I posted some thoughts on the Kerry Wood signing at The Cub Reporter today. If it's too cold outside for you to make the trip over there, I'll summarize here:

I think the Cubs coddled Wood about as effectively as they could have last season, limiting his innings and his exposure to high-pressure situations. But between his injury history and a complete lack of evidence that he can bear the workload of a true closer, I think it's pretty dopey to be thinking of him as our ninth-inning guy.

What the Cubs did Monday was sign a driven, injury-prone player to an incentive-rich contract, and that's a combination to keep your eyes on.

In pursuit of news, any news, about the Japanese nationals like Hiroki Kuroda and Kosuke Fukudome who are supposedly on the Cubs' radar, I have made japanball.com, the Japan Times, and Daily Yomiuri Online regular stops on my daily Web jaunts.

Finally, tonight, I turned up some news, that the Hanshin Tigers have decided to drop out of the Fukudome Derby, leaving "the Yomiuri Giants and major league clubs as the remaining bidders for the 2006 Central League MVP."

Not an earthshaking development...but something.

I now feel validated for having bookmarked the Japan Times, though even before tonight, I'd learned more about sumo wrestling than I realized there was to know.


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