Obviously a brutal couple of days for Kerry Wood in his return to Wrigley. Hopefully Eric Wedge gives him today off. Thing is, Kerry Wood isn't alone in experiencing a rough homecoming. While you enjoy your Father's Day, here's a look back at some of the good, bad, vengeful, and memorable games for some other high-profile players in their return to familiar settings.
STEVE CARLTON – AUGUST 5, 1972 IN ST. LOUIS: I'd imagine this was kind of like an "F You" performance, but probably more so because the Cardinals stuck him on a gawd-awful team (Carlton won 27 of the 59 Phillies wins that year). Carlton threw a 5-hit shutout with 7 Ks, which was part of this crazy 7-start stretch from July 19 through August 13: 7-0, 7 CG (one of them 11 innings), 4 shutouts, 53 Ks, 0.42 ERA, and a 0.677 WHIP. Wow.
TOM SEAVER – AUGUST 21, 1977 IN NEW YORK: Seaver was devastated that he was traded to Cincy. Mets fans were devastated that he was traded to Cincy. And when he returned to Shea in late August, he embarrassed a crummy Mets team, giving up one run and fanning 11 in a complete game.
KEITH HERNANDEZ – JUNE 28, 1983 IN ST. LOUIS: Hernandez was actually pissed that he got traded to the Mets because he hated New York. He took it out on the Cardinals in the first game of a doubleheader, going 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI in a Mets win.
ANDRE DAWSON – APRIL 24, 1987 IN MONTREAL: The Hawk wanted out of Montreal because the turf was taking it's toll on his knees, and he actually took a pay cut to play in Chicago, signing an incentive-laden deal. Dawson surpassed those incentives as he won the MVP, and his return to Montreal was quite memorable: 3-for-4 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI. Later in the series, he added 2 homers.
BOBBY BONILLA – JUNE 4, 1992 IN PITTSBURGH: Bobby Bo had quite a debut with the Mets, hitting two homers (including the game-winner) in an extra-inning win in St. Louis. But two months later, as he made his first trip back to Pittsburgh, Bonilla was hitting .258 with only 6 bombs and Mets fans had started to hate him. Not as much as the people at Three Rivers that night, who hurled, among other things, batteries at the New York right fielder. He didn't really do anything to shut them up, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in a 7-2 loss. He homered a couple days later, but in hindsight, everyone probably wishes he had just stayed in Pittsburgh.
GREG MADDUX – APRIL 5, 1993 IN CHICAGO: Cubs fans no doubt felt betrayed that the reigning Cy Young winner fled to Atlanta, and Maddux let them know exactly what they'd be missing on Opening Day, going 8 1/3 of shutout ball, allowing only 5 hits and striking out 4.
BARRY BONDS - APRIL 9, 1993 IN PITTSBURGH: A year after Bonilla bolted, Bonds signed with the Giants for a then-record 6-year, $43.75 million deal, which killed baseball for good in Pittsburgh and was also the inspiration for Wesley Snipes' character in The Fan. The still-skinny Bonds was obviously booed, although as we saw in later years, he seemed to feed off the negative energy, ripping a double and a triple in a loss. The Giants would win the next two games in the series despite Bonds going hitless.
WADE BOGGS – MAY 21, 1993 IN BOSTON: Boggs went 4-for-4 with a walk in his return to Fenway, and I'm not gonna bother to look up where the hits went because I'd like to think they were all opposite line drive singles over the shortstop's head.
ROGER CLEMENS – JULY 12, 1997 IN BOSTON: Red Sox GM Dan Duquette famously said that Clemens was in the twilight of his career after Clemens signed with Toronto after the '96 season (come on, how was he gonna know Clemens would start taking horse steroids and forge a friendship with Brian McNamee), and that just added to Clemens' rage. In one of the greatest "F You" performances ever, Clemens went 8 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 run, and struck out 16 batters. To cap things, he stared straight at the Duquette and the rest of brass up in their suite as he walked off the mound at the end of his day.
MIKE PIAZZA – AUGUST 28, 1998 IN LOS ANGELES: A contract dispute helped force a trade from the Dodgers to the Marlins, and when Piazza returned to L.A. a couple months later as a Met, he seemed eager to stick it to management. Big Mike homered to get the Mets on the board and then scored the winning run in extra innings. He would hit 7 homers in Dodger Stadium as a member of the Mets.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ – APRIL 16, 2001 IN SEATTLE: You're not gonna believe this, but the Seattle fans didn't greet A-Rod with open arms in his first game back as a Ranger. But instead of batteries, they showered him with fake money, and you know A-Rod heard every single one of the 45,657 who booed him that night. He singled in the middle of a Texas rally to get them back in the game, but finished 1-for-5 in a 9-7 loss.
MANNY RAMIREZ – JULY 3, 2001 IN CLEVELAND: Can't really blame Manny for leaving the great city of Cleveland for the 8 years and $160 million that Boston threw at him. Don't tell that to Indians fans through, who predictably booed him during BP, introductions, the video montage on the big screen, and when he singled in his first at-bat. Still unclear if Manny actually knew what was going on or where he was, but he got 2 hits that night and went 5-for-13 for the series, so his game wasn't affected much.
JASON GIAMBI – APRIL 23, 2002 IN OAKLAND: Oakland fans lustily booed Giambi when he showed up as a Yankee, but it's tough to blame them since this was before the Moneyball secret was out and they knew there was a plan in place to keep the team competitive despite losing all the big free agents. Giambi got 2 hits including a double as the Yankees won, and no question that he celebrated afterwards by demolishing a porterhouse, probably at Kincaid's.
FRANK THOMAS – MAY 22, 2006 IN CHICAGO: White Sox GM Ken Williams had some not-so-nice things to say about The Big Hurt at the end of his stay in Chicago, so Thomas probably didn't feel too bad about his return with the A's, ripping 2 solo homers in a loss.
PEDRO MARTINEZ – JUNE 26, 2006 IN BOSTON: Pedro didn't leave Boston on the best of terms with management, but the fans still loved him, and even though his return to Fenway was two years later, he got a crazy ovation. Didn't really work out for him though, as he left trailing 8-0 after 3 innings. Lastings Milledge didn't help him out, missing a pop-up in left which led to 2 runs, but he also gave up 8 hits and a homer to Alex Gonzalez, and people thought that the emotions were too much for him. Turns out he was injured, and didn't make a start for another month.
DARRYL STRAWBERRY – MAY 7, 1991 IN NEW YORK: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
ROD CAREW – APRIL 17, 1979 IN MINNESOTA: 1-for-4, K … SERIES TOTAL: 6-for-12, 4 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B, 2 BB
JOSE CANSECO – SEPTEMBER 30, 1992 IN OAKLAND: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB
JOE MORGAN – APRIL 29, 1980 IN CINCINNATI: 1-for-4, R, SB … SERIES TOTAL: 5-FOR-12, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
PAUL MOLITOR – JUNE 25, 1993 IN MILWAUKEE: 1-for-4, RBI
SCOTT ROLEN – AUGUST 16, 2002 IN PHILADELPHIA: 2-for-4
JACK MORRIS – MAY 19, 1991 IN DETROIT: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 8 R (4 ER), 3 K, 6 BB, 3 HRA, LOSS (8-3)
TOM GLAVINE – MAY 24, 2003 IN ATLANTA: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 HR, LOSS (10-4)