I've been working on these portraits lately, and I'm trying to do as many as I can before the NLDS begins this week. I'm gonna start with the closers because... I've got the portraits done.
It's funny but as I'm working on them, I'm thinking about these guys individually and how they fit into the team.
Not trying to be jinxy, but there has never been a team like this to pull for on the North Side of Chicago since I've been around. And I'm pretty old.
Of all the players on this Cubs team, Kerry Wood is truly The Good Guy.
Deep in your Cubby heart, there's a special place for him because of what he was, what happened to him, and where he is now.
You root for him.
His story gives me honest to God goosebumps.
If the Cubs break their mold this year, this is the guy I'll be happiest for.
The way he handled himself through every situation from spectacular success to the worst kind of injury to (rumor has it) smashing Sosa's boombox with a baseball bat to just wanting to stay in Chicago, I will forever be a Kerry Wood guy.
There aren't many athletes to look up to, but he's one.
Also, I know I wrote "Good Guy" here, but if it was me up against him in the bottom of the 9th... pretty sure I'd think differently.
We all know about the fastball, but Kerry's got some other mean stuff in his arsenal.
Yeah, it's a well-used nickname, but there ain't NOBODY in either league more assassin-like than Carlos Marmol.
If you watched the game yesterday, Len and Bob were talking about the team, and they both chose Carlos for pitching mvp.
He has 114 strike-outs in 87 innings of work.
Big Z has 16 more strike-outs in 188 innings of work.
Carlos Marmol is the strikeout machine, the guy who breaks the spirit of the other team.
You try to dance at his party, he's gonna pop your balloon.
As exciting to watch as anybody in baseball, I can't wait to see him in post season action.
I titled this post "The Playoff Closers" because as the 8th and 9th inning pitchers, these guys are the closing team everybody envies.
The rest of the bullpen is up in the air for a couple days.
Lets see who joins.