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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  • Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-

    J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-ja...

    Ryno 11 min 19 sec ago view
  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 37 min 28 sec ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 39 min 30 sec ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 42 min 35 sec ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 45 min 49 sec ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 10 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 3 hours 40 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 4 hours 36 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 8 hours 13 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 9 hours 26 min ago view