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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.”
  • King Jeff

    Just as I feared, Koyie Hill brought out the Dempster from last year to pitch last night.

  • TrueblueCubbie

    I lose more and more respect for Peavy every time he opens his mouth. As far as the roster goes, they just need some better role players. Guys like Johnson and Baker are not going to get it done on a limited or everyday basis. Soriano needs to just get surgery when he goes into his cold slump so the Cubs can bring up Jackson or Rizzo. Throw LaHair in left and start Rizzo at first.

  • MichiganGoat

    Yeah this has been a busy week and they way the bullpen keeps floundering more moves are bound to come.

  • Evan

    I saw Soriano and surgery and I got excited. But it’s not until the off season, if at all. Disappointing. He looks awful out there running around with that knee. And he sucks to begin with, so this is just terrible. Seriously, just bench him, who cares what he’s being paid.

    • Njriv

      I think if they cant find a way to let him go by next year, he’ll start coming off the bench. I mean even if he was good all these years, how good did they expect him to play at 37-38 years old?

  • Bric

    Brett, did you just issue a warning to the umps?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Something like that. I just think they should be watching closely.

  • EB

    I go on a cruise and the cubs lose 5 in a row, but I’m back now so they can officially start winning again

  • Daniel

    LOLPEAVY. Easy talking shit when about batting when your an AL pitcher not taking AB.

    • ColoCubFan

      Like Peavy never hit anybody accidentally. Boy, I’m sure glad that Hendry trade for Peavy never happened.

    • Diesel

      Wouldn’t it have been awesome if peavy had been drilled with the first pitch he saw?

  • cubs1967

    if Soriano needs offseason surgery on his knee; his trade value just got lower; if that is possible. no one will want him. if the Ricketts family has 10M to waste on a smear ad campaign on Pres. Obama; then they have 50M to cut loose Soriano. time to move Lahair to LF and bring up Rizzo. Unless Castro or lahair get 2 hits per game; this team cannot score above 3 runs. Soriano being a warrior in LF does this team no good; it’s bad; really bad thanks to a non-offseason by team Theo. so let’s lose with the kids and see who sinks or swims.

    See ya Soriano; take your achy breaky knee with you.

    • Fishin Phil

      Let it go.

    • Mrp

      Wow, did you bust out the “Jump to Conclusions mat” for that one? I like how you went straight to the Ricketts family giving 10M for a smear campaign. Good one, man. You convince me more every day that you are just a troll.

      • Cubs1967

        read the new york times artilce. what the hell are you talking about :jump to conclusions”…….then why did the ricketts family call rahm to apologize.

        google the ricketts plan…….

        and don’t ever call me a troll; just becuz I don’t fall over with my legs up in the air for team theo; look at this team; last place, hig tix prices; higher concessions all under tommyboy; he’s done nothing and now he’s this close to being 5 outs from the world series of getting public money and this comes out………….ouch.

        go drink another old style beavis………..or are U butthead?

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          Hey pal, you ever wonder if your abrasiveness might be rubbing people the wrong way? Just a thought.

          • Bric

            Yeah, seriously 1967, I can follow some of what you’re saying but unless you believe in the Mayan Calendar there’s really no reason to be so aggressive. Resorting to name calling and drawing lines in the sand concerning every issue is basically what a troll does.

    • rcleven

      Sorri’s issue with his knees is now 3 seasons and building. This is not a new revelation. What trade value Al has is not the effect of his health.

      • Cubs1967

        huh?

        did not know players that were injured had high trade value?

        that may be one of the dumbest comments i’ve ever read.

        • Njriv

          Then you obviously haven’t read your own. We all know Theo wasn’t going to greatly impact the roster this season. This past offseason was more about getting the staff together. You are really going to see the impact of him at the deadline, the draft and this up coming offseason.

  • ColoCubFan

    I know it was purely coincidence, but it was really weird that Dempster suddenly reverted to a mediocre pitcher when Hill came back.

  • Spencer

    Wow that Peavy article has a serious Sox slant.

    • rcleven

      The article was written by JOE COWLEY an ex WSux.

  • Njriv

    It’s okay guys, I’m pretty sure if Theo made me apart of his staff, I can turn this team around. I should have the credentials I watch baseball and I took and passed Business 1100 with a B in college.

  • Papa

    Kerry Wood seems like a nice enough guy. He had a few nice moments with the Cubs too. But overall, he wasn’t really that good of a pitcher for the Cubs was he? I understand sending him off with a nice little farewell. But I think the talk of jersey retirement is a little over the top.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, Wood was a very-good-bordering-on-excellent pitcher for the Cubs.  HIs K-rate was phenomenal, and his fielding independent stats were always pretty good and frequently outstanding.

      Unfortunately, he was that pitcher on the DL.  Buster Olney correctly (and sadly) identified Wood’s biggest legacy: he and Mark Prior represent the two guys who were the “turning points” in recognizing that high pitch counts were bad for pitchers, especially young ones.  Obviously, there still are some holdouts and there always will be: after all, there are people who still try to deny that smoking causes cancer!  The difference is that the holdouts now are in the minority, I think.

  • Internet Random

    O…M…G… Best. Pic. Ever.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Remember when that was on with The Maxx?

  • TrueblueCubbie

    I agree that his jersey shouldn’t be retired, but he was a good pitcher for the Cubs. He was just a great person on and off the field.

    Mark Grace’s jersey should be retired long before anyone else gets their jersey retired.

  • Shawon O’Meter

    So, about that horribly lopsided trade of Sean Marshall to the Reds? He has officially been removed as the Reds closer (22 hits in 14 IP might have something to do with it) and replaced by the untouchable Aroldis Chapman. I never understood why they stuck such an incredible talent in the vast wasteland of middle relief…Chapman is special and he should either start or close.

    Travis Wood, your volley!

  • clark addison

    Chapman’s numbers this year are other worldly. The league is hitting under .100 against him.

    I wonder how long his arm will hold up with Dusty managing.

  • clark addison

    Also, his ERA is 0.00

  • Bric

    One thing this season will show us is if Hendry’s quantity over quality approach ever meant anything. Suddenly the roster this year has been filled with guys he always touted as prospects: Lalli, Parker, Hill, Castillo, Wells, Dolis, Campana, Maine, LaHair, Soto, did I miss anybody. I guess even Wood would count.

    Due to a combination of injuries, trades, and tight spending I think the roster this year has seen more home grown talent brought than any in the last five years. Jimmy would be proud.

  • morgan

    Cubs missing a great opportunity to stay close in the standings with a 4-5 game losing streak cant remember, All the blame goes to theo in this one, the lineup last night was just a joke, castro and lahair continue to be the only ones that can drive in runs. Plus theo just ignoring the bullpen this year. Theo has put this team that wants to compete but the players on the roster make it hard. Johnson, Baker, Barney, Hill, Mather, wow, thats a washed up AAA lineup, cant expect to win with those players

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      Morgan, baby, you just get in from a late Saturday night out on the town?

    • Njriv

      We all know Theo wasn’t going to greatly impact the roster this season. This past offseason was more about getting the staff together. You are really going to see the impact of him at the deadline, the draft and this up coming offseason.

  • caleb

    Admitting you beaned a guy= 5 day suspension. But what if you say a guy *should* be beaned, and then bean him?

    Too bad Shark’s not in today. Think maybe he’ll pull a Zambrano and pinch hit?

    Just dreaming.

  • T Larson

    To all my fellow Cub fans: Please stop criticizing Theo and company about the team they have assembled for this season and probably next year too. Realistically, there will be a couple of down years to turn this around.
    Just because the Cubs go on a mini streak and then lose a bunch should not alarm us. That’s just the way it is going to be . Just chill! Don’t expect any big free agent move this coming off season either. Again, be patient!

  • Kevin

    The plan is to lose and get the best draft pick, Cubs sticking to plan.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    please stop with the jim hendry love guy was the most in over his head gm of all time.

  • art

    now that the world knows about Soriano’s achy knee, we’re stuck with him forever. so, he is bad on D, can’t run, has bad knee, why is he still playing everyday? now is the time to scope that knee, what good does it do after the season?

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