NEWS

Cubs notebook: Can't be! Santo has no comment

Jeff Vorva

Ron Santo rarely gets painted into a corner when his only option is, “No comment.”

The Cubs radio analyst usually has an opinion — and a forceful one at that — on just about every baseball topic imaginable.

Santo makes no bones that he loves the Cubs. And he also doesn’t hide the fact he has an extreme distaste for the New York Mets. In 1969, when Santo was the Cubs’ star third baseman, the Mets overtook the North Siders to win the National League East Division title on their way to the World Series crown.

So here’s the $1 million question: With the Mets playing at Milwaukee in a three-game set that started Tuesday night, whom does Santo root for? The hated Mets, who could help the Cubs by beating the NL Central-leading Brewers; or the Brew Crew?

“Huh, God, why would you ask me that?” Santo said. “See, that’s not a fair question. That’s an unfair question. So ... you know ... I’m not ... I have no comment on that.”

The Mets will travel from Milwaukee to Wrigley Field to for a three-game set starting Friday.

There is no doubt which team Santo will be rooting for in that series.

Wood work

f all is well today ,Kerry Wood, who has been on the disabled list all season with right shoulder tendinitis, could be activated Thursday or Friday, according to general manager Jim Hendry. Wood, heretofore a starter, will head to the bullpen. Hendry, for one, can’t wait to see him back with the Cubs.

“He’s as good of a guy as we’ve ever had here,” Hendry said. “He’s loved by his teammates. He’s a team guy. I’ve watched this guy for 10 years and I’ve seen him pitch in a lot of pain and a lot of discomfort. I see a different bounce in his step. He feels very good about his chances.”

Wood hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since June 6, 2006, against Houston. In that outing he gave up four runs (one earned) on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings at Minute Maid Park.

“I will use him in the middle to build up some stamina and build up some strength,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “He hasn’t been out on the mound for a long, long, time in a major league game. We have to get him acclimated. We have to build up stamina, and the middle is the best place for that. The back end of our bullpen has worked well.

“But as the season progresses and if Kerry stays healthy, the roles could change.”

Brady, times two

On Saturday, Cincinnati hosted the Cubs during “ ’70s Night” at Great American Ball Park. Barry Williams, the actor who played Greg Brady on the sitcom “The Brady Bunch” was on hand for the festivities.

On Tuesday night, the Cubs had their “ ’70s Night,” and “Brady Bunch” fans doubled their pleasure. Not only was Williams there, but Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady, was on hand.

Lights out

The power in the Cubs offense has been up and down all season.

Now the power inside Wrigley Field is in question.

Before night games, Piniella usually does a pregame news conference in an interview room. On  Tuesday, moments before he entered the room, the lights went out.

“That’s nothing new,” Piniella cracked. “I’ve been in the dark all year.”