It was a little weird driving to Wrigley Field Friday morning for Kerry Wood and wife Sarah. They’ve made the trip for 10 years, but now he’s a member of the Cleveland Indians, not the Cubs.
“I was fortunate enough to play in this city for 10 years,” Wood said. “It’s a big part of my career, it’s a majority of my career, but I don’t think my career is over.”
Now, he’s the closer for the Indians and former Cub Mark DeRosa is starting in left field for the Tribe. Both met with the Chicago media near the visitor’s clubhouse. What does DeRosa miss most about being with the Cubs?
“It’s a special place to play, the fans are special,” DeRosa said. “I haven’t been anywhere else that even comes close. To me, it was a huge let down to be moved. I cherished the time I was there and have moved on and I’m fine and comfortable being a Cleveland Indian.”
Wood did stop by the home clubhouse to say hello to his former teammates and the staff. He filed for free agency after the 2008 season and signed with the Indians. Was it disappointing the Cubs didn’t try to keep him?
“I didn’t expect it,” Wood said. “I understood where the team was at and the moves they needed to make to get some left-handed bats. I saw this coming before the All-Star break.”
What does he miss most?
“The atmosphere,” Wood said. “My [Cleveland] teammates now are going to come in and get to play in the best atmosphere you can find which is a weekend series at Wrigley.”
DeRosa had three hits off Ted Lilly in a Spring Training game. On Saturday, they’ll face off again.
“I hope it’s like Spring Training,” DeRosa said. “I’m excited about it, but at the same time, I don’t want it to take place. You never want to face your buddy because deep down you’re going to have to go to dinner with him after it. We’ll compete, we’ll go at it. He’s a fiery guy when he steps across the white lines, too. I’m here to help my team win.”
— Carrie Muskat