Thursday, May 18

Return of the Deadeye

So this is it, people. After a day of rest, the Cubs put up two CONSECUTIVE wins against one of the only weaker teams in the National League. With Zambrano and Marshall guiding us through two consecutive shut-outs [4-0 and 5-0], we are ready to welcome the organization's black sheep back into the fold : Kerry Wood.

Sure, we've all heard the stories emanating from Class-A Peoria, where Wood struck out 12 in his rehab outing, not to mention the loud chatter from Wood and Rothschild about how his arm, his mechanics and his mindset. But those tales are meaningless now, for he is to take the biggest, loudest, most difficult stage this afternoon.

I am full of mixed emotions as the hours count down to this epoch-defining event, the kind of frozen moment that could decide the future fortunes of several individuals within the Cubs franchise, the kind of dust-clearing image that will burn into my mind on in approximately 4 hours time. His success could well ensure the continued tenure of a certain D. Baker in the dugout, while his failure could put further pressure on what already promises to be an incredibly tense negotiation period.

For good or for bad, it promises to be something. Will that arm hold firm against the vagaries and strain of innings he has to chew through? Or, in yet another cruel chapter in Wood's legacy, will it buckle and snap once more, surely signifying the end of his major league career?

Find a way to watch this game, if you can. I don't give a fuck about our lineup [for once], for the only name that matters on that scoresheet will be the man in the 9-spot on the Cubs' side - Kerry Wood.

[Note: if something bad does happen this afternoon, be forewarned. I will be out for blood.]


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