(Cubs closer Kerry Wood, pictured, ready for a season without steroids)
I followed the Cubs™ second in a row extra inning win over the Pirates (6-4 in 15) on a cell phone, so I™ll acquiesce to Andrew™s wishes and not make Cub updates a daily occurrence. Tough luck for you, tho, Andy. It™s a new season, and that means the Cubs Mailbag is back. As you may recall from last season: Fans ask MLB™s official Cub reporter Carrie Muskat the questions, and I supply the answers her job description prevents her from giving. Unbelievably, even for Cub fans, this week™s mailbag starts off with what is apparently the most pressing single issue on every North Siders™ mind after 99 years of World Series drought“ what™s the best theme music for Kerry f™n Wood to enter to as closer?
I’ve got an idea — or several — for Kerry Wood’s entrance. How about “No Chance” (Vince McMahon’s entrance theme on the WWE shows) or Triple H’s music? — Steven M., Lafayette, Ind.
WWE music? An ironic choice, Steven, since at least Vince™s guys knew how to win on steroids. Why is Kerry Wood always the first question with you people? Has he even pitched 8 innings this year? Did he pitch 8 innings all last year? How about œIron Man, Steven? œThe Needle and the Damage Done? What music do you think he should enter to at Cooperstown?
How about “Woodchoppers Ball” by Woody Herman? It’s probably too old to suit most. — Paul E., Huntsville, Ala.
Probably? Tempting as this is, Paul, I refuse to make fun of a vet of the Spanish-American War. But thank you for serving.
If the Cubs are looking for a song for Wood’s entrance into a game, how about playing “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen?
— John F., Melbourne, Fla.
Queen? For a sporting event? Yeah John, IF they were looking. How about if Wood makes a goddamn contribution to the team for the first time in five years besides posing for his Topps card? We™re out of the World Series since 1908. How about œ99 Problems (But a Bitch Ain™t One)? At this point in the mailbag, Muskat notes: “I also received a suggestion from Denny K. to use ‘Knock on Wood’ by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I’m going to let Wood and the Cubs’ marketing department figure this one out. Wood says he’s indifferent, but he did not pick AC/DC’s “T.N.T.,” which was played in his first two appearances. On Saturday, Wood entered to “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ‘N Roses, and he picked up his second save.
Considering most Cub fans thought “T.N.T.” meant Wood’s arm was going to explode again, I’m thankful.
I’ve noticed this every year since I can remember. Is there any specific reason the Cubs, and I believe all Major League teams, play on Opening Day and then take the next day off? — Daniel I., Oswego, Ill.
Thanks, Daniel “ finally, a real baseball question. Actually, due to MLB going cold turkey on steroids in 2008, commissioner Bud Selig had to declare this year a withdrawal year, meaning many, multiple rest days for teams to kick. It™ll get back to normal by 2009, but at least we™ll finally see some December post-season ball, eh?
I’m still confused about why Matt Murton is not on the roster after batting .348 this spring. What’s so special about Reed Johnson? Why couldn’t Murton play center field? Does Johnson really possess that much more speed than Murton? I’m confused. — Phil C., Hendersonville, N.C.
Phil, let me explain it this way “ if Matt Murton and Reed Johnson raced from home plate to first base, Reed Johnson would win Every Fucking Time. Ok?
Why wasn’t Micah Hoffpauir on the Opening Day roster? He was killing the ball in Spring Training. Couldn’t he be a huge player coming off the bench? — Tyler F., Beebeetown, Iowa
Beebeetown? And you have e-mail?
What happened to the Cubs’ “notes” pieces? They were my favorite articles to read. Thanks. — Brian D., Buffalo, N.Y.
Sold, Brian. Sold. New owner Sam Zell recycled Carrie’s œCub Notes as Tribune Co. stock options. And he still lost money on the transaction ¦
I’ve heard that Geovany Soto qualifies for Rookie of the Year voting. What about Kosuke Fukudome? — Neil C., Deltona, Fla.
Sure, if Kosuke actually plays two solid weeks in row. The key word in the Rookie of the Year award is œyear Neil, not œrookie. Deltona, Florida? Shouldn’t you be a Marlins fan or something?
Do you know if the Cubs are going to offer a replica of the Ernie Banks statue, and perhaps one signed by Mr. Cub for the public to purchase? — Bob G., Chicago
If you were really to put a 15-foot-tall, 600-lb statue of Ernie in your house, Bob, don’t you think it would creep Ernie out too much to sign it? Stay away from Ernie. The mailbag’s serious about this, Bob.
I purchased two brick pavers, and I’ve received the replicas and a certificate with the number. How do I find the brick at the park? Is there a locator director or something? I’ve been writing to the Cubs for weeks, and no one has gotten back to me. Thanks for your help. — Karen K., Chicago
Well, Karen, here™s your answer, sad as it is: Cost-cutting forced Sam Zell to sell off many Trib assets. The Wrigley replica bricks you bought are technically still being used in an official MLB capacity, by David Wells, to hold up a Chevy truck under the driver’s side front right wheel axle, located in his driveway.