Monday, June 13, 2005

Kerry Wood a Possible Solution to Cub Misery, Also a Major Problem

Kerry Wood is at the local ballpark tonight on a rehab assignment, so hopefully he brought his laptop as well as his fastball.

If he packed his computer, Wood will be able to read when I’m going to say about him.

It’s some stuff that’s been bothering me about Wood for a while now.

I think the right-handed flame-thrower is much more than a significant potential solution to the Chicago Cubs’ longtime miseries.

He’s also one of the major problems.

Until he grows up—and by that I mean grows into the mature person someone who will turn 28 on Thursday should be by now—he’ll be another example of the kind of pitcher in which the Cubs specialize.

He’ll continue losing far more big games than he wins.

He’ll be throwing the ball all over the place.

He’ll be forever regarded as The Guy Who Could Have Been Known as the Big Winner, but finished as the Sore-Armed, Sore-Shouldered or Sore-Headed Fast-Ball Artist Who Never Got Where He Was Going.

Former Cub pitcher and TV analyst Steve Stone said on his radio show earlier this season that Wood has shown he’s unable to adapt and wants to remain someone who can throw the ball through a stone wall rather than becoming a pitcher.

Unless he changes, Stony said in borrowing a line from Hayden Fry, Wood can go sell cars.

Wood, who is earning $9.5 million this season, struck out 20 Houston Astros in one game during his rookie season. But he’s never become the big winner everyone expected.

Maybe he never will.

Maybe general manager Jim Hendry should trade him while he can still get something for him.

If I were Hendry and a major league ballclub offered me a proven starter and a prospect for Wood, I’d say, “How soon do you want to do this?”


Not so fast on trading centerfielder Cory Patterson, though.

He frustrates me, too. But I’m old enough to remember Lou Brock and that idiotic midseason deal the Cubs pulled off with St. Louis.

For Brock, the Cubs got a garbage bag named Ernie Broglio.

Never ever trade Patterson to the Cardinals. Do that and the guy will turn into a Hall of Famer.

Let him keep swinging at bad pitches. Let him keep telling Manager Dusty Baker he doesn’t want to be the leadoff batter. Let him keep missing the cut-off man on his throws from centerfield.

Just don’t let Tony LaRussa get hold of him. He’d make him a star.


Speaking of the Cardinals, it drives me nuts to have to listen to Joe Buck on the TV play-by-play of their games.

Buck is the Fox national baseball and NFL announcer. To hear him come across as the Cardinals’ home-town announcer, which he is, sickens me.

If that’s not bad enough, he also appears on several of the commercials during the Cardinals’ telecasts.

Enough already.

Having to listen to Buck’s dad, Jack--another Cardinals cheerleader--was tough enough.


Any leftfielders out there who can hit .315 and smack about 20 home runs the rest of the season?

The Cubs are looking for you.


Sometimes I wonder if they’re running an old-age home at the local ballpark.

I mean, what good does it do to have 38-year-old outfielder Trenidad Hubbard on the same team that has 37-year-old Pat Listach as its hitting coach?

Vol. 4, No. 350
June 13, 2005