Results tagged ‘ Kerry Wood ’
MESA, Ariz.–The Cubs have been working hard every day since they arrived in Mesa–on Thursday, manager Dale Sveum called the team’s effort “tremendous”–but they’re also building team chemistry and having fun. When you put 64 competitive athletes together in tight quarters, things are likely to get interesting.
MESA, Ariz.–Cubs manager Dale Sveum celebrates his win over pitcher Kerry Wood in the first round of the Spring Training bunting tournament. The competition has served as a good icebreaker for the team and helped solidify a necessary fundamental. But it’s also stoking the players’ (and the manager’s) competitive fire. (Photo by Stephen Green)
MESA, Ariz.–It was like a heavyweight fight: two evenly matched competitors slugging away at each other. But when the final round of Monday’s bunting competition was over, only new manager Dale Sveum was left standing.
In a back-and-forth battle between Sveum and right-hander Kerry Wood, Sveum advanced through the first round only after Wood’s final bunt edged into the 20-point box, instead of the 40-point box Wood needed for the victory.
“I got lucky by the way the grass was growing to the east,” Sveum said. “The ball kind of fell off the white line. I thought I was done, and I was going to shake his hand, and the ball just trickled off the white line at the end.”
This spring, Sveum created a NCAA tourney-style bracket, pitting 62 Cubs players and two coaches against each other in a bunting competition. Chalk lines have been drawn on one of the infields at Fitch Park, and different point totals are awarded depending on where the ball lands. Each competitor gets 24 pitches over three rounds and is required to bunt 12 to the first base side and 12 to the third base side.
This was the final first-round draw, with the exception of the matchup between Paul Maholm and Rodrigo Lopez. Their contest has been postponed while Maholm recovers from the flu. Carlos Marmol, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, David Dejesus and Jeff Baker also advanced on Monday.
“It’s a fun thing, but also a lot of people really want to get better and care about it,” Sveum said. “Sacrifice bunting is something that’s very important to the game, and it’s kind of been lost a little over the years.
“You get a feeling of guys who are bearing down and competing, and some guys who aren’t competing as well. You get to know somebody a little bit through this tournament.”
MESA, Ariz.–New Cubs pitcher Paul Maholm threw a side session on Monday but was sent home afterward, as he is still recovering from the flu. Although Maholm was slated to compete against Rodrigo Lopez in the Cubs bunting competition this afternoon, their matchup was postponed by manager Dale Sveum.
“I think he got a little sick–a little lightheaded–and is still a little dehydrated from being sick,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Shortstop Starlin Castro showed no ill effects after being hit in the forearm by a fastball from pitcher Kerry Wood during live batting practice on Monday. Castro, who was immediately examined by assistant trainer Ed Halbur, stepped back in against Wood later in the round and participated in all other drills throughout the day.
“He’s fine,” Sveum said. “I wasn’t there to witness it. It sounded a little more scary, but he’s fine. He stepped right in and did all his drills after that. It was almost like he didn’t get hit.”
From Jan. 13-15, Cubs fans of all ages gathered at the Hilton Chicago to warm up the winter and mingle with more than 70 Cubs players, coaches and front office personnel at the sold-out 27th annual Cubs Convention. Vine Line was there the whole weekend to document all the happenings, including Kerry Wood’s triumphant return, the Ron Santo Hall of Fame Panel and all the new Wrigley Field news. Get ready for the season and check out the sights and sounds of the 2012 Cubs Convention.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and his siblings welcome right-handed reliever Kerry Wood back into the fold at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Cubs Convention. The packed house at the Hilton Grand Ballroom greeted the news of Wood’s one-year deal with a thunderous ovation and chants of “Kerry, Kerry.” (Photo by Stephen Green)
Illustration by Jerry Neumann, and story by Jordan Ramos. Featured in the upcoming September 2011 edition of Vine Line.
Several Cubs players have new boots in their closets, but these kicks are much more than they appear to be at first glance.
Randy Wells, Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Andrew Cashner, Jeff Baker, Jeff Samardzija and Mike Quade are all part of the Boot Campaign, an initiative created by five Texas women that supports injured American soldiers. The inspiration came from the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, in which author Marcus Luttrell recounts Operation Redwing, an ill-fated mission to kill a high-ranking Taliban official in 2005.
Wells was introduced to Luttrell in the offseason.
“When I went down to the charity event and saw how much this book touched so many people, I got it and read it,” said Wells, who wore the boots in spring training. (more…)
Art by Jerry Neumann, and story by Jordan Ramos. Featured in the upcoming August issue of Vine Line.
There’s no doubt that Kerry Wood has made an impact in Chicago ever since he was a 20-year-old rookie. But now, as one of the Cubs’ veteran leaders, Wood is looking to make an even wider impact with his new charitable foundation.
In late June, Kerry and his wife, Sarah, announced the creation of the Wood Family Foundation, an organization that will benefit children’s charities throughout Chicagoland. They were joined by their three young children.
“Sarah and I have committed ourselves to Chicago, and I would like to use my success on and off the field to help grow a foundation that will make a difference in a child’s life,” Wood said.
Two of the foundation’s initial projects will be a playroom for children receiving cancer treatment at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a high school baseball field for students in an underserved area. Clothing, school-supply and toy drives will also be sponsored by the Wood family. (more…)
Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson help kick off the fun and games at the second-annual Dempster Family Foundation Casino Night, helping strike out 22q. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Musician Eddie Vedder, featured in the latest edition of Vine Line, catches up with good friend Kerry Wood in the clubhouse before Thursday’s game. Vedder conducted the stretch with Jose Cardenal and was prepared to sing it again in the 14th if not for Geovany Soto‘s walk-off homer. (Photo by Stephen Green)