This rough start and a history of injuries has prompted Wood to retire from baseball, according to a few Chicago area reports.
Bruce Levine, a beat writer for ESPN Chicago just tweeted the following:
For Cubs fans, it will be a sad day, as one of the players most associated with the team over the past two decades walks away from the game in the same uniform in which he once caught the nation’s attention as a fire-balling youngster in 1998.
1998 was Wood’s most dominant year as a professional, in which he not only struck out 20 batters in one game, but posted an astounding 233 strikeouts versus only 88 walks. Wood’s 266 strikeouts in 2003 was another unreal number, but following that season, the injury bug bit for the first time, a bug that would ultimately derail what could have been a dominant career.
After his initial 10-year stint with the Cubs, Wood also spent brief periods of time with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees, returning to Chicago last summer in a short-relief and setup role.
Always a crowd favorite, Wood’s frustration with his slow start was apparent during a game earlier this month when he flung his glove into the crowd after a rough outing, and being pulled by Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
It was at that time it just felt like there was something wrong.
Wood was dejected on the bench and didn’t look like himself.
The end of a player’s career is something only they can call the final shot on. Pro athletes always say that they “just know” when it’s time to walk away.
Kerry Wood must have had this revelation, and all Cubs fans can do is respect his decision and understand it was time for him to move on.
It’s almost certain Kerry Wood will remain with the team in some capacity going forward. He’s as much of a Cubs ambassador as anyone has been in the last 20 years.
When one chapter ends, another begins, and it’s time for Kerry Wood to write the next part of his book.