Picture Kerry Wood, sitting in his study with a snifter of brandy in his hand. Coming off a 34-save season, his conversion to closer has been successful by any measure. Sure, the Cubs didn’t offer him a three-year deal like he wanted, but you can never have too much relief pitching, so other teams are bound to call. The phone rings. Wood puts down his drink, and leans over the phone to check the caller ID. It reads: Dusty Baker.
(”Kerry, what do you think about Dusty wanting to manage you again?”)
Six hours later, the police find Wood huddled in his bathtub with the showerhead running, rocking back and forth while muttering to himself, “He knows where I live, he knows where I live.”
Baker inherited a healthy Wood in 2003 and promptly ensured by lack of pitch counts that he would never again start another big league game. Now, as manager of the Reds, he wants Wood back. That’s like Tina going back to Ike. Can we press charges against this man?
The Cubs decided to pass on offering Wood a multiyear deal to retain his services, so Baker says he plans to give Wood a call to check on his possible interest in signing with Cincinnati.
“We have a closer already in [Francisco] Cordero, who we have under contract for a few more years,” Baker said Monday. “But somebody can use Kerry Wood. I am going to call him. I like Kerry Wood as a person, not just as a ballplayer, but as a person. I will give him a call and see what’s up.”
Dusty, if you really “like Kerry Wood as a person,” you’ll stay far away. When he met you, he was one of the most promising young starters in baseball. Now he can’t get four outs without his rotator cuff flying out and beaning the third-base umpire.