The Cubs have slipped into a considerable rut after a nice stretch. They’ve lost five in a row.
Kerry Wood officially retired yesterday at a press conference on the field at Wrigley (introduced by Laura Ricketts, which was probably not a coincidence). All you need to hear from Woody: “I was always a Cub, I’ve always been a Cub, and I’ll always continue to be a Cub.”
Theo Epstein says he has no regrets about re-signing Kerry Wood in the offseason. “If you’ve got $3 million,” Epstein said, “and you’re looking for a veteran reliever with swing-and-miss ability who has a chance to really perform and help, you could do a lot worse than Kerry Wood. It made sense from a baseball standpoint and it just didn’t work out. That’s the way things go. Kerry didn’t know it wasn’t going to work out either. [But] he really handled himself well and I don’t really regret it. Obviously, no one has a crystal ball, but I think you can never go wrong investing in good people as a rule. If it works out or not that particular time – you know what – we’ll get the next one.”
With Wood’s retirement, and Geovany Soto now officially hitting the DL, almost 20% of the roster has turned over in the last few days. If you’re keeping track of roster moves (good luck), it goes something like Blake Lalli, Randy Wells, Koyie Hill, Blake Parker in (though Parker is day-to-day with tightness in his hamstring and could go out next), Soto, Chris Volstad, Scott Maine, and Kerry Wood out. When Travis Wood comes up this week to make a start in Volstad’s vacated rotation spot, a position player will presumably go down. Unless something else changes. Which is probably will. The 40-man roster, by my tortured count, stands at 40.
Jeff Samardzija is still explaining that, when he hit Paul Konerko in the face on Friday, it was unintentional. Which, like, duh. “I think those things create a big stir when things actually do happen,” Samardzija said. “In those cases you have to use common sense and know that I have him 0-2 and I’m throwing a splitter at 84 mph. I am not trying to hit him, I want to strike him out. There are times that you look at [a hit by pitch] as pretty obvious what has happened. Mine definitely wasn’t [intentional], but you have to have something to talk about …. Knowing that I did not hit Paul intentionally helped me move on after the game. I did have to get over the initial hump of seeing a guy you know and respect take one over the eye. That is one spot for baseball guys that is sacred, around your vision. I’m sure it was a scary one for him but I had to get over the fact. It was an accident. Everyone knows Paul is a tough guy and he will bounce back big. I got word is he is all right and will be back soon so I wish him the best.” Samardzija has also gone out of his way to make sure that Konerko knows it was an accident, and that he hopes Paul recovers well.
Jake Peavy thinks Philip Humber should have hit Jeff Samardzija instead of throwing at Bryan LaHair on Friday, and thinks Samardzija and the Cubs need to stop talking about “unintentional.” Samardzija deserved to be hit either way, according to Peavy. Whatever. Peavy’s going today, so I’d put the umpires on alert.
Alfonso Soriano thinks about having surgery on his troublesome left knee in the offseason (the one he had surgery on in 2009). It’s obvious that it gives him trouble, and he admits it. But nobody plans to do anything about it right now.
Koyie Hill was pretty excited to be back with the Cubs, according to Paul Sullivan. “It’s crazy, it’s beautiful, it’s frustrating, it’s rewarding, it’s everything,” Hill said. “We had a nice run [in the big leagues], and the next thing you know you’re trying to catch a 22-year-old guy who throws half his pitches off the backstop. I’m wondering, surely there has to be something else I could be doing at home, see my girls every day …. But just show up at the ballpark every day, and now I’m catching one of my best friends tonight.”
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