Just days ago, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the Cubs would re-sign aging reliever Kerry Wood for one more go with the team. However, tensions have recentlymounted between Wood and new Cubs management, headed by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. So, what’s the hang-up?
“It sure isn’t money,” said Wood. “I’ve got more money than God, and I never buy dinner in this city. My problem is I need a ‘Baker Clause’ in this deal.”
New Cubs president, Theo Epstein confirmed with a sigh. “Yup. He wants a freakin’ Baker Clause.”
The Baker Clause is a contractual provision allowing Wood to personally club Dusty Baker before any Reds-Cubs game. Wood has pined for the clause for years after Baker’s regime in Chicago—wherein Baker single-handedly destroyed the career of Mark Prior, and nearly did the same to Wood.
“I had to have my arm replaced with a rubber hose!” cried Prior when asked if he ever thought of a Baker Clause. “If I still had a working arm, I’d cut it off myself and beat him to death with it.”
Wood concurred, “Yeah, I think after these years of service, and considering I could probably be pitching five more years if it wasn’t for him, I deserve to be able to beat the snot out of Dusty Baker on a regular basis.”
Epstein agreed, but noted the legal hang-ups in the clause.
“Believe me, just like everyone else on the planet, I want to smack the crap out of Dusty Baker whenever time I see him,” said Epstein. “We’ve tried to work this out with Kerry, but apparently, assault and batter cannot be negotiated under American contract law. We’re looking into attempting a deal through the use of Chinese law and agents.”