Saturday, December 18, 2010

Welcome Back Kerry Wood

Paul Sullivan was on Chicago Tribune Live on Thursday after the signing was announced. Here is what he had to say.
  • Wood could have gotten more money from the White Sox or Yankees, but he wanted to return to the Cubs.
  • Sullivan didn't expect Kerry to be in the Cubs price range.
  • The two sides got together at Ron Santo's funeral.
  • Injuries are always a concern with him. He missed the first few weeks last season.
  • Sullivan thinks we are starting to see baseball players consider factors besides money. One of his kids goes to school in Chicago, his wife has family here and they just wanted to make this their home.
  • Playing for the Cubs always made Kerry happy. Paul wouldn't be surprised if he retires a Cub now.
  • If Kerry has a good season, he could be a multi-year deal for next season.
  • Zambrano's agent told Sully at the winter meetings that Z will not waive his no-trade clause.

The newest member of the Chicago Cubs joined David Kaplan and company on CTL on Friday:

  • Wood called Chicago home. It is where the family belongs and where he wants to be.
  • Kerry has been in the city for the last 13 years and it is a perfect fit for him.
  • He pointed out that he went to the postseason four of his ten seasons on the North Side.
  • Woody thinks when there are no expectations it makes it a little easier for the young guys to get the job done.
  • He thinks that the team can sneak up and surprise some people.
  • "Mike Quade's great. He's a great baseball guy and a great baseball man."
  • Kerry believes that the Reds have talent, but they are beatable. The division is up for grabs.
  • He spent some time on the phone with Kenny Williams talking about the possibility of going to the White. It just didn't seem like the right fit for him.

Here are the notes from the press conference to welcome Kerry back yesterday at Wrigley:

  • "What a great day for the Chicago Cubs," Jim Hendry said.
  • Jim and Kerry did not feel like it was right for them to end and part ways. The two men had not discussed this over the past few years.
  • "God bless #10, who in his own way had something to do with this," Hendry said, referring to the fact that this agreement was first talked about at Ron Santo's funeral.
  • Tom Ricketts has always expressed the fact that he wants to do what's best for Cubs players and ex-Cubs players. Kerry has made it no secret that he wants to be a Cub for life.
  • Woody said that he has always wanted to spend the rest of end of his career with the Cubs. This situation "kind of popped up on him."
  • Kerry reiterated that it has never been about the money for him. This is a perfect situation for his family. He feels like he belongs here for many years to come.
  • Wood's body feels great and he has developed his cutter. He plans on helping the Cubs get the ball to Carlos Marmol.
  • He doesn't think this would have come up if it weren't for Ron Santo's funeral.
  • "I'm just going to do my thing. I'm going to just go out there and get outs and hope the guys (in the bullpen) can see the way I go about my business."
  • Wood hasn't discussed how long he plans on pitching before he ends his career. He plans on being around whenever his career is over.

Todd Hollandsworth joined Rosenbloom & Grote to talk about Woody and more:

  • The Cubs got a really good reliever for a really good price. Hollandsorth called this signing "a gift under the tree" for Jim Hendry.
  • Todd doesn't know if Andrew Cashner is ready to be a starter just yet.
  • For different players and different pitchers, the amount of time it takes to adjust and learn how to pitch in the bigs every fifth day. There is no doubt that he has the stuff to do it.
  • Holly thinks that the 2011 ballclub will be a competitive team. They have a shot to compete in the NL Central.
  • Rudy Jaramillo and Mark Riggins will play large roles on this ballclub.
  • It is hard to gauge how this team will do, but the whole division is like that. Last year's Reds team had a lot of players that surprised people.
  • Todd is a firm believer that anyone can be traded at any time. Carlos Zambrano is a key for next season, but whether or not the team should trade him depends on what it would be getting in return.
  • Kerry is definitely viewed as a guy who is a leader. He may not be the one standing up having team meetings, but he could be "the voice of the bullpen."
  • The Cubs are not just trying to bring in character guys. The pieces that they have brought in are good pieces. Carlos Pena has had a strong career outside of last season.
  • Pena's contract is structured in a way that it is affordable. He got his contract for this year based on his career as a whole, not the 2010 season.
  • Holly thinks Mike Quade will be a good manager for the Chicago Cubs. I believes that the key to this team is going to be the fact that there aren't high expectations.
  • The way that this team may finally win it all when they start out slow, hang in the weeds, don't have a lot of expectations and then all the sudden get hot down the stretch.
  • Todd "absolutely wants to be a candidate to sit next to Pat Hughes on the radio broadcasts. He has "thrown his hat into the arena" but knows that there is no replacing Ron Santo.
  • Hollandsworth called Ronnie a guy "who was there for everyone". If we could all live the way Ronnie did, this would be a better world.

Welcome home #34!!! I'll keep you posted.

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