Travis Wood was back at Wrigley Field Monday night to claim his 2016 World Series ring. Everyone associated with the encounter said it felt like the lefty reliever never departed the team this off-season after signing with the Royals. That was a good thing, because the Cubs held Wood hostage after giving him his ring, hoping he would help shore up a struggling bullpen.
“It was great having Woody back tonight,” said manager Joe Maddon. “So great in fact that we’re not letting him go back to Kansas City. We need him here.”
The Cubs have gotten off to a slow start, due largely to an ineffective bullpen that’s tallied four of the team’s seven losses and hasn’t given fans much to be optimistic about.
Ever the good spirit, Wood jumped at the chance to rejoin his old squad.
“It’s a bummer they’ve moved the bullpens under the bleachers,” said Wood. “It was always a lot of fun to mess with the fans over there and let smoked grounders careen off my shin. And I wonder if Joe will let me play in the outfield at all.”
Wood didn’t seem too concerned that staying with the Cubs might get him in hot water with his actual current team either.
“I’m sure ditching out on Kansas City is some big violation of my contract, but this is going to be great,” said Wood. “And let’s be honest, does anyone really care about the Royals?”