Now, I'm glad to hear Riggleman say he wouldn't work Wood the way he did in 1998. For Strasburg's sake, I sure hope not.
The thing that still annoys me about Riggleman's statements on Wood (and I've now at least three times heard him in person give more or less the same answer verbatim that he gave Chico) is that he still can't quite bring himself to just say he was wrong and leave it at that.
Every time, he says that although he would have done it differently if he'd been clairvoyant and known what was going to happen, that a) "we were in a pennant race," b) he "probably would have gotten hurt anyway," and c) "At the time that we had Kerry, my recollection of any criticism I had was 'Why did you take him out of the game?' After the fact it's 'Well, you pitched him too much.' "
Now, if you really think you screwed up, you'd just say, "look, I screwed up, I take the blame, and I should have made different decisions. But it's that last one that really gets my goat, because I was in Chicago at the time and I remember personally worrying about the phenom's workload, not to mention the concerns raised in the press.
There aren't many news sites with archives that deep, but Baseball Prospectus does. Here's Rany Jazayerli on July 24, 1998:
Please, Mr. Riggleman, please... unlike Leyland and Francona, Jim Riggleman hasn't picked on any one pitcher, spreading the [pitcher abuse] around. But when your staff leader is 21 and has the most promising arm of the decade, it's not enough to be cautious - you have to be downright paranoid. Riggleman hasn't let Kerry Wood crack 130 yet, but he's thrown 128 once, 122 four times, and 121 once. Rule of thumb, Jim: don't let Wood start the 7th unless his pitch count is still in double digits.So Jim, how about if we cut out the stuff about how no one raised these concerns at the time?