Dusty’s Double-Double

GAME 16 REVIEW
CUBS 1 CARDS 4 W: Sidney Ponson (2-0) L: Glendon Rusch (1-3) S: Jason Isringhausen (5) Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart
I have a challenge for Dusty Baker, any other member of Cubs management, God, Deep Blue, or any other reader. Explain to me the strategic merit of the double-switches that occurred in the fifth and sixth innings. For those of you who missed it: With the game tied at one, the Cards loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Pujols is coming up. Dusty Baker brings in Scott Williamson. The pitcher's spot is five batters away in our lineup (Ramirez ended the previous inning.) Baker brings in Neifi Perez to replace Walker at second base, and flips the batting order. Williamson, instead of being due up fifth (the ninth spot in the order) is due up eighth (Walker's spot, the third in the order.) Williamson gives up a base hit to Pujols, giving the cards a 3-1 lead, before getting the third out. The Cubs go three up, three down, in the top of the sixth. Williamson struggles in the bottom of the sixth, getting one out, giving up one run, with a rally continuing. So Baker replaces Williamson with Scott Eyre. He also replaces Matt Murton with Freddy Bynum. Bynum is now hitting third (replacing Williamson, who replaced Walker) while Eyre is hitting seventh (replacing Murton). With the double switch, Eyre goes from being five spots away from hitting, to being nine spots away. Eyre gets the last two outs. When the Cubs bat, they get set down, 1-2-3, again. So again, the spot in the order that the pitcher was double switched out of never came to bat. Murton and Walker are now out of the game that we are losing by three runs- Walker with four offensive half-innings left in the game, Murton with three left to go. In Baker's defense, when he pulled Walker, we were tied, but the Cards had the bases loaded. When Murton is pulled, we're already losing by three. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only reason to do a double switch when you bring in a new pitcher, is because you want that pitcher to be able to pitch the next inning as well. The switch pushes the pitcher's spot further away from batting, so that you don't have to either pinch-hit for him, or watch him flail away at the bat. So if the pitcher's spot is due up first, second, third, or even fourth, and you're quite certain that you don't want your pitcher to bat, but you DO want him to pitch the next inning, then you do the double switch. Now, I have the advantage of writing this piece after the fact, knowing that neither of these double-switches wound up serving their function, and in fact gave Bynum and Perez ABs that should have gone to Walker and Murton. But for the life of me, I can't understand that first double-switch. Why not just leave Walker in the game? If we rally in the bottom of the inning, and we get to the 9th spot in the order, Baker is then free to pinch-hit with whomever he wants - Barrett, Restovich, Hairston, or Perez - and we bring in a new reliever to a game where we've (likely) drawn closer. If we don't get to the 9th spot in the order, Williamson can pitch the next inning, and Walker can still hit. And it further removes the necessity (which isn't even a necessity, just the option) of making that second double-switch, the following inning. Am I missing something, here? Is it worth removing two of your best offensive players from a game that still has a long way to go, and from a lineup that's missing Derrek Lee, and inserting your two weakest hitters, all in order to be absolutely certain that Williamson and then Eyre could pitch the next inning without maybe having to take his turn in the batting order or be pinch-hit for? I just don't get it. Did it affect the outcome of the game? Probably not. But there has to be some sort of Hippocratic Oath for managers, obligating them to not make moves that are more likely to harm the club than to help it.
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Dont know how to access it, but maybe somebody can inform us if this comes up in post-game interviews.

Nice to see yet again how Dusty reacts in the face of adversity. His head spins around spewing puke all over the place while simultaneously emptying his bowels.

And for those not following along in Para-Chat land, Carlos reported that B. Brenly was commenting on this during the game as well, so it's apparently not something cooked up in Trans' fevered brain.

To answer my own question:

I suppose that Dusty's assuming that we WILL rally in the top of the sixth, and Williamson WILL be able to shut the Cards down and pitch a full inning in the bottom of the sixth.

I don't like either of those assumptions, not enough to pull Walker from the game...

In Dusty We Trusty??

Fuck that bullshit, the guy is a proven moron. I hope Hendry does the right thing and doesn't extend this moron (and hopefully they don't use D Lee's injury as an excuse for his managing).

Hopefully Dusty's future as a manager is grim, and he gets canned this season.

This has been my biggest critiscm of Dusty over the past few years. It appears that every time Dusty goes into the bullpen he thinks he needs to make a double switch.

Not only would I use the criteria in this post, but I would also be careful of making double switches before the last third of a game because it limits your options of pinch hitters as well as defensive replacements.

It appears to me from observing the game that Dusty has a "managers guide" and can not think outside the box in regards to game strategy. This is his biggest weakness as a manager and is why he loses in the big games, like the 2002 World Series and 2003 NLCS.

Last year I wrote an extensive post suggesting that Dusty seems to make moves for the sake of making moves, appearing to be an active and involved manager, an unconventional tactician. (See Zimmer, Don)

I prefer managers like Torre and Cox, who fold their arms over their chest and watch the game.

It just doesn't make any sense in any situation to take your best hitter out of the game, double switch or not.....and right now, Walker is our best hitter.

But as far as the double switches go, I really think that Dusty's copy of Managing for Dummies is missing the "double switch" chapter, or maybe it just didn't have it when he bought it.

Sigh. This team is gonna struggle to score runs regardless of who is the manager, at least for the next couple of months. We have no margin for error. It would be nice if there were a first baseman out there who is both available and can provide more offense that the current options. But is there really anything available at this early point in the season except for junk?

These were objectively awful moves. The game was essentially unwinnable after the second double switch.

And Brenly did comment on it -- it was the closest thing to pointed criticism of Baker that you will hear out of him.

Why not bring up Brandon Sing? Seriously....

I think he may be viewed as being a bit too young still. In any event, I think what we have now is pretty much what we will have the next couple of months, ie, I do not think that Pujols is available.

I'm not sure why you ever replace someone batting .391, especially with someone batting .238.

The question is, how does Hendry not call Dusty in IMMEDIATELY and demand an explanation for such moronic strategy? And, obviously, fire him when there is no good explanation. The guy is a 20 watt bulb in a 120 watt socket -- he's gotta go.

Come on guys, you can't blame Dusty Baker for idotic double switches and other moronic lineup decisions. With DLee out, Dusty simply shouldn't be expected to still give the team the best chance of winning. You guys are just trying to make him a scapegoat. And don't forget, every other manager in baseball would do the exact same thing.

*end sarcasm*

As I mentioned in the Parachat, both moves are indefensible. There simply isn't a single good reason to swap out Walker or Murton. Period.

As I mentioned, I'm not a Dusty-hater. I think that overall, he's done more harm than good in his tenure with the Cubs. But those two double switches were absolutely senseless.

The already anemic offensive lineup (made even more so by Barrett not playing -- which I didn't necessarily have an issue with... the guy needs to rest occasionally) was rendered absolutely impotent by those moves. Did they cost us the game? No, probably not. But at the start of each game, it's Dusty's responsibility as manager to put the best team on the field to win the game. During the course of the game, it's his responsibility to make changes that improve the team's chance of winning. Neither of those double-switches did that -- in fact, did the opposite, and there's absolutely no way that any sane individual could argue that they had any potential to do any good whatsoever.

Again, I'm no Dusty-hater, and I don't think he should be fired (yet). But those moves were ridiculous, period.

Doh! That line in my post above should read: "I think that overall, he's done more good than harm in his tenure with the Cubs."

Maybe my frustration (and the scotch I've resorted to drinking in an effort to try to figure out Dusty's thinking) caused a bit of a Freudian slip... But it's true, I do think he's done more good than harm. Still, I'm scratching my head about today.

It's quite obvious that we're in BIG trouble

Without DLee this offense is going to have men on base without being able to drive in enough RBI's and without starters that can go past the 6th inning, our excellent bullpen will be exhausted by May.

It's tough to feel this helpless but I am after watching the last two games...watching just today's game with this team down 3-1 and looking helpless was painful, as painful as watching last year without Nomar.

I guess losing one player shouldn't ruin a 25 man squad...so losing DLee wasn't just losing one key guy, it was the compounding of the loss of Wood and Prior and now Lee that makes this team is just too talent thin.

Zambrano, Maddux, Prayer, Prayer, Prayer (to quote the Prophet).

and to paraphrase the Prophet: Pierre, Walker, Prayer x7

I'm in an ugly mood tonight.

Indefensible and Inexcusable. If he has an explanation (and I doubt he'll be asked for one)
my response will remain: indefensible and inexcusable.

I don't like the decision either but he was asked about it and this is what he said:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/g...

"I didn't have any choice because I had a short bullpen," Baker said. "If we tied the game up, and I'm out of pitchers, where I have to hit for them -- I only have five guys. That's why I double-switched, to get the most innings out of the guys pitching without running out of pitchers and running out of position players."

Walker was asked if he was surprised to be taken out. He's hitting .391.

"I'm not going to answer that," Walker said. "Double-switch, it's not my decision."

He will defend his teammates' effort.

"We're playing pretty good," Walker said. "We have to keep battling."

Of course, the depleted bullpen was caused by Dusty not using the off-day to skip either Rusch or Williams, which would have left a long-man in the pen. It also would have meant both Maddux and Z would have pitched in this all-important series.

It's still a bullshit excuse for two reasons:
1) The Cubs should have sent down Aardsman--and, in my opinion, Williams--either before this game or before it ended, and brought up a new arm (or arms).
2) If you absolutely need to keep the pitcher in, then let him hit. Yes, it decreases the chances of a successful inning, but less overall than removing one, and then both, of those offensive forces.

One more tangential point, related to Friday's game: I hated his bringing in Z as a pinch-hitter. That's a perfectly defensible move (to save your best pinch hitters) if, let's say, there were two outs and nobody on base. But this was to lead off an inning! Send Hairston's ass up there. By the way, if at some point in the game, you're out of infielders, screw it. It happens. Let Maddux strap on an infielder's glove (he's literally fantasized about it for years), and hope it works out.

Big John Stud said that the biggest problem with losing Lee is that Dusty would get confused. I hadn't thought of it quite that way, but you're right on target, John.

Any word on whether Wood was able to throw today?

Dusty said that he "didn't have any choice" but to make those moves. If he is serious -- if he couldn't think of any other plan than this insane double switch -- then he really may be an incompetent X's and O's guy.

I am not a Dusty Hater, but this explanation is mind boggling. I can understand pointing to a pitching shortage or whatever as a justification, but to say he had NO OTHER CHOICE than to pull Murton and Walker is stunning.

A nitpicky point of fact regarding Transmission's post is that Ramirez actually made the last out in the 5th not Walker so Williamson was due up 8th in the 6th not 9th.

Busty's reasoning for the double switches is his typical pass the buck bull s---. And his comment about running out of position players is completely irrational. By taking Walker out he was down one position player, if he'd left Walker in and had to pinch hit for Williamson in the 6th he'd still be down one position player. Of course they didn't get to the 9th spot in the 6th so guess what Busty, you're move actually cost the Cubs a bench player you dumass

Thanks for the Catch, I've made the correction. Williamson would have been due up FIFTH that innning instead of SIXTH. I think that our sentiments still stand, after the correction.

Well, the Cubs are 2/3 of the way to fulfilling my prophecy of getting swept. I see that the gutless pitching staff didn't want to hit Poo-hole, so they hit Taguchi--careful, he might know judo!

The Cards will probably reel off about 12 straight victories while the Cubs sink below .500.

I'll live with that if it gets Dusty fired--I don't want any excuses about how they couldn't win without Lee when Baker manages this team into more losses than they actually could attain on their own without any meddling.

What's Lou Pinella doing right about now?

I also don't understand the double switch with Walker today but what I find even more confusing is his handling of Barrett today. I know it's a day after a night game but Barrett had Thursday off and he is has 4 Hrs and 10 RBIs against the cards this year!

I sorry miss the game again. Damn Robots marathon on HBO Family.

This does seem awfully indefensible to me. I don't think it alone is a fireable offense, but when you make such a publicly embarassing and idiotic mistake in any other high profile job, you sure as hell get reamed by your superiors.

I think I'd have a lot more faith in this organization if I suspected for a minute that this happened. The Cubs seem to run like the city of Chicago--the moves are inexplicable, the mistakes are indefensible, and everyone covers for everyone else. The Cubs. The team that works.

Okay I take offense to all this apologetic bullshit about people NOT being a "Dusty Hater". People on his list have gone to great lengths to act mature and think things through like adults all the while not diretly attacking Dusty.

Well guess what I don't HATE Dusty. Hate is a ridiculous word and furthermore it once again takes the onus off of Dusty and puts it elsewhere.

What I can tell you is that Dusty is VERY VERY bad at his job. He is a strategic nightmare (these types of random moves that almost invariably put the team at a disadvantage have been happening for three years solid).

Is it possible that people like me just plain see very clearly how little feel Dusty has for the game? Is it possible that Dusty is really bad at his job? Is it possible that the heated criticism of his moronic moves over the years is the result very simply of his incompetence coupled with his attitude and not HATE?

Dusty Baker is a bad manager. He cannot think on his feet. he connot take responsiblity for his moves. he is a PR nightmare. C'mon guys MikeC and Bleeding Blue and myself and others have been saying for 3+ years now that Dusty is a huge liability and if you compare many of your mature views today to 2004 when Dusty was making the same moves and everyone was so hesitant to critisize I think you'll see that your views have converged with OURS and not vice versa.

Dusty cannot put the best team on the field at the crucial times. We saw it with Hawkins endlessly and painfully. He cannot manage a pitching staff. He cannot make a lineup card. He threw away the 2004 season with botched double switches inflexibility in the bullpen and somehow scapegoated THE TV COLOR MAN!!

DUSTY IS A BAD MANAGER. It is not HATE. It is not conspiracy. It is just plain obvious. It is an elephant in the living room. Keep denying it because you don't want to look stupid but it is becoming clearer slowly to even the staunchest Dusty supporters what we have been saying for years.

It's NOT hate.

I am far from being a Dusty hater. However, the double switches today were flabbergasting. Especially the second one, which seemed like he was saying "I am hereby conceding any chance of us rallying yo win this game."

I read the Tribune story and was equally surprised to see no mentions of the curious startegy behind said double switches. Hopefully the Sun Times pursued it.

As a sports reporter myself, I can tell you if something so curious had happened I definitely would have asked about it. And I RARELY second guess coaching decisions, either as a pro or a fan.

I am pretty sure it is hate.

But yeah the dude is bad at his job. Has been for years.

All I got to say is......people are now just figuring this out? Better late than never I guess, lol.

Yeah I am going to go with hate.....

Dusty Baker charged his team with looking "kind of spacey" Saturday during a 4-1 loss to St. Louis.

Yeah, teams tend to do that when you take out the 2 better hitters in the lineupm in the middle of the game, for no reason.

I would be "Spacey" also if I was a member of the Cubs and saw Bynum, Neifi, Mabry, Ramirez, Cedeno, Pierre, Blanco, and Jones all playing AT THE SAME TIME.

The only person that was "Spacey" was our fucking manager. But hey thanks Dusty, thanks for blaming the team for your stupid decisions. Way to go dude.

Great post about the BS double switches, Trans. I was thinking the exact same thing when it happened. File this stupidity along with letting J. Jones get 4 ABs against Mulder the other day. The guy looked like a highschooler out there. What was he trying to do, give the Cards 4 guaranteed outs?? F-ing Dusty. Just a terrible manager. One can only hope that Hendry actually addresses these issues with him. Although Hendry did trade 3 prospects for Proven Out-Machine Juan Pierre, so maybe he doesn't think there's anything wrong.

By the way, has anyone else noticed that the last 6 or 7 (maybe even more, I'm too lazy to check) Cub managers have never managed again in the big leagues?? The role of Cub skipper is like the Defense against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts.

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone associated with professional baseball that would say that Baker is a bad manager. GMs, team presidents and players all agree that he is a good manager. The only people who think he's a bad manager is John Q. Fan.

Oh you can be sure if Dusty were to leave he would get another job, real qucik. I was puzzled as well by today's moves but agree with Dusty on the team's "out of it" look today. They shouldn't be feeling sorry for themselves over Lee. It is pointless, they can overcome it for the 2-3 mos Lee will be out. It's going to take some performances better than expected by players like Barett (continuing his hot start) and maybee Murton, and it's possible Hendry could add a decent bat to the club that wouldn't be a star. The last two games they have looked pretty pathetic. Hopefully they can snap out of it with Maddux on the mound tommorow.

I've actually been surprised by some of Dusty's decision so far, pleasantly that is, until today. I guess everything looks good when your winning. But the more Dusty has to think, the more the Cubs will lose.

Taking out Walker is ridiculous! Taking out Murton is ridiculous! Jones should be moved down in the order. And I know catching is difficult on an everyday basis but this whole team has to suck it up without Lee. Barrett has to play as many games as he can. The Cubs need his bat, especially when he is this hot. Not having him in the lineup wouldn't be THAT bad if the human out Hank White wasn't the backup. You're basically saying "we aren't getting a hit out of the catcher today".

"You'd be hard pressed to find anyone associated with professional baseball that would say that Baker is a bad manager. GMs, team presidents and players all agree that he is a good manager. The only people who think he's a bad manager is John Q. Fan."

Lonestar (Chad), your argument is completely ridiculous. First of all do you have any personal knowledge at all of what any people in professional baseball think or say? ANY? Second you can be quite sure that Steve Stone, San Fransisco Upper Management, and oh maybe Todd Walker think Dusty is a headcase who is strategically challanged - since they have all said so publcally in their own way.

If you have ANY first hand knowledge to back up your claims please feel free to share it with us. Also finally John Q. Fan is often the person who watches the game most closely and with a more and more knowledgeable and critical eye than many of the "professionals". I wouldn't write them off either.

Especially the blog/computer savvy John Q. Fan versus the sports call in John Q. Fan who I agree might be a little ridiculous. Your argment went out the window with:

"GMs, team presidents and players all agree that he is a good manager."

. . . because you have no idea of knowing this, it is most likely wrong AND you haven't remotely begun to define the term "good" when it comes to managers.

Finally the fact that GM and Manager types don't go rumbling around the press calling Dusty a bad manager should hardly be surprising for about 1000 different reasons. Have you heard ANY GM or Managers say anything bad about ANY manager? I would bet that their are quite a few who are happy as hell that Dusty has squandered the Cubs' talants the last 3-4 years because their teams succeeded at Chicago's expense.

Dusty is a SHIT manager. Period. It is obvious and getting more obvious every day. But it was DEFINITELY obvious by mid 2004 and it is a shame we have had to deal with him for 2005 and 2006. He should have been fired the day after Maddux won the final game of the 2004 season for his bad strategic season (his use of Hawkins single handedly lost the wildcard), bad attitude, and for letting the team get distracted during the final week of the season. That last one is the unexcusable one.

BTW he has all but admitted to being absent last year, and he hasn't let go of Sosa/Stone/Iv Leage girl stuff yet. I told you his bullshit would surface this year and I said mark my words (you can lok up my post a week or so ago). Well watched the magic -- it's gonna get ugly. And it ain't becasue of injuries.

Some fun with quotes..from cubs.com

"I'm just not getting any hits," [Jaques Jones] said Saturday after going 1-for-4. "I know what they're doing. They're trying to walk me, but I won't. Bottom line. They're throwing everything in off the plate and it's a ball. They're just not throwing strikes."

Did he forget that you can take pitches and recieve a walk in return?

"It'd be good to take some walks," Jones said.

I guess not?

"He's kind of in no-man's land a little bit," Baker said. "He's early on breaking stuff and late on fastballs. Jim Edmonds is probably in the same zone. You've got to swing your way and fight your way out of it. You can't try to press, but it's easier said than done."

It's a good thing Dusty knows all about Jim Edmonds, 'cause he certainly doesn't know anything about this team.

This team is too expensive to just go and throw away the year just yet (With Lee or without Lee), sad thing is I think that Hendry is doing just that every day he doesn't pick up the phone to do some manager searching.

In 2003 the Marlins made a manager change by the end of May and won the NLCS and World Series. In the same yesr the Astros replaced their incompetent manager and they made the playoffs (PLAYOFFS?!!?)

It's early, but we're fading fast as St. Louis heats up and Houston continues to roll. Maybe Cinci will come back to .500 ball, but Milwaukee is more talented and capable of making noise anytime now....the time to act is now.

Lou Pinella is exactly the guy that this team needs. Someone for the first time since 89 that a manager wouldn't sit there and sugar-coat every fucking thing that goes wrong. Somewhere along the lines this club has lost heart. We've seen it so much since 2003, and a new manager would bring in just that (think about Ozzie when he told Frank Thomas to shut the hell up and play, or when he brought in team guys instead of power guys).

Fact is we have a good crop of young talent on this team, and to have them subjected to the organization's blahzae attitudes is just perpetuating the loser aspect of this franchise.

Fire Dusty and hire someone who looks like they give a shit!

Well, just as it is easier said than done to go out and get a bat to try and pick up a bit ofd the slack missing with DLEE, it is easier said than done to go out and get the *right* manager with the season underway. Some with for Lou P. Well, do we even know that Lou would be interested in signing with the Cubs or with anyone at this point or does he want to take the year off? I do not believe any of us knows the answer to that question.

Your reply may be that Hendry should be out thee trying to make it happen. Hendry has connections. If Lou does not want the manage the Cubs, or any team this year, Hendry knows it. So before we rush to fire Dusty, understand that the replacement may not be the guy you want. Does Hendry want to stick a guy in there who will be replaced at the end of the season? That kind of turnover has it drawbacks, too. So, sure, Dusty is doing some nutty stuff but, if this were the old game show, "Let's Make a Deal," be cautious before you decide you will take whatever is behind the curtain rather than sticking with Dusty. You may say you would take whomever is behind the curtain but I do not believe we have gotten to that point yet.

Arm, serously, not trying to be glib, but we got to that point at least 2 years ago with Dusty. Literally anybody who can envision NOT taking out two of the three best hitters on the team in the middle of a game with the most heated rival who happened to have blown us out of the division the last two years, and doing this just two days after losing our best player. Well I'll take anyone behind the curtain. And you should too. Especially because we could go interem and do infinitely better. The guy is insanely adept at ripping the heart out of his OWN team. The Cubs of 06 are not at the level to give up on yet - BUT the manager is two years plus too late in the WE SHOULD TRY ANYONE ELSE, ANYONE category.

Hey, I share your frustration but do you really mean you would take literally anyone? How about Don Baylor? How about Jim Riggelman? If your answer is no, then you would not really accept anyone. If your answer is yes, well, those are two guys I would not want back, even if it means we are stuck with Dusty for the rest of the year. Beyond that, realistically, this is a moot discussion. Do you seriously think that days after we lose our best player, Hendry is gonna shake things up even further by firing the manager. It ain't gonna happen whether we want it to or not.

I would take Baylor or Riggs back in a second but I am pretty sure their is no chance of that heppening. I think addition by subtraction would be huge -- even if Todd Walker was player manager. The key is Dusty bye bye. And I think Walker is kinda nutty FYI. I also agree that Hendry won't do anything because he has become extremely conservative the last few years. But it does not mean the discussion is moot. We are here to discuss and just because Hendry won't do it doesn't mean it is not objectively a right thing to do.

ARM.... http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopi...

Lou Piniella wouldn't mind getting back into managing in the major leagues.

"I would probably hate to end my career with three losing seasons like I did in Tampa Bay," Piniella said Saturday night inside Safeco Field.

It does go on to say that he wants to start 2007 with a club instead of taking over for a fired manager...but the Cubs- who wouldn't want to fill their ego with, "I was the one to get the Cubs their first title in almost 100 years!"? Fact is that if Hendry wanted to, he could lure Sweet Lou to the north side....

...like everyone in sports...they always want more, and Lou couldn't do better than signing knowing that he could be "the one."

Sweet Lou's act just might not play anymore. I agree the team has a deer caught in the headlights look, and the first reaction to this is - they need a good kick in the ass. But whether that approach works with anyone over the age or salary of the average 25 year old is questionable.

On the bright side the 1-3 of Pierre/Cedeno/Walker did go 4-8 yesturday...

... too bad the 4-8 portion went 2-22

More fun with numbers Jaques has more Ks than hits (12/7), and forget hitting his weight (which is 200 lbs: he's hitting .194), he's in danger of not even pulling his weight around the bases (.250 OB%)

Todays lineup has to be

Pierre
Cedeno
Walker
Rameriez
Barrett
Murton
Mabry
Restovich

dusty hasnt let go of stone/etc?

more like the fans havent.

dusty's quotes on the situation could fill 1/10th of a page of paper and almost all of it within a 1-2 week period years ago.

i dunno why people even care about it...nor why they wanna blow it up into a conspiracy where a guy who gets offered millions of dollars is being forced out the door. it dont add up.

stone left us...no one forced him to leave...he's done it twice.

Let's roll back the clock to before Dusty was hired. Bruce Kimm was the interim manager and the Cubs interviewed:

Bob Melvin - who went on to manage the Diamondbacks
Ken Macha - who went on to manage the Athletics
Buck Showalter - who went on to manage the Rangers
Fredi Gonzalez - who coaches third base for the Braves

I think Hendry blew it by not hiring one of these four. Instead he pursued Dusty Baker (helped by Sarge Mathews and -believe it or not- Don Baylor! and !!Steve Stone!!) and, thinking he was in a bidding war when actually nobody else was in the game (Dusty was the last manager hired), actually agreed to pay Baker more when Dusty balked at the Cubs first offer.

Ironically, Dusty Baker would still be managing San Francisco if he hadn't gotten into a hair-pulling slap-fight over who was responsible for the Giant's success. With the Cubs it's been quite the opposite---Dusty falling all over himself to place blame for the lack of success elsewhere.

no offense, but showalter/melvin would probally drive some cubs fans nuts for the same reason dusty drives people nuts...esp. with the bat choices.

Superjimmer,

I think your problem with the term "Dusty hater" is from a different use of the word "hater" than others on this board. "Hater" started as a slang term for one who "player hates" but has expanded recently for just generally getting in the way of or criticizing another group or individual. So, i don't think you have to "hate Dusty" to be a "player hater" - all you have to do is want Dusty to be canned. Thus, i would categorize you and the others who want Dusty fired right now as "Dusty haters." That's not a bad thing, its just your position in the matter, described by perhaps accurate but imprecise terminology.

And although i'm not a Dusty hater (meaning i don't think he should be fired at this point), i do think his moves yesterday were absolutely ridiculous. You don't need 20/20 hindsight to see how silly and illogical his reasoning was:

"I didn't have any choice because I had a short bullpen," Baker said. "If we tied the game up, and I'm out of pitchers, where I have to hit for them -- I only have five guys."

The worst part about this reasoning is we had an excellent chance of tying the game up, given Fat Ponson on the mound and a weak bullpen pitching behind him... that is, until we started hitting with the following lineup:

J. Pierre CF
R. Cedeno SS
F. Bynum LF
A. Ramirez 3B
J. Mabry 1B
J. Jones RF
S. Eyre P
H. Blanco C
N. Perez 2B

Considering how cold Pierre, Ramirez, and Jones have been to start the season, that's a lineup where your best hitter is Ronny Cedeno... and the rest are all rally killers. (Can you be a rally killer in a lineup full of them? That's an interesting philosophical question.)

Well, i'll say one thing for Dusty's strategy yesterday: he made absolutely sure that he didn't have to worry about a short bullpen in the case of a comeback!

J. Pierre cf
R. Cedeno ss
T. Walker 1b
A. Ramirez 3b
M. Barrett c
J. Jones rf
M. Murton lf
N. Perez 2b

Guys, chill. The season's over (I hate to admit!). The big question (as I see it) is can this management team (McFAIL/Hendry/Baker) get us from its present semi-competive state to a perennial contender state? I think the answer is no, unfortunately. Hendry did a good job of turning us from non-competive to semi-competive but I think that's as far as it is going to go.

Any thoughts?

16 games and the season is over?

Bob Melvin - who went on to manage the Diamondbacks
Ken Macha - who went on to manage the Athletics
Buck Showalter - who went on to manage the Rangers
Fredi Gonzalez - who coaches third base for the Braves

ARE YOU KIDDING? Not one of these guys has had (especially at the time) the success or reputation that Baker had. Ken Macha? If you know anything about Billy Beane you would know that managers are puppets in Oakland.

And Buck Showalter sucks.

The Cubs don't need more arms. In fact, they have too many pitchers and Baker is making stupid decisions because he has a short bench.

They lost their best hitter and continue to carry 12 pitchers rather than adding another bat to provide extra offensive help during Lee's absence.

Good blog, enjoyed reading it. KaylaX

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