Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood has announced that he will retire from baseball.
I will always remember him how I last saw him, stinking it up against the Cardinals Tuesday in what turned out to be his last major league appearance against the Redbirds. Wood walked two and allowed a hit and a run to blow a save opportunity and open up the door for St. Louis to eventually win the game.
Wood is 86-75 in the major leagues. He was highly touted as a starting pitcher and won a career high 14 games in 2003. He led the National League that season with 266 strikeouts. But Wood has been plagued by arm problems and was converted to the bullpen in 2006 to lessen the wear and tear on his body.
It worked for a while. Since 2007, Wood is 15-19 with a 3.66 ERA. He saved 34 games in 2008 and 20 the next year. But his arm couldn't stand up to pitching on back-to-back days and he slipped closer to the inevitable.
Wood plans to make one more appearance this weekend before calling it quits. presumably, he wants to see if he can make his arm actually fall off before he heads into civilian life.
But don't weep for Mr. Wood. He has made more than $70 million in 1,379 2/3 major league innings of "work."