Just posting my latest blog here on my cubs myspace page (new one since my last one got deleted. www.myspace.com/annocatuli
). Yes, I wrote this, word for word. Hope you enjoy reading it.
Wishing him well, there is no Knock on Wood
Current mood: bummed
Today, the Chicago Cubs traded away a young up and coming relief pitcher Jose Ceda to the Florida Marlins. In exchange we got their closer Kevin Gregg. What does this mean exactly? It most likely means that the longest tenured Cubs, Kerry Wood, will likely be on his way out of Chicago, and out of Cubbie Blue Pinstripes.
In an honest moment, I never thought that I would see the day that Wood was not a part of the Chicago Cub family. I was sure that he would spend his entire career with the Cubs, and when his career ultimately came to an end as a player; I was certain that he would be hired to be a coach in some capactiy for a franchise that he has spent his entire career with. Today, those dreams have likely been shattered, as his return to the Cubs roster for the 2009 baseball season is almost as unlikely as me ever wearing a White Sox jersey and becoming a fan of the team on the South Side.
Why, you ask (those that might actaully be reading this.... though I have few friends so far on here. And I have no subscriptions and no comments so I may just be talking to myself here) did I have such thoughts? Its quite simple really. Its because Wood is everything that the Cubs are. He is a living, breathing mascot for the Cubs. He is everything that the Cubs stand for, and everything that they have ever been. Allow me to explain.
Over the past century, the Cubs have had so many season where the potential was endless. They had teams that were expected and predicted to go all the way. The Cubs had so much talent, that their cups were over flowing with it. Sadly, all those years that were filled with endless expectation, the Chicago Cubs fell short, failing to reach the levels that they were expected to reach. Never quite realizing the greatness that they held. Much is the same for Wood.
In 1998, Wood came to the Cubs and had an amazing year. He had Cub fans everywhere in awe, as they looked on in amazement. He burst onto the scene, and early on, he set the National League record for strike outs in a 9 inning game, it also tied that Major League mark at 20. Wood would go on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award that year. baseball lifers, experts and fans all saw what he was doing and predicted great things for the kid who had looked like a sure thing. Sadly, much like the Cubs, Wood held so much potential, but due to injuries he never reached the level that was expected of him. He fell short of realizing the greatness that he possessed.
Wood was a warrior as far as I am concerned. Sure, he was injury prone, and spend time on the Disabled List almost every year of his career, but he was a warrior. Every time he went down with an injury, he fought back as hard as he could to come back as soon as he could, just so he could help his team. He wanted to help so badly, that at times he came back too early, and wound up injuring himself further. That never stopped him though, he kept trying to come back, and do all that he could to help the Cubs.
I am going to miss him, and it will not be the same watching him pitch in another teams uniform. I don't care where he goes, I will wish him well. Even if he lands in St. Louis or in Milwaukee. Sure, I may root for him to have a really bad game if he ever pitches against us, but I want him to succeed every other time he takes the mound. He deserves to be a part of a winning team, I just wish that he could have won here, with this team. That was not meant to be though, so I wish him well, wish him luck no matter where he lands.
Now, I am not saying that there is no chance that the Cubs will still resign him, just that the chances are not good. With his replacement seemingly being added to the Cubs, it looks like it is all but a done deal. I hope that I am wrong, and that he will be brough back. In my eyes, and in my heart, Wood will always be a Chicago Cub. Thank you for the memories Woody. You will be missed.