Monday, June 04, 2007

Kerry Wood and What Could Have Been

Kerry Wood was going to be the savior. He was every great pitcher rolled into one. He was going to be the ace of the Cubs staff for years to come. Baseball pundits marveled at what the Cubs could accomplish with Wood and Prior heading up a rotation that also included a promising young right hander named Carlos Zambrano. As Cubs fans, we were on the verge of truly halcyon days.

Of course, the halcyon days never came. Wood and Prior kept company on the DL and Zambrano is currently in the midst of a meltdown, perhaps triggered by his own injury. And for Cubs fans, all of the years of futility just go on and on.

Looking at Wood today, it can be easy to forget the promise he held as a 20-year old fireballer. It can be easy to forget that at one time, he was the most promising pitcher in all of baseball. It can also be far too easy to forget that Wood is just a man. At one time, we expected Kerry Wood to be Superman. As it turned out, he had a super arm, but it was connected to an ordinary man who had physical limitations and was subject to the same laws of physics as everyone else.

Buzz Bissinger has written an excellent article about Kerry Wood and his struggles and his disappointing career. It makes for good, albeit sad, reading.


At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Renee Long said...

The word "potential" has been used of young pitchers since baseball has been played. I can think back to the days of Bill Bonham and Ray Burris; seems our Cubs have had few homegrown prospects that have fulfilled their potential. Listening to Woody's 20K game was a goosebump experience, and we thought 2003 showed the face of the future, which looked unlimited. Nothing is more uncertain in baseball than the fate of a young pitcher. Atleast we are now seeing some homegrown talent; maybe the odds will turn in our favor yet!


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