Bears

Wood enjoying retirement, knows he made the right call

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Wood enjoying retirement, knows he made the right call

Kerry Wood is learning what its like to be a Cubs fan.

The recently-retired Wood was on hand in the Cubs clubhouse at Wrigley Field prior to the series finale against Arizona on Sunday. But he wasnt planning to stick around for the actual game.

Im 0-for-2 as a fan, Wood said. So Im leaving before it starts.

Wood said he has kept busy since his dramatic May 18 retirement. While he remains active with the Wood Family Foundation charitable organization, much of his time goes to hanging out with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

Ive been waiting a long time for this, he said. Its been great. Its been Little League games and fishing. Its been a great summer. Its my first summer off in 25-plus years, so its been enjoyable.

Wood said hes being host to a baseball clinic beginning Monday, and that his foundation is joining with the Cubs to build a new high school baseball field on Addison Street, just west of Western Avenue and adjacent to Lane Tech High Schools Lane Stadium. Wood said groundbreaking will come soon on the field that will be used by Chicago high schools and for clinics.

While Wood is mostly out of the public eye now, his national commercial for State Farm has brought loads of attention. In it, Wood pulls from the ivy an old, brick-like cell phone, a French horn, and, of course, Andre Dawson.

The commercial, filmed about three weeks ago, has been a hit.

Ive gotten some good feedback, Wood said. It took nine hours, for that 30-second spot, but it was fun doing it. It was fun hanging out with Hawk all day. Ive had people calling me about it from all over the country.

As for his future, Wood ruled out any immediate move into coaching or management.

Those guys spend so much more time around here than players do, so it would be kind of counterproductive of what I wanted to do, he said. Id like to be here as much as I can without being in the way. So Ill be around, but I dont for sure exactly what (my role will be).

Hell likely be in an advisory role for the Cubs, especially as the season winds down. He said he expects to be around Wrigley more often once August rolls in, and when rosters expand in September.

One thing he said he wont worry about is making a comeback.

Im enjoying family life too much, he said. I tried playing catch (Sunday), so I know (retirement is) the right decision.

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears’ division lead on life support after loss to Dolphins

A tie is all that separates the Bears from the rest of the NFC North division. Chicago’s Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the team to 3-2, which just barely leaves them in first place.

Because the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings tied in Week 2, they sit just behind the Bears at 3-2-1 in the division. The Week 5 bye week also kept Chicago a little bit ahead, but they’re only a game away from dropping down to third.

They still control their own destiny, but Matt Nagy will need an upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday to maintain their leading position. The Packers are on a bye week, so they would assume first place if the Bears lose.

The Vikings take on the New York Jets for a chance to take sole possession of the NFC North crown, but Chicago is guaranteed to stay ahead of the Detroit Lions, who also have a bye week.

These early season losses are tough on a Bears team trying to grow a division lead before they take on their NFC North foes midseason. The bigger cushion they can build now, the more wiggle room they’ll have when they face the Lions, Vikings and Lions back-to-back-to-back in November.

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: