Tribune executives got more bad news today as a Federal judge has ruled that Trib shareholders cannot sue Trib Media itself — they have to target the executives. The Judge, perhaps a Cub fan, is insisting the Trib corporation itself sue its own directors, too. In other words, this time its personal.

Re-aligning the Chicago-based company with the stockholders and against the directors — some of whom also live in Illinois – – meant the case could not be heard in federal court. The stockholders are not barred from re-filing in state court.

Second-quarter profit at Tribune fell 62 percent, increasing pressure on FitzSimons and the others to break up the company, which owns the flagship Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, New York-based Newsday, several TV stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Meanwhile, a œslimmer and trimmer Kerry Wood (read: his low carb, no-steroid diet is working?) refused to meet with Cub beat reporters face to face. I’m guessing his arm is too weak to point and say, “Yes, you in the back, you have a question?” So, he appeared on Tribune-owned WGN radio to say he felt an “obligation” to return to Wrigley in 2007. In what capacity I cannot imagine, since even Trib paperboys have to be able to toss the paper from their bikes to the front porch.

Wood (above) declined a request to talk with Cubs beat reporters, but told WGN-AM 720 on Wednesday he has an “obligation” to return in ’07 and feels “there is something to prove.”

The Cubs are not planning to exercise Wood’s $13.5 million option, and will buy it out for $3 million. But general manager Jim Hendry already has said he would like to have Wood back as a reliever, so all that remains to be decided is what kind of an incentive-laden deal can get it done.

“It’s obvious Jim and myself have to sit down and discuss that,” Wood said. “I know I haven’t given this organization or the fans or this team what they paid for two, three years ago. As a player, you feel”you don’t want to say ‘guilty’”but you [don’t] feel like you’ve done your job and earned your money and gone out and done what you’re supposed to do.

“There’s an obligation there, absolutely. This organization has given me everything I have and gave me a chance to play baseball and they drafted me. There’s definitely loyalty here. I love Chicago, I love the fans, I love the stadium, I love Wrigley Field. I love everything about the situation I’m in.

Wood loves the situation he™s in? I think the only guy whose ever gotten a better ride out of baseball is George Bush.