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.


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:

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


claiming his arm isn't right

Kevin Kaduk

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.

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.

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.


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

Damn, thought Castro knocked that out

"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!


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.


...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


...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 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's a replica of the "The Natural" Wonderboy lightning bat.

Recent comments

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  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.