Stone Pony, on the Muscle
For those of you in the Chicago area, please note that I do not waste my precious time listening to the spewage that is the SCORE, SportsRadio 670. I truly wish that Steve Stone, the best color man in the baseball universe, would have chosen another media outlet to spend his 2005 season. So I did not hear this first hand, but I HAVE heard this second-hand, and third-hand, and this is what he said about the sore-shouldered Kerry Wood, verbatim:
"Wood has shown no adaptability. He wants to throw the ball 95 to 96 [mph]; he wants to throw it at times through the catcher. When he loses his mechanics, he can't get them back again. Somebody is going to have to tell Kerry the object of the game is to pitch. That's why they call you a pitcher. If not, they call you a thrower.
And if they call you a thrower, and if you keep saying you can't change your mechanics, and if in fact your mechanics are partially responsible for you getting hurt every year, you've got a couple of choices: You can take all the money you've made --which is a bundle -- and you can go sell cars. Or you can make some adjustments and try to stay around this league for 10 years."
I truly hope that some of the mud that Stoney is having so much fun flinging will stick to the wall.
I honestly believe that the single-most greatest example of mind over matter in sports is NOT Lance Armstrong winning one race a year with one ball, or Jack Youngblood playing in a Super Bowl with a broken leg, or even the Great Curt Schilling having his ankle tendon sutured down (although that WAS cool).
My pick is the short, dumpy (I'm not gonna say 'Jewish', because that doesn't matter) Steve Stone winning 25 major league games in 1980.
In order for a man like him to be that successful, requires that he have total knowledge not only of his abilities, but he had to completely understand pitching, and he had to understand the though process of every batter he faced, and in fact, he had to understand EVERY aspect of the game.
In fact, he will tell you himself that he had to retire the next year, because the stress of keeping every aspect of the game in the forefront of his consciousness was too much to bear.
Anyway, the point I am making here is: that sumbitch knows the game. He knows pitching. He knows Kerry Wood, having watched him every day since 1998. He knows Mark Prior, and he knows the rest of the Cubs pitchers. It would behoove them to LISTEN to what he has to say, rather than REJECT it.
He's forgotten more about pitching than Wood and Prior combined ever knew. He ought to be a GM, or at least a pitching coach, but the current "head-in-the-sand" environment that is the MLB, and in particular Cubs management, won't give him that chance.
Oh, Hendry and his staff love the guys that can bury the needle on the radar gun. But, yet, they are paying Greg Maddux 9 million this year, and at this point in time, Maddux wouldn't intimidate a 7-year-old "coach pitch" team.
But he'll win more than Wood this year, again, because he knows how to PITCH, and Kerry doesn't.