We are closing in on Christmas and yet in the Phoenix area the season is still fall, if you can call it that. The leaves of the deciduous trees have finally turned yellow and red and we’ll have a high temp here in Mesa today of 62 degrees. Regardless of the weather, for many a Cub fan Christmas has come early with the signing of Kerry Wood. The prodigal son has come home to Chicago and back with the team that drafted him in 1995 . Only a few days ago rumors swirled that the Cubs former “Kid K” was going to sign (shudder the thought) with the White Sox. The fact that Wood turned down significantly more money offered by other teams to sign with the North Side squad gives this deal a nice reciprocal feeling.
|Dempster and a Cleveland Indian Wood, March 2009|
Every Cubs fan knows Wood’s injury history, so the one year $1.5 million incentive laden contract comes with that baggage. Wood brings more than just a right arm to the bullpen and team, he brings leadership and intangibles. Now you might be saying, “come on Tim, what the frick are these intangibles?”. OK, the nature of “intangible” by definition is elusive and vague but Wood choosing to leave the New York Yankees to come back and play at Wrigley Field for the Cubs is an “intangible” – He picked the Cubs. After the disaster that was last season and the recent loss of Ron Santo, this is something good for Cubs fans. Adding the 33 year old relief pitcher doesn’t mean that somehow the Cubs are now division favorites, but it did fill a need. At this point since we are just talking around the hot stove, having Kerry Wood back with the Cubs just feels right.
In real terms, Wood gives the Cubs a right-handed set-up man to go with lefty Sean Marshall and lets youngster Andrew Cashner compete for a spot in the rotation. All of this will begin to play out in 8 weeks. That’s right, just over 8 weeks until the Cubs open spring camp with pitchers and catchers! As usual BOS will be the mandatory check in site for the inside scoop on all things Cubs when the team arrives here in AZ. We will be revamping our website with some exciting new features and, as you’ve come to expect from Boys of Spring, you’ll get our exclusive Cubs media (photos, video, tweets, and blog) to keep you on the “inside” of Cubs spring training. Go Cubs!