Telling

Those of you who get upset when I or someone else at TCR calls for Dusty Baker to go, you might want to look away, because that's exactly what I'm going to do. Let's start by stating some obvious facts. Dusty Baker hasn't scored only five runs in the last seven games. Dusty Baker hasn't left 30 men on base over the last three days. Dusty Baker didn't go 0-for-5, ground into a double play, and make two errors last night. What he did do is take a struggling team and make it more difficult, rather than easier, to win a baseball game. One of the few things a manager has control over on a day-to-day basis is the lineup. In the big picture, he's at least partially responsible for the type of team he oversees -- in conjunction with the GM, he tries to make sure that the guys on the team play the type of game he wants to play, or thinks is best for the club. Some managers are players' managers -- laid back, letting the players take control of the spirit of the team. Some are more hard-nosed, my-way-or-the-highway types. Some managers emphasize defense, or selectivity or hacktasticness at the plate, or (God forbid) bunting the runner over. But these are all things that take time to develop; it often takes a few seasons for a manager to get the team together that he wants to have, longer if he and the GM aren't on the same page. What he always has control over, though, is who runs out onto the field every day. It must be difficult for a manager to be in the position Dusty is in, watching the team he's in charge of struggle the way it has over the last week. Even though it happens all the time in baseball, I imagine it's tremendously frustrating to watch these guys, his guys, look as lost at the plate, in the field, on the bases, and on the mound as the Cubs do right now. In a situation like that, though, there's very little a manager can do. He can't hit, field, run or throw the ball -- all he can do is change the players on the team and hope that makes some modicum of difference. And that's exactly what Dusty did last night -- he exercised control over the lineup card and sat two of his regulars. Why? Well, in an article on cubs.com entitled Cubs Trying To Rev Engines, Carrie Muskat quotes Baker as saying "we're trying to get some speed guys in there...if we're not scoring runs...you might as well see if we can run." So Dusty had a specific plan in mind when he ran out a different lineup last night. That's good. He didn't pull the lineup out of a hat like Billy Martin once did -- he looked at the team, looked at the makeup of the normal starters and the bench, and made a decision about who should start. And that's where he went terribly, terribly wrong. Let me give you the batting stats on two pairs of Cubs: Player A: 286/369/418, 2.6 VORP, .077 MLVr Player B: 305/333/442, 4.3 VORP, .067 MLVr Player C: 253/296/453, -1.2 VORP, -.018 MLVr Player D: 198/305/374, -3.9 VORP, -.148 VORP Which pair didn't start last night, do you think? I imagine you know the answer by now; the first pair, Matt Murton & Ronny Cedeno, sat out in favor of Freddy Bynum (192/222/269, -1.8 VORP, -.438 MLVr) and Neifi Perez (174/208/217-4.9 VORP, -.547 MLVr), while the second pair, Jacque Jones & Aramis Ramirez, stayed in the lineup. According to Dusty, the fact that Murton & Cedeno were "wearing down a little bit in Arizona" led to the night off. If they really were (and since I only saw a few innings of one of the Arizona games, I can't say for sure), then I suppose it might be a good idea to rest one of them. But both of them? In the same game? With the team in this sort of offensive slump? There are only five healthy position players making a positive contribution to the Cubs' offense, and Murton and Cedeno are two of them! Not only that, but his actions didn't seem to match his word. Dusty sid he wanted to get some speed in the lineup. Why, then, take Cedeno (tied for the team lead in triples and third in stolen bases) out? Why didn't Aramis Ramirez get the night off instead? If Murton & Cedeno are wearing down a little, how should we describe Aramis? Well, let Dusty do it:
"He's having a tough time dealing with not hitting. He's not used to not hitting, not for this long a period of time."
Sounds like a guy who's worn down, who might need a rest. If you're going to put two terrible offensive players in the lineup, why not have one of them replace someone else who is also currently terrible? Why take two of the few offensive weapons at your disposal out of the game at the same time? This is the problem I have with Dusty. It's not that he makes arbitrary decisions; it's that he makes thought-out, planned decisions which actively hurt the team's chances to win. After seeing last night's lineup, I think I might have preferred one pulled out of a hat; at least that would have been entertaining, something this team has not been in quite a while.
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Comments

Nice Article, Ruz. Dead on Analysis.

This team has enough problems to overcome right now, it's a shame that managerial malpractice is also one of them.

if dusty was white, he would have been fired already.

I absolutely agree. If you look at just about every consistently successful sports team, they have on thing in common: the GM and manager are on the same page. It doesn't seem like Hendry and Baker have that connection. The Cubs have no identity- they are in no man's land. Are they a power team? A speed team? A pitching team? They don't know. And it will never get rectified until they decide what kind of team they want on the field.

Unfortunately, the injuries to key players are the best thing Baker could have wished for in terms of a contract extension- he will be given the benefit of the doubt. But my question is: Does that warrant a salary increase along with it? Yikes.

Waiting til next year...

There were a stretch of games, I think it started in Pittsburgh, where Barrett hit 7th in front of Neifi.

Barrett:
.284 .349 .500 6.1 VORP

Third highest VORP, second highest slugging, one of the better OBPs on the team, and he was being walked to get to Neifi...who grounded out every time. Dusty's active decision to do this took the bat out of Barrett's hands every AB, further reducing the teams offensive capabilities. Amazing this guy is still a manager.

hmmmmmm...is there any possibility that baker himself is in a slump? and that he perhaps needs to leave the club for a (brief) period of time due to an acute medical malady?

the alternative is that he be canned at once. to be replaced by ......??? and his coaching staff be dumped alongside of him to be replaced by .......??? let's remember here, that the fella who put together the roster will still be around. and that the fella who extended the fella who put together the roster will still be around. and speaking only for me, have a grand total of zilch % confidence that hendry and macfool will be any better selecting the next batch of coaches as they did 3 1/2 years ago.

**********

i am not sure i wrote what i just wrote; a lukewarm defense of baker. i must be my own evil twin. shitty baseball from a shitty but beloved club will do that to a man.

Fire MacPhail & Hendry while you're at it. They're all to blame.

DC-
I agree with a lot of that. That is why i said from the end of last year that Hednry NOR Baker should be reupped till after they make the playoffs. If they didn't, they both should be not resigned. But of course the Cubs already made the mistake of reupping Hendry. Only the Cubs... And we wonder why they are losers.

McFail and Hendry have their own share of problems, certainly. If the two of them were sent packing, I wouldn't be shedding any tears.

However, neither of them is responsible for the inexcusable mismanagment that takes two of the hottest hitters out of a lineup that is already struggling to score runs.

Even though we all predicted doom with Jacque Jones, Juan Pierre, Neifi!, and Cedeno as key players, especially when Lee went down, but this is rediculous. Even this team isn't that bad.

But.

The reality is, when you give this many key slots to proven mediocrities (aka RF, LF, bench) and questionable rookies, you have very little room for error. What happens if the few guys you rely upon (ARam, Barrett) have a slump? It is simply very, very unlikely that the mediocre rest of the team is able to adequately pick up the slack.

I think Hendry deserves to be fired over this offseason. You just can't build a winner with the punchless collection of key players he placed around the Cubs' three legit hitters.

I think Baker and Hendry ARE on the same page. They are both incompetent boobs who should be fired. And fire Andy the clown too.

I do not think Hendry is incompetent. I do think Dusty has shown that he needs to be in a different situation and probably needs to be fired. He has made some really strange decisions this season, among them the numerous double switches, seemingly random lineups like Ruz mentioned, and the fact that the Cubs are not performing well on the field. I am a big believer in letting a coach or manager have a solid 3 to 5 year run and letting him have free reign, but at the end of that contract, its time to let them loose. Dusty isnt that bad of a guy, but I dont think that there is a healthy relationship with the fans or with the media. Im not sure that everyone has turned on him yet, but its probably not far off.

I dont think he hasnt been fired because of his skin color. I think he is being given the benefit of the doubt because of the injuries to the pitching staff and Derrek Lee. Im pretty sure that if the Cubs wanted to find another manager who is of minority status, they could find someone well qualified. They probably should. An Ossie Guillen type guy would be fun.

Honestly, Dusty probably has to go. I give him until August 15th or so. The only way he keeps his job all season is if the pitchers and D Lee come back healthy and they start winning. If there isnt a positive change once the studs get back, he wont make it much past that point. You gotta give him a chance to get them winning with his full squad. If they come back and they sputter for a few weeks, then he is toast.

Can anyone else think of any other questions that might be helpful in deciding if Dusty should stay or go?

Q. Is the manager putting out a lineup day in and day out that is the best that he possibly can? Not if Bynum is starting, ever.

Q. Does the manager make MOST of the correct decisions on the field? Nope. He makes nonsense double switches all the time, hits and runs with the wrong guys, calls for bunts with the wrong hitters up, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes the right call doesnt work. Thats ok. Its baseball and even the best hitters fail 6 times out of 10. But you have to put them in the right situation so that they have the best chance to succeed. Bunting with Michael Barrett EVER is the wrong decision.

Q. Does the manager abuse his starting pitchers? Well, he hasnt done it to Marshall this year yet, but hes been pretty good. The other rookies have stunk it up so Id say the jury is out for this year. But the lat three years have been ugly.

Q. Does the manager have a good relationship with the fans and press? Id say that the fans are turning on Dusty. You cant lose the public relations battle and expect to keep your job for long.

Perhaps Hendry is just waiting for the chance to fire Dusty as a wake up call to the team. Its a valid tactic.

Michael:
"Perhaps Hendry is just waiting for the chance to fire Dusty as a wake up call to the team. Its a valid tactic."

That is actually a slightly comical thought process. I am thinking there will be a major revolt from the players if Baker is fired. But we will have to see. The biggest mistake this year was reupping Hendry, that is clear as day.

hey, here's three for you,

1. BYNUM SUCKS

2. CUBS SUCK

3. THIS SLUMP FUCKING SUCKS

THIS IS NOT A JOKE:

Jones is batting clean-up.

FIRE BAKER NOW!!!!

I am thinking there will be a major revolt from the players if Baker is fired.

If a major revolt means that the players would start caring about something, I'd say that's a sucess!

If they start caring about who their manager is, maybe then just maybe they'll start caring about winning baseball games. But we'll have to see.

But isnt a major revolt by the players at least a spark of SOME kind? Playing crappy baseball, uninspired baseball, is tough to watch. We could get to that point soon.

Also, Jacques Jones really does need to start playing better. He has been a terrrible disappointment. He hasnt even had one week of good baseball yet.

I love it when I see people using mlvr, eqa, vorp etc. now if only people can look at xfip.

good stuff.

You forgot to mention the obvious reason why Cedeno and Murton were the people who sat down.

I'm certainly not a big Dusty fan but I'm not buying the "Dump Dusty" program just yet.

Lineups are an amazing thing. I'm often amazed how by adding one hitter the entire lineup hits better. The DH in the American League can back me up on this. That said, we were one power hitter (#5) short in this lineup before Lee went down. Now we're two short. We have one legitimate power hitter and thats Ramirez and we all know what he hasn't done.

Dusty is dealing with a short deck right now. the Starting rotation, the starting lineup, the defense and the bench are all a little short right now. Since 03 everyone has been waiting for the dominant trio of Prior, Wood and Zambrano. At least we can say we've taken major steps in the development of some of our young pitchers.

The key right now is to avoid the 8 or 9 game losing streak. I think tonights lineup is a good step forward. You absolutely have to change the lineup when the entire team is slumping.

I can join you in a bunch reasons why I'm not a big Dusty fan. He mismanaged in 04 and in 05. Right now, however, you have to show some patience. We're all frustrated by the past two weeks but lets face it Rusch's start against the Brewers was the first shoe to drop. It was a domino effect-the pitching begat the hitting, the defense followed and now we're in a funk.

Its up to Jim to make a move-small or big to make a mental change in this team. Its absolutely necessary.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE:

Jones is batting clean-up.

FIRE BAKER NOW!!!!

You do realize that Jones is hitting .316/.355/.579/.934 against righties this season, right? Only Cedeno (1.035) and Walker (.942) have higher OPSs against righties.

BLOW IT UP!!!

I have stated earlier that I believe truly this season is over in terms of making the playoffs for 2006.

The Cubs, in my memory, have rarely come from 8 or 9 games out to win a division or make the wild card.

That is where they will find themselves by early June. Once again, there will be too many teams to jump over and this is the wrong year to have a shitty record in the NL Central.

As discussed on Baseball 365 today on ESPN Radio 1000, Bruce Levine proposed the "What If" scenario should the Cubs go a "light" Marlins and just Blow the (Freakin') Thing Up?!

Could the City handle, trading anyone worth anything (Prior, Wood, Walker, Jones, Hairston, et. al.) and just STARTING FROM SCRATCH?

Including management and coaches...

I am a season ticket holder and I believe long-term, seeing the Marlins win TWO World Series, while we still wait for Godot, maybe its not a bad idea.

carmen: I think you made a pretty good point about missing one slugger before Lee went down. We're missing two now...

Hendry needs to make an acquisition, or call up some thumpers from the minors...if we have anyone who can fit that bill.

IENPW-
Good point...

Th problem with blowing it up is they looked damn good with Lee in the lineup. The optimism with Prior, Wood and Miller coming was pretty darn high. At this point, you might as well see who you can get to fill Lee's spot, grind it out and see where you are the end of July. If you're well under .500 and 15+ games out, I agree-you need a makeover.

IENPW,

I was really confused about your post. Next time use quotes. I thought you totally contradicted yourself until I read up a few posts.

Although I think Baker is totally incompetent and is not the right man to manage any team let alone the Cubs, sometimes I think he pulls a stunt like Bynum starting and going 0 for 5 to prove a point. Almost as if to say, "Jim, what in hell is this guy doing on a Major League roster???" At least that's what I hope it is.

Jones is batting clean up.

So....Dusty ignores the bad side of Jones L/R split, and continues to trot him out there against lefties even though it is clear he can't hit them. Yet, he looks at the other side of the exact same split (his success against righties), and makes a lineup decision based on it?

What is going on? I fear Dusty may be losing it.

Pierre
Cedeno
Walker
Jones
Ramirez
Murton
Barrett
Hairston
Marshall

Good to see Dusty pulled his head out of his ass and didn't bench his hottest hitting players again.

The only plausible explanation I can fathom for Dusty batting Jones cleanup because of his success against righties while ignoring his failures aginst lefties, is that he may be setting the table for a pseudo-platoon.

In other words, before breaking the bad news to Jones (that Jones won't be playing as much against lefties), he rewards him and pats him on the back for his success against righties (i.e. he bats cleanup).

If this isn't the plan, Dusty is more shortsighted and stubborn than I ever imagined.

Bleeding Blue:
"Good to see Dusty pulled his head out of his ass and didn't bench his hottest hitting players again."

Yeah the Cubs scored a ton of runs with them in the lineup every other game the past week.

Also, where do you come up with them being the 'two hottest hitters'??

Here are the Cubs stats based on the last 7 days:
Restovich: 2-6 (.333)
Jones: 7-23 (.304)
Barrett 4-14 (.286)
Murton 5-19 (.263)
Bynum 3-12 (.250)
Pierre 6-25 (.240)
Walker 6-26 (.231)
Cedeno 6-26 (.231)

Neither Cedeno nor Murton are even in the top 3 'hottest hitters'. And Cedeno is tied for 7th on the team. I understand you don't like Baker, but it would be nice if people didn't just make up stuff...

And with Jones being the HOTTEST starter, it makes perfect sense moving him up vs a RHP.

AMAZING!!!

Believe it or not there can be a definition of "hottest hitter" that doesn't include only looking at batting average over the past 7 days.

But just to make you happy, Manny, let me repharse. Tonight, Dusty pulled his head out of his ass long enough not to bench 2 of the Cubs 3 best hitters so far this year.

Happy?

Good to see that as long as Dusty is manager you can justify benching guys hitting 286 and 305 in favor of guys hitting 192 and 174 while the team has been in a week-long struggle to score even one run a game.

Marshall is listening to Maddux. When he had a 3-2 count on Rolen in his first start, he went fastball and Rolen crushed it. Marshall was quoted that Maddux told him the chanegup would be another way to go... Tonight against Piazza he threw a 2-2 changeup, then a curve, then a fastball, (all fouled off) and then finished him with the curve.

Bleeding Blue:
"Dusty pulled his head out of his ass long enough not to bench 2 of the Cubs 3 best hitters so far this year."

Much better and actually factual...thank you.

"Good to see that as long as Dusty is manager you can justify benching guys hitting 286 and 305 in favor of guys hitting 192 and 174 while the team has been in a week-long struggle to score even one run a game."

For one game, no it does not bother me. Especially since Bynum had a good game the night before and Neifi had hit the pitcher very well.

The Cubs weren't scoring runs the past week with Murton and Cedeno in the lineup either. If Dusty didn't move things around and try to break the slump, you and others would be blasting him for that.

Manny,
I agree. Hottest hitter refers to what is happening in the most recent games. Walk is a good example, still showing fairly good numbers but hitting .231 lately. BB you're way off on this one.

Thats the whole point here guys: if you want to believe Dusty is the problem right now, you can justify it. If you want to rip the lineup stats, why the hell are we even playing Ramirez? We're just frustrated by whats going on. A move-be it a callup, whatever, would stimulate this team. The problem is mainly mental.

If Dusty didn't move things around and try to break the slump, you and others would be blasting him for that.

Moving things around to break up a slump is fine. I don't have a problem with trying Jones in the 4th spot tonight, for example.

But benching 2 of the your 3 best hitters and replacing them with the 2 of the 3 worst (non-battery) hitters on the team is so far beyond idiotic, I'm honestly surprised that even you can find away to apologize for that bit of Dusty stupidity.

The problem is that the cubs team has few very good players and is simply full of mediocre ones. And the supposed very good players are either hurt or playing like crap. Sure, Cedeno, Murton, and Marshall have shown some promise of things to come but when you add them to proven mediocrity like J. Jones, Walker, Jerry Hairston, Neifi Perez, Juan Pierre, etc. the results aren't going to be pretty. All things considered I think Dusty hasn't been the problem this year (not that he's helped either), it's the poor roster construction that is doing this team in.

Manny,

You surely have to see the difference between positively shaking up the lineup and batting Freddie Bynum second, don't you? Especially when it is built off of the merit of a 1-3 game the day prior by Freddie, when Murton, the man who was benched for him, also went 1-3 with a walk in that very game? Especially when Bynum, he of 10 k's and 1 BB on the season, goes on to create 6 outs on offense, while giving the opposing team two more on defense?

I know, I know. Lineup construction doesn't mean jack.

But while who-bats-where doesn't have the biggest effect over the course of a year, who-bats-how-many-times surely does. And taking at-bats away from Murton to give to 'Triple-A' Freddie Bynum is giving away precious outs, which we simply don't have the wiggle room to do right now.

When it comes down to it, however futile, lineup construction is one of the manager's primary responsibilities, and discounting its importance is discounting the very man at the helm. It's simple: give rest to those who are struggling. Play those who aren't.

The Cubs scored a run. An home run. Wow.

I think I'll always remember where I was when this happend.

...and I find it funny that the two guys who were benched yesterday in favor of a "speed lineup" have three stolen bases between them through four innings.

Excellent, excellent synopsis and in-depth analysis of the flaws in the decision-making processes that led to last night's line-up card.

Even without the stats, any moron innately KNEW that lineup was doomed barring a shutout being thrown by the Cub staff.... which it actually did.

I'd be completely and understandably pissed at my manager if I were Z right now. The guy pitched his heart out, as did Eyre, Howry and Williamson.

This is exactly how managers lose the respect and confidence of their players. Who's going to listen to Dusty now???

To compound matters, Bynum was clearly overmatched both offensively and defensively early in the game. He should have been pulled out by the 3rd inning.... but was allowed to continue. To make matters even worse later in the game, Dusty burns Murton by using him as a pinch hitter.

The game was a microcosm of ineptitude. You had Perez who was slow with swiping a tag on a stolen base attempt by a Padre runner. Barrett actually made a good throw and would've had the runner had Perez not "jaked" it.

For the life of me, I still can't understand how Hairston remains on this team. Time and again the guy exhibits all of the signs of a person suffereing from Attention Deficit Disorder. When I've posted that in the past, many readers either thought I was joking or being mean and malicious. I'm not, I'm dead serious about it. Case in point.... Hairston was the cover guy for a steal attempt. Again, Barrett made a clean throw that should've gunned down the eventual winning run, only to have Hairston "forget" where the bag was and catch Barrett's throw well in front of the 2nd base bag, allowing the runner to easily slide safely to the far side.

This is all so typical of this organization. The manager can't manage, the coaches can't coach and the players lack the talent and make-up to win. A complete house-cleaning is in order

Ienpw,

Jones is doing good vs. RHP cause he is feasting on bad ones like can be seen here:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6246/batv...

He should not bat clean-up vs. Peavy (who in my opinion is the best RHP in the MLB.)

Neifi's tag was fine. The bag was stolen off the pitcher, and Giles made a great slide on a solid throw by Barrett. Pick on Perez all you want, but challenging his defense is going to be an uphill battle.

I was really confused about your post. Next time use quotes. I thought you totally contradicted yourself until I read up a few posts.

I intended on bolding it, just put the tag at the wrong spot on accident.

He's feasting on the bad ones? Doesn't everyone feast on the bad ones? You can say that about anyone. Besides the only good righty weve faced is Carpenter. He went 2/3 against Lowe, 2/3 against Penny, 1/1 against Hoffman.

I don't enjoy having Jones on the Cubs, but just because I hate his talent level it does not mean I am going to short change him on the things he can do. Not only all of the splits are subject to sample size, especially the pitcher vs hitter. He's also shown the ability to hit good righties in the past. He has career BAs over .300 (min 10 ABs) against Hudson, Foulke, Garland, Lowe, Colon, Lackey, Escobar, Millwood and Halladay.

Even the last two seaosns Jones hit okay against righties. I may not read every post here, but I know they've been brought up. Of course he won't hit at this level against them all season, but he's done well.

Not only that, but the last few days he's been one of the few Cubs who has hit on this road trip. He went 2/3, 1/4, and 2/4. That's not great, but it's pretty much better than anyone else the Cubs have done.

There's nothing wrong with Jones batting cleanup right now the way Aramis is struggling and Murton has not hit righties (.242/.315/.348/.664).

Another 2-hopper to the cutoff man from Jacque Jones. I think it's safe to say that anyone who played at least varsity high school level baseball, and played the outfield, could play RF better than Jones. Every single one of his throws bounces into the infield. This guy is awful.

"You forgot to mention the obvious reason why Cedeno and Murton were the people who sat down."

Paytonrules, I know ehat you're talking about, but I decided to leave that out of the analysis and focus only on the statistical side of things.

And since Murton and Cedeno (both youngsters) are the top 4 in AB's for the Cubs this year, that crappy "Baker doesn't play rookeis" bullshit, jsut doesn't hold water.

Actually, that's exactly what Paytonrules was talking about. I didn't include it in this article because it detracted from my main thesis, but I think it's very telling that as soon as the Cubs were in trouble and Dusty looked for ways to "shake up" the lineup, he did it by benching his two rookies, despite the fact that they're among the team leaders in most offensive categories.

I was thinking the other day that Cedeno looked like he needed a day off. I don't know about giving Murton and Cedeno the SAME day off. That was the only thing I had a problem with...besides batting Bynum in the 2 hole, of course. Anyway, both are playing well tonight, so maybe it paid off. Or maybe they would've done this LAST night. There's really no way to know, I guess.

Chrstian:
"Actually, that's exactly what Paytonrules was talking about. "

No shit, taht is why I posted it and said it doesn't hold waterr. I know many on here have been waiting ALL YEAR to bash Dusty for not playing the rookies, but giving them 1 day off and them in teh top 4 in AB's shows it DOES NOT HOLD WATER.

Hairston, Bynum, Pierre in our three most critical at-bats of the game. Fundamentals lacking again on bunting the runner over (though Bynum's lack of fundamentals can't be attributed to our coaching staff). Hairston proved himself incapable last night.

With those three up, is it any wonder we can't score runs?

Derek.-
And who traded FOR all three of those guys?

I'm not a huge Hendry guy so you're not disagreeing with me...

I find it interesting that the two guys who are hitting are one who we were desperately seeking to trade in the offseason (Walker) and one who we were desperately seeking to bench (Cedeno).

I'll never try to put all the blame on Dusty. Like most of our problems, it's Hendry's fault for acquiring these guys (Bynum, Macias, Neifi), and it's Dusty's fault for batting them second.

The way things have played out, Dusty has had absolutely no choice but to play Murton and Cedeno. There is no viable option to sub in for Murton, and Neifi has been hitting like, well, Neifi.

And just as I'm typing this, game over...

CUBS LOSE!!!

I am glad this good lineup with all our best hitters scored so many runs today...

FUCK HENDRY!!!

keep playing this way and we might win ourselves a new mark prior named david price from Mark Priors old(er) school, Vandy.

Hendry has made more good deals than bad. And when he ahs made good ones they have been great. I wouldn't mind the negative things about Bynum after last night but people were ripping him after one game. Same with JJ, people didn't like the signing and made up there mind that everything he did or would do was crap. Nothing is ever all good or all bad. That include Dusty, Hendry, Bynum, hairston etc. There's a football mentality going on here. Their season is 16 games baseball is 162. It takes 10 losses to equal one if football. This is a game of endurance. I just wish it wasn't the fans endurance that was being tested! This team was not constructed with these players on it. I doubt many teams would be flying high with the names we are missing. That includes all of the major leagues. I've seen Yankee teams with over 100 mil tied up in their stars and no names filling in the roster. They just never lost Jeter, ARod, and 40% of their starting rotation at the same time. It's a long season.

What we have here
Is Total failure of Cub Management and
Bad choices

No Kerry or Mark to pitch
No leaderhip now that D.Lee is out injured
Starting Rotation - C
No Solid Role Players
No clutch hitters
No decent RF Player
No solid everyday 2nd Base Player
No Manager to get the best out of his Players
No Fire in the Belly
No Clue from G.M

Only D.Lee, Cedeno,Murton, Maddox, Pierre,Barrett,Marshall,
Walker,Marshall ,Carlos Z. have fire and desire

"And since Murton and Cedeno (both youngsters) are the top 4 in AB's for the Cubs this year, that crappy "Baker doesn't play rookeis" bullshit, jsut doesn't hold water."
---

Manny, you could use a good old-fashioned throat punch. Dusty is managing for a contract and he has a history of short-changing youngsters. Dudsy even made snide comments this winter that he was under pressure to play the young guys going into the season or he'd hear about it every day.

Prediction: In the next 4 games the cubs will score at least 20 runs.....but our pitchers will give up at least 25 runs, we will probably lose at least 3 of the 4..anybody disagree?

I know many on here have been waiting ALL YEAR to bash Dusty for not playing the rookies, but giving them 1 day off and them in teh top 4 in AB's shows it DOES NOT HOLD WATER.

Thanks to Hendry for finally putting some pressure on Dusty to play the kids. Its a shame that Hendry had to force his hand. If Dusty could be trusted to treat the kids fairly just maybe Hendry would not have bee forced to Dusty-proof the roster and would have been able to sign a good platoon mate for Jones without knowing it would just provide an excuse to bench Murton.

And Ruz is 100% right that it is very telling that when the team is in trouble, the first move Dusty makes is to send the rookies to the bench.

Big John Stud:
"Manny, you could use a good old-fashioned throat punch."

And don't you wish you were man enough to do it??

Yea, I wish... you intimidate me with your infantile tantrums and irrational love for a nitwit manager.

Big John Stud:
"you intimidate me with your infantile tantrums"

Yeah and your personal attacks and violent threats are not infantile at all...GROW UP!!!

GROW UP!!! FUCK HENDRY!!!

I wasn't threatening you.
I was just thinking that since you refuse to see the reality of Dudsy's status as "managing for a contract", that a throat punch would do you some good.
Dudsy has a well documented history of irrational veteran love. He's playing 2 rookies that he can't bench because his ass is on the hot seat. This is the reason you get so much shit around here. You're a vindictive little bastard who cops an attitude and starts screaming F-Hendry after your boyfriend's incompetence is pointed out yet again.

I love you BJS...you are so sweet....:)

The way Murton has played this year he should not
be taken out of the starting line-up ever. There
is noone close to his skill level to replace him.
And I'd like to know why does he always bat 7th?
He is one of the few players on the team with a
good OBP, yet Dusty continues to bat him in front
of automatic out guys like perez, hairston or
blanco and the pitcher. I'd like to see him bat
him 2nd or 3rd maybe even leadoff.

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