point of view), Geovany Soto has been diagnsosed with a torn meniscus and is headed to the disabled list. No word on who the new backup catcher will be with Steve Clevenger still on the disabled list. Juan Apodaca has been doing most of the catching in Iowa and they also have Blake Lalli down there. Koyie Hill is floating out there too.

Comments

Sosnick Cobbe Sports, which appears to represent Lalli, is tweeting that he's been called up.

cool, can't catch worth a lick and doesn't have much power, but generally puts the ball in play.

Wasn't doing much in Iowa in 20 games. Also 29 years old.

Ed Lynch on SiriusXM regarding the drafting of Wood and the first time Lynch saw him throw in person:

http://siriusxmsports.posterous.com/ed-lynch-...

Also a great anecdote in there about Ed Lynch trying to trade Kerry Wood for Esteban Yan back in 1997.

@thekapman: Spoke to Kerry Wood. If he doesn't get into today's game he will be ready to pitch tomorrow. He will def make 1 more app.

DeJesus9/TonyC8/Starlin6/LaHair3/Soriano 7/Stewart5/Castillo2/Barney4/Samardzija1

More reactions

Rogers
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

claiming his arm isn't right

Kevin Kaduk
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-...

good send-off by a Cubs fan

Good article by Wrongway, but naturally he didn't get the details of Wood's Game 7 HR correct.

Wrongway's editor needs an editor.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/C...

best ways to give Kerry a send-off?

- let him try and save a game?
- let him start Sunday for one inning?
- let him start Sunday and he rides off on a flying unicorn?
- give him an AB
- plunk AJ in the ribs
- give him an AB and he clubs AJ to death as he walks to the plate

and no, I don't care about the Cubs winning any of these games.

Flying unicorn all the way.

Or a quadricorn.

http://bmccarthythoughts.wordpress.com/

Brandon McCarthy has a blog, he's awesome.

Volstad optioned to Iowa, Lalli called up.

Eventually Soto to DL and I presume T. Wood will get called up.

I'll be stalking parachat for what could be Kerry's last game.

Took out the lineup card...nice touch.

Lots and lots of empty seats in the first inning.

NATO?

Could be... downtown sure is quiet. No one came to work today.

Damn, thought Castro knocked that out

http://m.espn.go.com/mlb/story?storyId=7946518

"Davidson also received a one-game suspension for what Major League Baseball called "repeated violations" in how umpires are supposed to handle situations."

When was the last time an umpire was publicly suspended, and it is a trend I would like to see continued

ug, Konerko nailed in the face, there's blood.

I am sure the Sox will stay classy, and NOT drill anyone on the Cubs in this game...
I would be willing to wager that Hawk Harrelson has been talking non-stop about how the Sox should NOT do anything in response to this. (YEAH! RIGHT!)

And they throw behind LaHair, not even the decency to put him on base.

Why not just hit Samardzija?

BB's LaHair anyway.

They forgot about pitchers having to hit.

"Well if he was gonna do that, he should have done it to Samardzija." Hawk Harrelson on the throw behind LaHair.

So you're allowed to tackle baserunners now?

Opens up all kind of possibilities for strategy.

1) I love Kerry Wood.

2) That call of DeJesus out at 2nd is the worst call I have ever seen.

reminded me of Kent Hrbek in 1991

ninja ties on a base hit!

ha.

1 more run...let's get kerry wood a save.

i wish i could hate pierzizzinskikiki like some, but his subtle head/body lunge fake to a fan (adult male) yelling at him when he caught campy's popup bunt (sigh, campy bunting) was as lulz as when he laughed off a m.barrett fist to the face.

wood up in the pen.

WOOD IN!

...shakes bullpen coach's hand.
...audience cheer
...a somewhat overwhelmed (seemingly by what he's about to do, not the crowd moving him) kerry jogs to the mound
...commercial break
...a lizard cartoon is trying to sell me car insurance

K!

...and that's a career. j.quirk out. handshakes and hugs for everyone.

"kerry kerry" chant

HUGGGGGGGGGGGE cheer (i think more realize what is happening now)

WSox dugout applauding

K.Wood's kid greets him at the dugout steps (that's not legal in the rules, lulz).

dugout hugs

K.Wood comes out for a fan curtain call

j.russell in.

1380 IP
1083 H
666 BB (walks really are evil)
1582 K (10.3 K/9, 2nd behind R.Johnson)
3.67 ERA
1.27 WHIP

86-75 W/L, 63 saves

So when Konerko was hit, Harrelson and Stone said they didn't think Samardzjia hit him on purpose. Later, Hawk called for retaliation. Makes sense.

were you expecting anything different?

Well, yes, in that I would've expected him to go apeshit when it happened and then call for retaliation. His original response to it surprised me.

I guess i would have to agree.

Did he regurgitate the Tony Conigliaro story for the 8,955th time?

hawk is a weird guy. to truly understand why he even has a job you have to hear him tell stories outside of the mic at the game.

he's pretty damn charming, a decently quick wit, and he's got good comic timing.

that weird emotional act he puts on the air during games is like some angry grandpa version of ron santo, though.

i can't believe this is happening...this sucks for me kinda like when mark grace retired even though he retired with the "wrong" team.

Blake Lalli wearing # 17 in the dugout.

edit: I may have seen wrong. Roster page says # 47.

i would say it will be retired eventually, but the cubs are traditionally very stingy with retiring numbers. he was a fan favorite and great player, but more of a great support player...one of the best mid-range-power #3 hitters around with extreme consistency. great D, too...

Kerry is my favorite Cub, but I've been ready for this for some time. Now that it's happened, I'm feeling much more emotional than I expected.

This also seems like the end of an era. I graduated high school in 1998 and this feels like the final nail in my youth. Now at 32, the ball players become few and further between who are older than me. Today, finally feel like I'm watching a kid's game. I'll miss you, Kid K.

yeah, mark grace in the booth has been awesome for me. he was my favorite.

i know he makes some cringe with his skills on the mic, but it's fun for me to hear the guy out there talking baseball. i have a feeling some of ron santo's critics-yet-fans felt the same way.

I kind of feel the same about Grace. He's kind of a jackass and he repeats himself a lot, but I still like him. I'd take him over Moreland any day.

Its known that Grace would occaisionally belly up to the bar at Bernies as well, which I thought was pretty fucking cool.

You really hit on my feelings Joe.

I remember finishing up my freshman year of college the afternoon that KW had that 20K game. I still remember trying to hush everyone up because I was trying to listen to Chip and Stoney on the TV.

At 33 it kind of feels like a piece of my youth is going with Kerry.

Any information on why they put Lalli in the game? Castillo isn't hurt is he?

from your post til end-of-game nothing was mentioned on the WGN (cubs crew) broadcast

Still watching post game and nothing mentioned.

But there's a fucking duck on the field.

THAT was ruled a double? lucky barney.

official scoring #1.

bwhahaha...jeremy guthrie (COL pitcher and boyband+pop music enthusiast) had a new custom game bat made up...it's a replica of the "The Natural" Wonderboy lightning bat.

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  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 14 min 37 sec ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 26 min 46 sec ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 35 min 17 sec ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 46 min 39 sec ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 51 min 28 sec ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 5 hours 5 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 5 hours 10 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 16 hours 14 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 16 hours 18 min ago view
  • Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.

    2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.

    Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.

    billybucks 17 hours 6 min ago view