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Coming to Grips
by Derek Smart
It has to be difficult for any athlete, especially an elite one, to get their head around the necessity for change that their bodies present them as they grow older or recover from catastrophic injury. In the case of Kerry Wood, who has decided to forgo surgery on his partially torn rotator cuff, it looks like he's done so, at least for the short term.
"I'm probably not going to be coming back as a starter," Wood said Wednesday. "I need to go out and pitch and I need to get some innings. I need to be healthy. Probably the best way to do that for me is to limit the innings, limit the pitches until I'm comfortable and positive I can make 34, 35 starts with 110 pitches every fifth day. Coming off another season of rehab, I don't know if I can do that right now."
This is exactly the sort of scenario where, with an incentive laden contract, Wood could do a Major League team, even the Cubs, a world of good, not to mention making it far easier for him to not only get employed, but stay on the field while doing so. In fact, being the admitted Kerry Wood fanboy that I am, it's exactly the way I'd like to see him return to the club next year.
Who knows if that will get done - personally, I'd feel no shock to see him test the waters, particularly to see if either of the Texas clubs might bite - but it at least gives me a little hope, unfounded in reality though it may be, that my jersey with the big '34' could be back in style next year.