2/28 Welcome home
Kerry Wood received a standing ovation from the fans at HoHoKam Park on Monday as he entered for his first spring appearance with the Cubs. He was more concerned about his fastball. Wood, back with the Cubs after pitching two seasons in the American League with the Indians and the Yankees, decided being home was most important and signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract in December.
“It was nice to get out there and get the first one out of the way,” Wood said. “The fan response was great.”
The Brewers weren’t as receptive. Luis Cruz singled to lead off the sixth and moved up on a wild pitch. Two outs later, he scored on a triple by Caleb Gindl, who tallied on Zelous Wheeler’s double.
Wood was happy with his breaking pitches, and acknowledged he threw a lot of fastballs, and the Brewers didn’t miss. The ovation was sweet.
“[Coming back] never was about trying to get a reception, it was more about being home,” said Wood, who has made Chicago his offseason home. “It’s better than getting booed off the field when you come off.”
He’s been staying under the radar this spring. That’s a veteran move.
“I know when they let [the media] in [to the clubhouse] and I know when you go out,” he said, laughing.
— Carrie Muskat