Friday, March 11, 2005
What? Me Worry?
So, we’re not supposed to worry about Kerry Wood. First, they told us that his shoulder was fine and didn’t need an MRI. The next day, he got an MRI and a first class seat on an Airbus 319 to Chicago to see the team doctor for an exam. But don’t worry. Kerry says the shoulder is "phenomenally strong," we are told and that "Everything feels fine. Nothing is sore. Nothing hurts. It just was a little bit tight."
This guy will very quickly rise to be the target for the Cubs fans’ bile this season. When a team is not going well, fans always look to blame someone. Why not a 28 year old, oft injured, $11 million per year pitcher who has never won more than 14 games in a season?
Wood won’t deserve the bile, but he does deserve a downgrade in the expectations that fans place on him. With his history and his success, that people consider him a cornerstone of the Cubs’ franchise is ludicrous. All the SABR types out there will tell you that past performance is the best indicator of projected performance.
Pencil Wood in for 12 wins. Anything beyond that is a bonus. Expect more and you are a doofus. We’re right not to worry about Wood. Not because he may or may not be hurt, but because he’s far from the most important cog on this team. He’s behind Zamboni, Prior, A-Ram, Nomar, D Lee and maybe even Michael Barrett (140 games of Henry Blanco makes me shudder) in terms of importance for this team.
And when will Dusty Baker acknowledge that Carlos Zambrano is the ace of this staff with Mark Prior as his deputy? Who has shown the health and durability of this staff other than Zamboni? Well, who is under 35, anyway.
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