Thursday, July 21, 2005

Now What To Do

So, Mr. Reliable, Kerry Wood, lasted two starts before the balsa in his shoulder started to act up again.

For those of you not here yet, let's get you straight on a couple of facts:

1) The Kerry Wood of May 1998 is gone and is not coming back. Never. No way. No how.

2) Wood's fall of 2003 was a fluke. He'd not pitched like that since before his surgery in 1999 or any time since the end of 2003. What do we know about small sample sizes?

3) Five years after a Tommy John surgery is usually the time that an arm starts to give out again. Year five ended in 2004.

4) He's 28 with an 8 figure per year contract that expires after the 2006 season.

So, what does this all mean? Simple. It's time to plan for the replacement of Kerry Wood. Can that be done and still salvage the 2005 season? Doubtful, but possible.

It sure looks like Baltimore can't close the deal for A.J. Burnett as they cannot agree on how much money to absorb from Florida related to Mike Lowell. With Burnett a free agent at the end of the year, Florida is looking to get anything for him. The Cubs should step in and take Burnett.

And Juan Pierre.

Burnett is at least capable of getting through the rest of this season. That gives the Cubs some consistency in the rotation. Pierre fills a hole in center and at leadoff.

And it gives the Cubs a fighting chance to make the playoffs this year. 'Cause a team that goes 5-2 against the Pirates and Cinci while being 5 games back with 70 games left isn't good enough to make it.

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