With Kerry Wood retiring, the Cubs will have to bring someone up to replace him in the bullpen. Travis Wood is going to come up next week to take Chris Volstad’s spot in the rotation, but who joins the bullpen? Scott Maine isn’t eligible to come back up (unless there’s an injury) for another eight days. Maybe Randy Wells will finally get a look in the bullpen? Speaking of Kerry Wood…
- Now that your eyes have dried from Wood’s emotional final game, you can read the billion farewell pieces floating around out there from columnists, to players, to managers, to executives, to fans. We hear from Jim Hendry. We hear from Phil Rogers (who actually offers an interesting take on Wood’s injuries (most of those articles have pissed me off; this one doesn’t)). We hear about Wood’s top moments. We hear more about Wood’s top moments. We hear from former teammates and opponents. We hear from the fans. And, of course, we hear from his teammates.
- Wood hopes to stick around the organization, which is something I’m sure the Cubs can accommodate. “I want to stay with the team and help the guys if I can,” Wood said. “I know I enjoy teaching some of the things I have learned and I’m already close to the guys …. I want to be a part of this team and organization for a long time.” Paul Sullivan thinks that, for now, Wood will be named a Special Assistant, as early as today.
- OK, one important, but uncomfortable bit about the Wood retirement: assuming it is a true retirement (and not some agreement where the Cubs “release” Wood but he retains his contract), Wood leaves his remaining salary on the table – about $2 million. That’s more than the Cubs ever could have saved by trading him (just as an example), so, from a purely baseball/organizational/future perspective, the retirement was a win for the Cubs.
- I like Kerry Wood’s own words best of all: “We don’t all get to choose when. We don’t all get to have a say in it. But I was fortunate enough to play this game a long time, and play in a wonderful city in front of the best fans in baseball. It was just time.”
- One non-Kerry-Wood-related item: Bryan LaHair was a little perturbed at the throw that nearly hit him in the head yesterday. “I definitely felt like it was intentional,” LaHair said. “They waited a whole inning, and then the first pitch was right at my head. I’m all right with getting hit. I understand. But you start getting around people’s heads, that’s kind of dangerous. It could be scary. I didn’t get hurt or anything, so just kind of move on from it …. Konerko gets hit, no matter where he gets hit, there’s always going to be some kind of retaliation. Hit me. Just don’t hit me in the head.” LaHair is, of course, right about this. I understand throwing at the other team’s big hitter when yours got hit in ugly fashion (though it was probably superfluous, given that Samardzija hitting Konerko in the face was *obviously* unintentional), but throwing at a guy’s head? That’s never OK. Never. I’ll give Humber the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to hit LaHair square in the back, and the pitch got away from him a bit.