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As I noted on the Message Board yesterday, Kerry Wood has a torn meniscus in his left knee, and his season is over.

The injury occurred over the weekend in the bullpen while squatting, and Wood will soon have arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage. It was apparently a recurrent problem throughout the season, and this time, the injury was too much to pitch through. The surgery, Wood says, should have him good to go by Spring.

But does that matter? Will Wood, 34, actually pitch again next year?

“We’ll see where we’re at,” he said. “I’m not going to play anywhere else. This is where I want to be. If they need me back, I’ll be back.”

So it’s Cubs or retirement for Wood, who signed a meager $1.5 million deal for 2011. The next GM will have a difficult decision about whether to spend a million or two (and a roster spot) on a recovering Wood, or to allow young pitchers to come up and take the reigns.

Either way, Wood expects to be around.

“I’ve spent half my life here with the organization,” Wood said. “This organization is family to me, and I get a chance to build a new relationship with the Ricketts family. I plan on being around. I’m raising my kids here.

‘‘I’m not saying it’s going to be broadcasting. I’m not saying it’s going to be radio. I’m not saying I’m coaching, managing — any of that stuff. I’m just saying I’d like to be around and be part of something.”

If there’s anything that’s certain, it’s that the Cubs feel the same way about keeping Wood around in whatever capacity he’d like.

Wood finishes the season with a 3.55 ERA, a 1.294 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts in 51 innings of work.

  • Fishin Phil

    Best wishes to Kerry for a complete recovery.

  • die hard

    pitching coach or manage in minors and work way up…bleeds Cubby blue…dont screw up with him like Sandberg

  • Ron

    One of my favorites, hopefully he can be a pitching coach someday. Or special assistant to an assistant.

  • TC

    This makes me extremely sad…

    However, as much as I love Kerry, who’s been my favorite player since I could throw a baseball, I don’t exactly see him as a pitching coach. He has always been a hardworking guy who has gotten by mostly through overwhelmingly dominant stuff. Thats not really the type of thing you can teach to someone like Casey Coleman. Yes, Kerry knows how to pitch, too, but given his constant injury issues and the style of pitcher that he was, I just don’t know how useful he would be as a pitching coach. Now, as an all around assistant who mentors young players on how to handle themselves and occasionally teaches cut-fastballs, I think he’d be perfect. I would love him to be a guy who is always around the team and the players, generally imparting knowledge on those who listen

  • http://bleachernation.com ricosanto

    Come On TC .You would not take Wood over Mark Riggins. I would !! Ryno manager, Wood pitching coach, Bench coach Bob Brenly or second choice Riggleman. Wood would be better on the radio than Moronland

    • T C

      In response: Yes I would, though I’d probably take a warm pile of poop over riggins. I could live with those coaches. I actually don’t mind Moreland, but the Peeeenya thing drives me nuts

      EDIT:

      However, the question wasn’t Riggins vs. Wood, it was Wood vs. anyone, so while Riggins sucks, Wood wouldnt be a good coach just based on that

  • Funkster

    How could you possibly judge one way or the other what kind of pitching coach Wood would be at this point?

    • T C

      All I’m saying is that Kerry Wood is, and always has been, a thrower, not a *pitcher*. And he’s been damn successful at it, seeing that as a starter he had one of the lowest opp. avg in major league history, so it’s certainly not meant as a knock against him. But because he always relied on a upper 90’s fastball and an unfairly wicked hammer of a curve to get people out, I just don’t know how much of his own personal experiences could be used as teaching points. Virtually every story will go “so I was a little wild, walked two guys on, got a few outs, and then manned up and threw three straight 100MPH heaters/6-ft-breaking curveballs past that poor SOB.” You just can’t teach stuff like that.

      Or put it another way: If you were studying game film to try and mimic another pitcher to improve yourself, who are you gonna watch, Roy Halladay or Aroldis Chapman? Theyre both equally dominant, but the ways they get people out are about as different as possible. Chapman relies on supersonic fastballs, while Doc relies on good location, throwing hitters off balance, and mixing pitches up down and around the strikezone. So you’d study Cy, er, Doc Halladay and try to do what he does, cause you physically can’t throw 105MPH. For this same reason, I don’t know what Kerry Wood could possibly tell a pitcher about improving himself.

      To go on, think of the two best pitching coaches in the league right now: Don Cooper and Dave Duncan. How were they as pitchers? uh, really bad, and N/A cause he was a catcher, respectively. In fact, without doing a whole ton of research, it feels to me like very few if any of the truly dominant pitchers in history have been successful pitching coaches. On the other side of the ball, think of the best hitting coaches. Is Mark McGwire one of them? Probably not, and the reason his hiring was so universally panned was that he was a slugger, and his style of “swing really f-ing hard at fastballs” isnt really teachable.

      So, based on this, I do not think Kerry Wood would be a good pitching coach because he has always relied on God-given talent, and not only can that not be taught, but it leaves him with little personal experience on which to teach.

       

      (sorry for the essay, but if you need me to, I will absolutely write some more)

  • willis

    This sucks and is sad if it is indeed the end. But, as I have noted before on here, I think he has another year or two left in him and I think he adds so much to the younger arms. He’s worth a roster spot IMO.

  • BFM

    Keep Kerry Wood!
    He has proven to be a team leader, a mentor to the younger kids, has cut the Cubs a huge hometown deal, is a good reliever and we need some leadership. If the Cubs management has a brain in their heads, they will re-sign him.
    Been watching him since I was a kid.
    Love ya Kerry!
    See ya next season!

    • Toosh

      Slam Dunk!! On all points!!!

    • Joe Cartwright

      Like you said if they have a brain they’ll re-sign him. I just hope they have the option of re-signing him.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Longtime no hear guys … Yes I am back! Just read that Aramis may have played his last game at Wrigley Field according to the Tribune…he claims he doesn’t have nobody to talk to about his current situation with the Cubs stating his agent hasnt had any contact with management… The Cubs are going to let our Best Player Walk?

    • Jeff

      Aramis Ramirez gets hurt and is says he’s probably done with the Cubs.  A few hours later Ramy16 returns to Bleacher Nation clamoring for a new contract for ARam.  Coincidence????

    • Joe Cartwright

      Sure. why not? he’ll be expensive to keep, says he wants a multi-year deal, and we’ll suck with or without him. We can’t match his production but we certainly can improve on his defense (by a lot). Besides, I’d rather have everybody on the team producing runs rather than relying on one (actually two) power hitter. Especially when that guy is only hot for half the season (the half that doesn’t matter when you’re already really far out). I’d much rather spend on pitching and wait for the farm to produce.

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