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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  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 24 min 57 sec ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 40 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 18 hours 14 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 18 hours 44 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 19 hours 6 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 19 hours 39 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 19 hours 49 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 19 hours 59 min ago view