One of the best lines in the MoneyBall has a scout talking to Billy Beane and his family.
“We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t… don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.”
It’s good, because it is true.
Kerry Wood is going to bend the rules just a little sometime this weekend. Kerry Wood wants the ball, one more time. Sometime this weekend in a series with the crosstown White Sox at Wrigley Field, Cubs manager Dale Sveum will make a pitching change and Wood will enter the game.
He may pitch an inning, he may pitch to one batter. But when he walks off the field it will be his last appearance as a major league pitcher. In a way, Wood is telling the game, I’m done. He is leaving and he is leaving on his terms.
“He doesn’t want to do it for the recognition,” teammate Ryan Dempster said of Wood wanting to make a final appearance. “He wants to have one last time out there.” Who can blame him?
Wood is now 34 and has pitched in 13 seasons and has 1,500 strikeouts. He is 86-75 with a 3.67 ERA in 445 games, including 178 starts.
Wood was a number one pick of the Cubs in 1995. In his fifth major league start on May 6, 1998 he struck out 20 Houston Astros. Several pitches were clocked at 100 miles an hour. On that day his legacy was born. Injuries prevented Wood from becoming the player that many forecasted him to be.
Wood has gone from starter to set-up man to closer back to set-up man and now a middle reliever.
In all, Wood has been on the disabled list 16 times over 13-plus seasons. Kerry Wood has fans not just in Chicago, but everywhere. WGN saw to that. Chicago fans love him and Wood loves Chicago.
It might be too much to ask, but wouldn’t it be nice if Wood walked off the mound at Wrigley Field with one more strike out on his record?
Update : As we said, Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood would retire after making one last appearance, Wood whiffed the Chicago White Sox’s Dayan Viciedo in the eighth inning and promptly left the game. You got to love that !