CHICAGO (AP) - Kerry Wood got his old locker back in the Chicago Cubs clubhouse, even though he’d been away for two years. And now he’ll enjoy something else he remembers well _ another opening day at Wrigley Field.
The forecast is for rain and maybe some snow flurries when the Pirates and Cubs start the season Friday. Wood felt the chill when he got off the plane from Arizona on Wednesday night. He expected it after six weeks-plus at spring training.
“It definitely hits you in the face,” Wood said. “That’s what it’s about. It’s baseball in April in Chicago.”
The Pirates went 57-105 a year ago, their 18th straight losing season. Of course, 10 of Pittsburgh’s wins came against the Cubs.
Carlos Pena, who signed with Chicago as a free agent after playing for Tampa Bay the last four years, is looking forward to playing in the second-oldest park in the majors. He played briefly with Boston in 2006 and spent four seasons in the AL East, so he’s already spent time in the oldest, Fenway Park.
But once he arrived to Wrigley on Thursday, he had to see for himself.
“I walked in this morning and I walked up on that concourse and got the fans’ perspective and all I said was, ‘Thank you.’ I’m pumped to be here,” he said.
Like teammate Matt Garza, who also came over from Tampa _ his arrival via a trade _ he’ll have to adjust to the weather, a new league and a home schedule heavy with day games.
Pena and Garza are newcomers and Wood is making his return after two seasons with Cleveland and the Yankees, but it’s Quade who really has a new task. He is going to run the team for the first time as the full-time manager. He was the skipper on an interim basis for the final 37 games a year ago after Lou Piniella retired in August. The Cubs responded with a 24-13 record.
Quade entered a press room Thursday and began counting the number of recording devices in front of him _ 11. There were also a half-dozen TV cameras aimed at him.
Quade, who managed more than 2,000 minor league games and was Chicago’s third base coach before being promoted last season, brought along a familiar companion with him _ his fungo bat.View Entire Story
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