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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.
  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    Be sure to read Doug Glanville’s take on Wood.

  • Cubs1967

    Paul Sullivan is stating Cubs to announce Wood’s new position today as special assistant.

    Throwing at Lahair was bush league; thought that crap would end w/o blizzard of Oz anymore; guess not. I’m not so sure Cubs should let it go; maybe 1 more hit batter ; Aj would be a good pick.

    After Jose Cardenal, Billy Buck, Rick Rueschel, Ryno, Mad Dog, Sutcliffe, Grace and then Wood; my guys who always seemed to be Cubs no matter where they played, but lifers for good are gone. DLee was close; but not. Hoping besides the championship missing; we get some more lifers. Been over a decade now since Wood. Maybe Rizzo; or BJax.

    • Andoalex

      I really hate AJ Pierzynski but he was in the on deck circle when Wood came off the field. The camera panned by him and he was clapping hard. Not half-heartedly at all. I gave him a pass on hating him for the day after that.

    • art

      Castro?

  • TT

    Maine would be eligible to come back today as long as he were taking Soto’s roster spot when they DL him, at least that’s my understanding. I had read that they hadn’t DLed him yet because there was some doubt about Lalli’s ability to make it to the ballpark in time for yesterday’s game. Bruce Miles indicated that Wells might be the guy, although I’m not sure if that’s a temporary move to bridge to Tuesday and Wood’s probable start, or if Wells will just stay up in the pen in lieu of Maine/etc.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good call – if Maine is called up as the corresponding move for Soto to the DL, that would be permitted.

  • Pat

    The pitch was nowhere near LaHair’s head until he ducked near it. 4 feet 9 inches off the ground is not near the head of a guy who is 6 5. No doubt it was intentional, but I fail to see the big deal. You hit someone in the face, intentional or not, and there’s going to be retaliation.

  • Gregb

    I know this may sound a little lame but i havent been this bummed out since grace left the cubs,after 98 when he came into the league and 03 when the cubs were oh so close constantly reminds me of what could have been back then i was all to sure wood would retire with a ring with the cubs oh well life goes on i guess

  • TrueblueCubbie

    My tears aren’t dry yet. I just watched the replay again. He is right up there with my all time favorite Cubs and it will be weird not seeing him take the mound at all. Although I thought a few weeks ago that he should just retire, it makes it surreal that he now is done.

  • JulioZuleta

    In 2007 I went to the “Tom Glavine’s 300th win game”. As a huge fan of baseball history, it was pretty cool to be there and see what may very well end up being the last 300th win for a starting pitcher. For me, though, that game was all about Kerry Wood’s first appearance in over a year due to shoulder issues. I’ve probably gone to close to 150 games in my life, including some big ones, but I’ve never seen more flashbulbs or heard more people chanting than when Kerry stepped on the mound. The place was absolutely electric. For me, that will always be the Kerry Wood game, not the Glavine game. He’s just so damn easy to root for. Definitely teared up a little yesterday.

    I’m 24 years old, having been in the league 14 years, his career sort of developed as I developed as a fan. I’m a huge Chicago sports fan, but the Cubs are definitely a cut pretty far above the rest. While most of my Cubs idols have done something to tarnish their own images, or just didn’t pan out (Sosa, Zambrano, Prior…) Wood perserved through injuries, was a fixture in the community, and beat the odds to have a pretty damn good career. I’m thinking about it, but I can’t think of an athlete of whom I consider myself a bigger fan. Sad day, makes me feel really old while reminding me of being really young.

    • Cubmig

      Life is about making and preserving good memories. You’re young and hopefully will acquire many more along life’s way, but for now, you have etched one deep into you whole being. Good.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good stuff, JZ.

  • hawkcub

    This is probably corny but I think the feeling people have for Kerry is they can associate themselves with him. He had his high’s and lows. He faced major adversity and overcame it. He is/was a good guy but not a saint either. Just my 2 cents.

  • Kevin

    Kerry Wood is a class act. He’s walking away because his production is below expectations. I wish other players who are not performing up to expectations would also do the right thing by retiring. I hear that the players union is totally against this as it reduces their assumed power.

  • daveyrosello

    For pitchers with more than 1000 career IP:

    Kerry Wood has the second highest K/9 rate in ML history (Randy Johnson is #1).
    Kerry Wood has the second lowest BAA in ML history (Pedro Martinez is #1).

    That’s some pretty damn good company. When Woody could stay healthy, he was one of the filthiest pitchers of all time. Dominant. You just have to wonder how much damage that damn high school coach did to Wood, making him throw 175 pitches in a DH his senior year. Unforgiveable.

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