Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Door? It's Over There Kerry (But We'll Miss You)

Earlier I reported that the Cubs have acquired Kevin Gregg from the Marlins for a minor leaguer. Well apparently that isn't all that Jim Hendry was up to today:
Hendry met this week with Wood and his agent, Pat Rooney, and told him the Cubs were going in a different direction.

"I think we all feel that Kerry is certainly deserving of a three- or four-year contract," Hendry said. "He's done everything this organization has asked for the last 14 years, been a warrior the last couple of years. He's come back and health-wise stood the test of time, taken the ball every day we needed, and had no hang-ups, except for (missing one month with a blister injury).

"We're just in a situation, as Kerry fully understands, that that length of deal, for the kind of salary he'd command right now, is not our first priority. We certainly have to finish our rotation, we have offensive situations to address, and by having the prominence that (Carlos) Marmol now brings to the table, it certainly doesn't come before the other needs we have. We felt it was time Kerry goes out and does what's best for him and his family, and gets a huge multi-year deal if possible."

Cubs fans everywhere are very conflicted about this. I know I personally have mixed feelings. After having a phenomenal early career (that 20 strikeout game will always stand in my memory as one of the greatest games ever pitched), Wood was given a 4 year $44 million dollar deal. The 2003 season, while ending bitterly, was a great year for Woody. He had his dominant stuff and it was a very fun summer. Shortly after that contract was signed, however, he went to the DL where he would spend a majority of the time on that 4 year deal. As a Cubs fan it was very frustrating.

When Woody was finally up for a new contract and somewhat healthy again (reborn as a reliever), he took a significant amount less than his market value to stay and play for the Cubs. Perhaps it was a sense of owing the franchise something or maybe he just really loved Chicago. Either way it was a class move by him. Also throughout his time in Chicago he has been nothing less than a perfect citizen. He has hosted charity events and given back to the community in ways that few athletes have.

In the end, I think, it is sad to see him go. While I will always associate him with the dynamic injury duo (Prior and Wood) and of course his tragic slip in a hot tub that cost him 6 weeks, the truth is I will always love and appreciate him for what he did in this city on and off the field. Good Luck Kerry!


real stadiums have roofs said...

as a brewers fan, i think this is great news...assuming that the cubs don't get their greasy paws on peavy. even if marm-rod is as successful as wood as a closer (which is an "if" because he can be so erratic at times and he strikes me as the type of player to go home during the offseason and pour gas on farm workers before trying to machete them to death), this is going to leave a huge hole in the 7th/8th innings that kevin greg-g-g-g-g cannot fill. does the cubs front office not realize they won 97 games last year?

Kevin B said...

I hate kevin gregg

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