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.

Recent comments

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  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 3 min 1 sec ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 37 min 5 sec ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 1 hour 11 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 15 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 25 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 4 hours 37 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 9 hours 17 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 10 hours 15 min ago view
  • In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.

    John Beasley 11 hours 18 min ago view
  • vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.

    while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.

    crunch 19 hours 45 min ago view