It’s been no secret that Wood has struggled this season, going 0-2 with an ERA over 8.00, but I honestly did not expect this. I figured Woody just needed some extra time to get ready, after he missed most of Spring Training, and after already spending time on the DL early in 2012, but there is clearly more to story.
I hope this decision is based on more than just frustration, because while Wood hasn’t looked great in 2012, he certainly has shown signs that he’s still got it. The velocity is there on his fastball, regularly hitting the mid-90′s on the radar gun. It’s been his cutter that he can’t throw for strikes, and he’s just been walking too many batters.
Wood must feel he’s given all he can to the game of baseball. It’s a wonder he’s still even around, with a long history of arm troubles, most pitchers would have hung it up years ago, but Woody persevered and continued to play the game he loved.
His career found new life when he moved to the bullpen a few years ago. Wood was always a starter in my mind, but given the circumstances, the move to the pen was the right call to extend his career.
Wood’s legacy unfortunately will be one that is defined by injuries. People will always wonder what could have been, what if he hadn’t been ridiculed with arm injuries?
Regardless, Wood will always be one of the all-time Cub greats. Not necessarily in terms of his career numbers (86-75, 3.67 ERA), but in hearts of Cubs fans. Woody has always been a crowd favorite, and he is my favorite Cub of all-time. Growing up playing baseball and being a pitcher, Wood was always the Cub I idolized. I always enjoyed rooting for Kerry, time and time again, he would go on the DL, but he always came back, giving it all he had.
It’s going to be straight up weird, to not see Kerry Wood in a Cubs uniform anymore. The franchise is losing one of it’s figure heads, and truly a great person in the game of baseball.
Wood is rumored to be making one last appearance from the bullpen, and then will call it a career. It should be an electrifying moment when he walks off Wrigley Field for the last time.