You missed what undoubtedly was one of the season's more touching conversations last week. So did I.
Prior, battling more pain, was forced to abort another comeback attempt -- this one with San Diego -- last week to undergo another surgery. This time, Prior had another tear in his shoulder. This makes it two season-ending surgeries in two years for Prior.
Ironically, the 27-year-old right-hander was undergoing surgery while the Cubs were in San Diego last week. Wood phoned him just before Prior went under the knife.
"He's had the same s--- before," Wood said. "Hopefully, he'll get through this. He's been through it before."
There's nobody else in the world who could talk with either of these two men as knowingly and honestly as they can talk with each other. Can't be. Nobody has lived through what Wood and Prior lived through in Chicago in the early 2000s, attempting to live up to those incredibly lofty (and, as it turned out, unreal) expectations, battling the injuries, never quite living up to what Cubs fans hoped.
Five outs from the 2003 World Series and it never would get any better than that. Prior started Games 2 and 6 against Florida in the '03 NL Championship Series; Wood started Games 3 and 7.
When the Cubs blew it, everybody braced for Prior and Wood to lead them to the promised land in '04 or, surely, by '05.
Never happened. There was soreness and pain and ice and the disabled list.
Now Wood's career as a starter is ostensibly finished, and he's thriving as the Cubs' closer.
Prior already seems washed up at 27. He's finished for this season, but vows to make another comeback attempt in 2009.
"He'll get through this, and hopefully he gets the chance to be healthy and pitch again," Wood said. "And if he doesn't, he's got a great family.
"He'll be OK."
Likes: David Ortiz becoming a U.S. citizen. How cool is it that Big Papi cares enough to do that? ... Tampa Bay. What an exciting, athletic, smart team. ... Kerry Wood's success as Cubs closer. He's been through so much, and he's so competitive, it's nice to see him finally healthy and having some success. ... The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert. ... WGN running Nostalgia Night, or whatever it's called, and breaking out the WKRP in Cincinnati reruns. ... Correcting an old error by picking up a two-disc Dusty Springfield set. The error: Buying the Shelby Lynne disc of her interpreting some of Dusty's classics. No soul at all in that disc. Teaches me a lesson to just go for the original in the first place. Valuable lesson in a lot of areas.
Dislikes: Come on, give Ken Griffey Jr. the baseball from home run No. 600. The bickering is ridiculous.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Well she was blond and tall
"She was 23
"Brought into the world
"To get the best of me
"And she never paid back
"Half what she stole
"She wanted my money
"So I gave her my soul"
-- Mudcrutch, The Wrong Thing to Do