A League of Her Own

Kerry Wood Headed To Booth No Matter What Cubs Say


Screw You, Buddy!
(Kerry Wood responds to Dan Bernstein's WSCR report.)

If you, like me, happened to tune into WSCR-AM yesterday afternoon, you probably noticed that Boers and Bernstein's topics of conversation centered around two strange premises. First, that the Bears would almost certainly lose to the Seahawks and Chicagoland would go nuts. Strange, yes, but a) this isn't a Bears blog and b) it's standard riling-up stuff for sports radio, so, y'know, whatever. Secondly, however, was that Kerry Wood - returning, conquering Cub hero - had made a SECRET BLOOD PACT with the Cubs to become a Cubs broadcaster after his retirement, whenever that should occur.

(No blockquote because, duh, it happened on the radio.)

It seemed like a win-win situation for all. Beloved Cub actually gets to retire as a Cub, a rare occurrence (see: Grace, Mark) and the organ-I-zation gets to capitalize on his popularity with the fans. Hire a mercenary radio guy for a couple years to keep the seat warm, then BOOM - Kerry Wood all up in your radio. What's not to love?

Everything, apparently, if you're the Chicago Cubs and/or Kerry Wood, who came out last night with denials on full blast. Why?


This is the part where I had written about 500 words defending Dan Bernstein's report and poking fun of all the Cubs writers in town parroting the company line that the report is false, that Kerry Wood doesn't even want to be a broadcaster. Unfortunately, the Blog Monster ate my entire post and I lost my train of thought.

Suffice it to say, all those denials you're hearing from the Cubs are bunk, even the one from Bernstein's own 670-AM colleague David Schuster. The Cubs expect us to believe that a retired 30-something Kerry Wood will become a "living legend" casino greeter/Ambassador like Billy Williams? That he'll, what, become the pitching coach - with those mechanics? Yeah, right.

According to LOHO sources, the truth is that Kerry Wood doesn't want to be seen in the clubhouse as a "media guy," and the Chicago Cubs don't want any potential broadcaster hires to know that they're essentially keeping the seat warm for the returning team hero when he's ready. That's why they're all coming out guns-blazing against what is otherwise a perfectly harmless feel-good story.

Put it this way - you know your favorite sports team has developed a real credibility problem when sports radio talkers have a better reputation for honesty than the teams they cover, but if there's one thing I now know to be true, it's that you never, ever believe a Cubs denial.

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35 Comments

Doc said:

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I'm figuring Kerry and Pat will just call the game from the bullpen starting this season.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Pete is in the process of updating this post, as LOHO actually has some decent information on the Kerry Wood rumor.

Karen said:

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Just as long as you don't change the picture...that made my day

JulieDiCaro said:

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I love macho. bad-ass Kerry.

sloan peterson said:

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I have no problem with Kerry Wood moving into the announcers chair when he chooses to retire. Also why would the other Cubs care if he becomes a announcer a year or so down the line? None of this makes sense, except-WHAT IF they are bringing in some radio guy, and want the option to replace him if he can't mesh with Pat? That is the only way I can see the Ricketts,etc. being upset by a fairly harmless story....

sloan peterson said:

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Also when I first saw the caption I thought,"Why would Kerry Wood go into a dunking booth?"

Aisle424 said:

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Also, I don't think teams are officially allowed to compensate current players with future promises of employment with the team. I feel like this has come up int he past and the MLBPA shot down the contract (a Schilling deal maybe?). If that is so, they CAN'T admit it is true on top of the reasons that Pete outlines. If I have time, I'll see what I can find on my Google machine if someone doesn't beat me to it.

Also, I totally called this scenario when he first signed: http://424tales.blogspot.com/2010/12/replacing-ron.html

JulieDiCaro said:

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It makes the $1.5 million make a lot more sense, that's for sure.

David Kaplan said:

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Kerry has always maintained that while he will find something to do when his playing days are over he has zero interest in broadcasting. He doesn't want the travel and broadcasting has no appeal to him. Will he work in a role similar to Greg Maddux? Perhaps but broadcasting. No. The denials including David Schuster's are right on the money.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dave, I think you'd be surprised at who it was that told us this. Definitely someone more in the know than Dave Schuster, though I think he's great. This source says that the Cubs are denying it because it will screw up their search for someone to replace Ronnie long-term.

I guess we'll all find out, but I trust this person.

berselius said:

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I'm not sure what you mean, Julie. Aren't all the rumors pointing to Kerry as Santo's long term replacement? Or did you mean that it would mess up the current color commentator search?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I mean that no one who is decent at color is going to take a job that is guaranteed to go to someone else whenever he decides he's ready.

dat cubfan daver said:

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But Kerry himself denies it in Kap's Tribune article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0113-around-town--20110112,0,1660177.column

Why should we trust your source over Wood himself? If he does intend to take the job after he retires, why wouldn't Kerry just say something more innocuous, such as, "Anything's possible. I haven't really thought that far ahead."?

berselius said:

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Well, you're assuming Wood would tell the truth about this when their plan was to keep this under wraps with the media.

dat cubfan daver said:

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I guess, but I'd ask again: Why deny it so flatly? Why not leave the option open so he doesn't look like a liar if/when such a deal comes to fruition?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't think pro athletes look at lying to the media as "lying." He's just denying a report because he's not ready to confirm it.

Also, from what I've been told, other athletes don't want a guy in their lockerroom who they see as being "in" with the media or the owners.

JulieDiCaro said:

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As Pete said, because a) he doesn't want to be the "media guy" in the clubhouse and b) knowing that the job is going to Kerry eventually doesn't help the Cubs replace Ronnie now. Who is going to want that job? I mean, *I* would take it, but people don't usually take those kinds of job on a short-term basis. Also, there may be a confidentiality clause involved.

All I can say is that we stand by our source.

dat cubfan daver said:

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Fair enough -- I guess time will tell. I'd agree that it would go a long way toward explaining Woody's remarkable hometown discount.

JulieDiCaro said:

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this is my thinking, too.

all i can say (over and over) is that we trust the source.

HackWilson09 said:

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Hey, Dave - I just got an email from Kerry. He's not giving AJ Pierzynski the double-finger there. He was in the middle of an elaborate set of signs telling AJ where to stand when the anvil falls out of the airplane.

Personally I don't see the point in publishing the rumor if it creates an uncomfortable legal situation, either for Kerry or the Cubs. We (real Cubs fans) are so very glad that Kerry Wood has returned, and we never want him to leave. He can do anything he wants from here on out. We trust that he'll always do his best and say the right things to you media folks, and then when he's obviously done, he'll know when to retire, hopefully not for a long time. It was already a given that he'd be a Cubs lifer in some capacity. The man is a Cub.

berselius said:

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"
Put it this way - you know your favorite sports team has developed a real credibility problem when sports radio talkers have a better reputation for honesty than the teams they cover, but if there's one thing I now know to be true, it's that you never, ever believe a Cubs denial."

No one has a reputation for honesty in the Chicago sports landscape (laughing)

JulieDiCaro said:

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Geez, where is everyone today?

plamorte said:

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waiting for G9 to launch.

or working

Doc said:

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no doubt...Feb 1st can't arrive soon enough.

JulieDiCaro said:

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don't you have a link you want to share with us?

Hmmmmmm?

flyball said:

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I hate the rush of a deadline, don't you

Doc said:

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I don't.

JulieDiCaro said:

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FWIW, I just got an email from the Cubs denying this rumor.

summerguy said:

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@Julie

What, are they trying to censor you now?

Cubs Psychologist said:

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See Julie, you are hitting the big time now. The Cubs Organization sends you emails now!! You are now the Mack Mama of the Year!!

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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You know I can't keep a secret. Julie's source is Todd Ricketts!!!!!!!1!!1

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dammit, Carl.

Doc said:

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That's a worse source than Phil Rogers' dog.

Doc said:

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And I love the fact that if you do a google search for "Phil Rogers dog" the first link is to my blog. That's sad.

jarowcliffe said:

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Well there goes any credibility from Julie's "sources"

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