Good Night and Good Riddance

R.I.P. Dusty Baker (Nov. 2002 - Oct. 2006) "It's called hitting, and it ain't called walking." The day we all knew was coming has finally arrived. Dusty Baker will not be back as Cubs manager next year. I suppose the range of emotions will run the gamut for Cubs fans. There will be some who feel sadness, that a good man is taking the fall for the shortcomings of others. There will be some who feel relief, just glad we can talk about something else. There will be some filled with exuberance, finally this dark cloud that has hovered over us has been removed from our most beloved team. And then there will be some like me, feeling all three emotions simultaneously. The latter two are pretty easy to explain, but it's a bit of shame that Dusty becomes the fall guy when he just had no chance of competing this year. Not with this team, not with it's unfortunate luck. I would have preferred he'd been let go sooner or in different circumstances. I would rather have seen him retired after hoisting a World Series trophy over his head while wearing Cubbie blue. But alas, that was not in the cards. I would have even preferred if he was fired for being the fraud that he is, the overpaid four million dollar manager who was a glorified baby-sitter, whose deficiencies far outweighed his benefits. That may seem a harsh, but at least it would have been a bit more more fair. If you frequent this site on a daily basis, the rantings about Dusty have been numerous from both readers and writers alike. Most of it seemed concentrated on his in-game management skills and questionable lineup choices. While that's certainly a part of a manager's job and certainly something Dusty proved to be sorely lacking at, there were far greater baseball sins that he committed. It begins with Dusty's, "Us against the world" attitude which helped foster a team of unlikeable hacks more concerned with their public perception than their baseball abilities. His constant whining and excuse-making filtered down through the team. And when your manager believes that you can't win without all your guys, how can you expect your players to believe they can? When your manager doesn't own up to his mistakes, how can you expect your players to? When your manager doesn't believe the youngsters can perform in pressure situations, how can you expect the youngsters to believe they can? For it is my opinion that an organization takes on the personality of its leaders, and while one may technically point to the front office as the leaders, they have very little interaction with the players. No, it's the manager that's leading this ship and in Dusty's case he proved the only man worse at handling a catastrophe was Captain Edward John Smith. And much like the Titanic, when things were running smoothly, the captain could just sip his tea and enjoy the view. But when tragedy hit, Dusty, much like Captain Smith, panicked himself into enough poor decisions to make a difficult situation even worse. And yes, maybe the blueprint was inherently flawed, but the execution turned a bad situation into a debacle. So I shall not miss Sir Dusty, no, not one bit. He probably deserved better, but he brought the contempt of the fans on himself with his constant head-scratching decisions and comments. Good night and good riddance. He shall be missed by few and praised by far less.
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I could only wish that Dusty Baker was the "real" problem with regard to my beloved Cubs. The fact of the matter is; he wasn't. This team will get no closer to winning a championship until things change at the very top of the organization. The Tribune Co. can say what they will, but until they make a 100% commitment to winning, it will not happen. I wish they'd sell now, but we know that isn't going to happen.
I, for one, don't believe Dusty forgot how to manage one night in his sleep. I wish him well no matter where he lands. My guess is he'll have a job by the end of next week.
I can't wait for Spring Training 2007! Go Cubs!

The total BS thing here, if we get 5 more outs, we aren't having this conversation.

It's hard to forget what you never knew in the first place....

Hey Chad if ifs and buts were candys and nuts we'd all have diabetes

Best news so far today! I remember being excited when Dusty was originally named manager of the Cubs in 2002, after having led the Giants to the World Series. I thought for sure he was going to be the guy to lead us to the promised land as well. But unfortunately he proved to be just another in a long list of managers that have failed at that endeavour. I think Dusty needs to take a season or so off and try to remember how to manage, cause it seems very obvious to me that he is absolutely clueless at this point in time. But I wish Dusty well wherever he lands, but I am very glad that he is no longer a part of my Cubbies.

Now lets go get Girardi!

Chad---you're right--and that sentence condenses the past 4 years in to a few words.

It wasn't Dusty's fault---overall---stress does weird things to people, makes them think the decisions they make are RIGHT. (can you say Nefi??)

Time to move one. Dusty is a good man that was in a bad situation.....and his weaknesses were exposed.

Next!!!!

This isn't good news yet. Given the option between Dusty and the unknown, I'll take Dusty.

Let's hope the Cubs can find someone with a good understanding of the game and someone the players will respect. Then this will be great news.

All this celebration did we win something?

Dusty Baker will probably end up in a much better place (for him), maybe SF again, or perhaps WAS. So I don't feel bad for him.

The more difficult the personalities and the bigger the egos on the team, the more valuable Dusty becomes. He would be an ideal manager for an A. L. team where there are no double-switches and where there is a meddling owner who make the players feel like victims (like today's Yankees or the Oakland A's of the 1970's). Once Sammy Sosa got traded, whatever "people manager" value Dusty had as the Cubs skipper was lost. He just was not the right manager for the post-Sosa Chicago Cubs.

Anyway...

Good luck, Dusty.

And GO CUBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phil Rogers on with Chuck Wilson on XM

"The Tribune Co. can say what they will, but until they make a 100% commitment to winning, it will not happen. I wish they'd sell now, but we know that isn't going to happen."

IMO, the Cubs problem is not that they aren't committed to winning, they are, the problem is that they are very bad at being able to determine the true value of players. Sadly until we have an organization that doesn't believe that walks clog the basepath, home runs kill rallies, speed and bat control at the top trumps getting on base and batting average with runners in scoring position is the best stat for valuing hitters they will not win consistently.

You know I couldn't disagree more Phil. Dusty was a bad fit even before Sammy left. In fact he had a pretty big hand in Sammy leaving. Somehow Dusty just didn't live up to his billing in any way. Far worse strategist than I thought was possible, didn't draw any big stars for cheap, no leadership, brought out the worst in his players personality wise, and was a PR nightmare whenever he opened his mouth.

I wish him well as a human being. But the relief I feel at his absence from Cubdom is really indescribable.

Dusty Baker is not the whole problem. But he honestly was 80% of the problem in 2004 and 2005. This year they had no chance and he was part of a very big problem. A good manager would have run away with a playoff spot in 2004.

I personally have not been able to watch the cubs for 2 seasons so this is huge for me. I did not watch a game this year and this from a Cub obsessed erson who started watching in 1969.

The Dusty Baker teams of 2004-6 were dispicable on the field and even worse when it comes to class and integrity.

As far as the overwhelming ineptitude of the organization as a whole -- I agree it does not look good. But using a race car driver analogy, just cause we have a possible dog of a car doesn't mean that I have to watch Dusty Baker drive it backwards and bitch and moan about it.

Good riddance Dusty.

Per Rogers:

Baker alledgedly heard about the Neifi being dealt during the National Anthem of the game.

Hendry "avoided" Baker in the last month or so.

Both Wilson and Rogers feel 85 games started by rookies is out of the managers hands, although both seemed to agree Baker made some "head-scratching" moves.

Rogers says it is Pinella's job first. Girardi appears to be second, especially after McD has taken over (Girardi popular with Cubs fans, it would be a PR move). He also mentioned Brenly.

I have mixed emotions about Dusty & MacPhail.

However, why is Hendry coated with Teflon on this? I am not comforted by the fact that it will be him that will set the roster for next year and pick the manager.

It seems to me that we've already seen what his ideal team is in the rosters for 2004 and 2005: power at the corners, low OBP, relatively few runs scored for all the power and overreliance on injury-prone pitchers. His missing ingedient for those teams was apparently a so-called "leadoff hitter", for which his solution was to give up a ton of near MLB-ready minor league pitching for a one-year rental of Juan Pierre, who parlayed 204 hits (156 of them singles) into a .330 OBP and scored 87 runs in 730 plate apprearances. Even without the injuries the past few years, I have my doubts about whether that is a recipe for success. Outside of hiring a new manager, what will Hendry do to try to win next year? Will he do anything different? He seems convinced that his philosophy and strategy are sound, that it's only those darned injuries and bad luck that have prevented success.

I'll say 95% of the problem in 2004 -- the other 5% were injuries.

2005 he was 65% of the problem and uncalculable is the effect him mismanaging 2004 had on 2005 (Cubs reputation, players run out of town because he let the clubhouse go nuts, scapegoats and the STone affair). In that sense he maybe was responsible for 80% of 2005 failure. But Hendry blew it bigtime by not getting a closer and an outfielder or two in 2005.

2006 was juts a nutfest. Hendry sucked, Dusty was a lame duck dumbass and the injurues and player performances were lame too.

garciappara/dlee/maddux/bullpen/SP is worth less of a team's worth compared to a manager?

interesting.

i'd rather have it the other way around, myself...fix those holes and a nude gay crackhead with a spitting problem can manage the team for all i care.

Dusty was hired and paid to be an A-Grade manager, someone who could take a good team to the top or (if needed) make the occasional mediocre team better.

He got fired because he was simply not an A-Grade manager. He couldn't take a good team to the top and made a mediocre team worse.

The Cubs thought they were hiring (and paying for) Mick Jagger, and discovered that they had Mili Vanili.

Gone.

For all of our faults I think Bleeding Blue, Mike C and myself are boneheaded prophets in the sense that things we were saying about Dusty Baker three years ago (or more in the case of Mike C who despised Dusty BEFORE he came here) are basically completely validated. And not just by his being fired but moreso by the on the field performance, press conferences, and many of his other faults which people take for granted now but were attacking us for a few years ago. What a relief to be rid of this loser.

#12

Well said.

yeah we really sucked in 2004, All-Star caliber players at 5 positons (alou, sosa, lee, ramirez, nomar) , 2 up and comers (korey and barrett) at the time and a solid 2b tandem. (grudz/walker)

The pitchers really sucked too.....
Prior, Wood, Z, Clement, Maddux

what a horrible rotation that is

meh...

Joe G.! Joe G.! Joe G.!

You knew Baker was gone when his Igor - Neifi Perez - left town.

Crunch:
"fix those holes and a nude gay crackhead with a spitting problem can manage the team for all i care."

So basically you say hire Ronnie Woo Woo. :)

Crunch,

As long as he doesn't bat Izturis 2nd, I'm with you.

Do gay crackheads with spitting problems prefer OBP in the top of the order?

Crunch -- you wholoe premise is completely wrong. Dusty took a great team and made it worse. Thus he is reponsible for losing. The 2004 team had it in it's pocket and Dusty ran a closer out there who lost 9/11 one run leads in the pennant race and never took him out of the role. One of many headscratchers. TO claim he is responsible is to sayhe actually TOOK THE GAME OUT OF THE CAPABLE PLAYER'S HANDS. Get it?

The point is we didn't hire a crackhead -- we paid lots of money for a good manager. Your premise that a team needs to be so good noone screws it up is just plain ludicrous. insane really.

Hendry had a closer in 2005, Dempster. Baker held on to Hawkins for a month and a half disaster.

"Dusty took a great team and made it worse. Thus he is reponsible for losing."

i couldnt disagree with you more.

I am with you on that Rob G. Just thought that Hendry should have been more definitive in 2005 at CLoser and OF replacement for Sosa / Alou.

Also was Dempster healthy from day 1 of 2005??

"i couldnt disagree with (superjimmer) more."

Reasons?

Jimmer said: Dusty took a great team and made it worse. Thus he is reponsible for losing."

Crunch Said: i couldnt disagree with you more."

that's a compelling argument Crunch. Care to explain what you mean?

Manny, are you wearing a black armband today?
Sackcloth and ashes?

2 down, now let's see what they do with Donut Jim...

Carlos: Do gay crackheads with spitting problems prefer OBP in the top of the order?

We don't stereotype here at TCR. We recognize there are some nude gay crackheads who prefer OBP & some who do not.

:)

Dempster was healthy from day one...

Hendry couldn't have butchered the Sosa situation any worse than he did.

It's on top of my list of Hendry crimes.

This is a big day for me because from day 1 I always thought Dusty Baker was a huge mistake for this franchise and we would come to regret it. (I started my own blog in part because Dusty was hired because I didn't agree he was the right man for the job)

Thats 4 years of sitting back and watching a complete buffon fill out a lineup card and make bad day to day decisions. The first couple years I took some extreme pounding on that just because he took us to the playoffs in 2003. Like that magically covered up that he was a shitty manager.

I never thought he would make 4 years. By the end of his 3rd year people finally realized how bad he was at his job. All the time I kept asking myself....."What took you guys so long to figure this out?"

So this is a great day for me. That dark cloud that descended 4 years ago on this franchise is lifted. Maybe we can now get a manager that is better suited to working with the talent in this organization instead of thinking up his next great excuse.

I waited 4 years to see him gone, and now I have it. I am going to enjoy it.

Teflon Jim seems more appropriate and it's pretty obvious he's going nowhere this year.

you're kidding right.

you find it shocking that i dont think a guy who doesnt even play the game is responsible for 2004's collapse.

you find it shocking that i'd dare to imply the players did. you find it shocking that i dont think those things you pointed out are pretty damn minor and pety compared to the team on whole?

that 04...you wanna pin it on hawkins? what?

and i'm the radical thinker?

*DELETED* by Rob G.
----

You have issues Superjimmer, please sort them out somewhere else. Why you think it's okay to behave at a 2nd-grade mentality on this board is beyond me.

Dusty Baylor:
"Manny, are you wearing a black armband today?
Sackcloth and ashes? 2 down, now let's see what they do with Donut Jim..."

No, I just got my "In Dusty We Trusty" t-shirt on (just kidding). It was time for Dusty to go. Too many fans and media were blaming him for all/most of the failures the past 3 years. I think now that MacPhail and Baker are gone teh real culprit will be seen. Too bad Hendry isn't gone with them. And what do we need to see what they are going to do with Hendry? They just gave him a 2 year extenstion and McDonough praised him in his press conference yesterday. He is not going anywhere, unforunately.

Is it just me or does "Crane Kenney" sound like some sort of corporate villain?

Like he's the mysterious, pin-striped Armani-suited man sitting behind a huge desk in a big, dark office at the top of Trib Tower overseeing his minions and counting his dirty money.

I'm just celebrating that this is the last time I have to read this. Unless God's available it won't matter who Hendry hires.

"what superjimmer said in #40"

thank god.

and about the rest of your rant...heaven forbid someone say something that goes against what you believe.

and im not gonna answer any of your questions after your stupid little hissy fit. go find something else to complain about and complain to them about it.

*DELETED*

"what superjimmer said in #40"

that's not true...i can have a strong opinion without being a brick wall. i am capable of hearing other people's crap. and im not acting like a baby when i dont get my way...

now let's see if you truely are done with me...

Civilized discussion is not difficult.... (from Rob G.)

here's my Mike Murphy post conference summary in a netshell:

The Tribune motto of "Avoid Risk at all Costs" has still held true. Firing 2 of the 3 management level personel was consistent with the Tribune's half assed approach to what needed to be done.

McFail lost his job because he avoided risk. The risky move that would have saved his job was to fire Hendry/Baker early this season. No urgency. No job.

John Mc-DONE-ah: The interim-president's hands continued to be tied by trib upper mgt because the team still may be sold. Hence he was hired since it didn't add any payroll to the team to fill McFail's position. His title is Interim-president because no new owner wants someone tied to a long term deal. McDONE-ah kept Hendry because he or upper mgt did the risk averse move nor have the cojones to make the "risk" move of firing Hendry and bringing in a new GM/Mgr (ie. Steve Stone/Joe Girardi)

The earliest warning sign regarding Hendry's (lack of) clout was when he wasn't allowed to (or didn't) fire Wavin' Wendell Kim after the 2003 season.

According to Murphy, Hendry has only 4 roster players (DLee, Barrett, Theriot and Murton) and 2 starters and one closer (Z, Hill and Howry) and no minor league players with enough value and a crappy upcoming free agent crop so fixing holes to make the team competitive next year won't happen...hence wait till whenever.

Ok..I throw my hat into the ring!!

I'm officially stumping for the Cubs managreial position...I'll take a 3 year deal, at $650,000 per.

May as well be me...or crunch, manny, trans, Az Phil....christ.
Anyone but Lou Pinella..

I've always been pretty torn about Dusty, so I'm pretty ambivalent about his departure. What I am downright gleeful about, however, is that Clines and Matthews are gone too. Adios, muchachos! I have a parting message for you two:

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Of course, if you don't want it to hit you, just spend some time coaching it, and I'm sure it won't.

MANNY: "So basically you say hire Ronnie Woo Woo. :)..."

dude, the guy is mentally disabled and barely able to keep a roof over his head.

Plenty of other examples you could have used.

Winning times ahead, we have seen the potential of our rookies this year (best of the best in our farm system, fundamentally sound). Who cares if Aramis, Jones and Pierre are gone. Hindsited Stone, smooching Brently, "Will I fly with Vets" Girardi? Any of them can manage this winning club to a championship. I am tired of seeing our pitchers being overworked by pitching more than 4 innings. Gotta keep booing our players til they perform to expectations. I just need someone to prepare my obcession of blame, Fire Whoever!

"Teflon Jim seems more appropriate and it's pretty obvious he's going nowhere this year."

I think it's interesting to note in McDonough's diatribe yesterday that he acknowledged directly to the reporters pit that in his mind "Hendry is doing a good job".

Translation: My superiors in the tower dictated to me that Hendry is staying...we're not eating two years of his deal no matter how much you want to give the gig to your boy Steve Stone so don't even think about it pal. Now go out there and make sure you inform those leeches that Hendry is your man for the job and you're behind him 100%. Dismissed...and which date is the Ron Santo bobblehead giveaway on next season?

From cubs.com:

"...led the Cubs to back-to-back winning seasons (2003-2004) for the first time since 1971-1972...has gone to the postseason nine times during his big league career (four times as a manager, four times as a player and once as a coach)...has gone to five World Series including the 2002 Fall Classic with the Giants...won a championship ring as an outfielder with Los Angeles in 1981...enters the 2006 campaign with 1,096 big league managerial victories...in 2004, he became the 50th manager in Major League history to record 1,000 victories...the milestone win came August 30 in a 5-2 win over Montreal...is a three-time Baseball Writers Association of America National League Manager of the Year selection and a two-time The Sporting News Manager of the Year...has received All-Star recognition six times as a player in 1981 and 1982, three times as a member of the NL's coaching staff (1994, 1997, 2001) and as the NL manager for the 2003 Midsummer Classic at U.S. Cellular Field...also served as manager of the 1996 postseason Major League all-star tour to Japan...his numerous honors have included: being voted to the all-time Dodgers team by Los Angeles fans during that club's 100th anniversary celebration in 1990...receiving the 1998 Silver Plumes "City Ambassador" Award from Where-San Francisco magazine, which is presented annually to an individual who largely represents and epitomizes that city's reputation for greatness...being inducted into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame in 1990...being inducted into the California Black Sports Hall of Fame in 1997...Dusty joined the Cubs after guiding San Francisco to an 840-715 record from 1993-2002 (.540 winning percentage)...the Giants finished in first or second place in the NL West Division standings eight times and won at least 90 games five times...San Francisco advanced to the postseason three times including a trip to the 2002 World Series...the 2002 club beat Atlanta in the Division Series and St. Louis in the NL Championship Series before falling to Anaheim in the Fall Classic...in addition, his 1993 club didn't qualify for the postseason despite winning 103 games while his 1998 squad lost to the Cubs in the Wild Card tiebreaker to get to that point, the Giants made up a 5.0-game deficit with 10 games remaining in the regular season...under his guidance, the Giants recorded three of their top five victory seasons since moving to San Francisco in 1958 (103 in 1993, 97 in 2000 and 95 in 2002). San Francisco finished above the .500 mark every year from 1997-2002, placing first or second in the division every season...the club's overall 547-425 record over the six-season span (.563 winning percentage) ranked 2nd in the NL behind Atlanta (594-376 .612 winning percentage)...the six consecutive first- or second-place finishes marked the first time that happened in franchise history since the New York Giants accomplished the feat over a nine-year span from 1917-1925...the 1997 squad won the West Division after finishing in last place the year before...it was just the fourth time in big league history that a team went from last-to-first in the standings...won the Baseball Writers' Association of America National League Manager of the Year Award after the 1993, 1997 and 2000 seasons...was second in the balloting in 2003...since the inception of the BBWAA award, only one manager (Tony LaRussa) has been honored more times...also won The Sporting News' NL Manager of the Year honors in 1997 and 2000...recorded the second-highest totals in Giants history for victories and games (1,555), trailing only John McGraw who led the club to a 2,604-1,801 mark from 1902-1932...the only other manager to spend 10 years at the Giants' helm was Bill Terry (1932-1941)...the Giants won 103 games in 1993 during his first year as a skipper...the victory total was the highest for a rookie manager in N.L. history and just the fifth instance in major league history in which a freshman manager reached the triple digit victory total..."

Dusty Baker is a winner. Even with the injuries, the horrendous lack of talent provided to him by the Tribune Co., and the lack of support by monday morning quarterbacks who don't understand the intangibles and couldn't manage their way out of a fantasy league paper bag, Dusty Baker was *still* 322-326 with Chicago. I'm a diehard Cubs fan since age 9, but this might break me of that bad habit. If the anti-Baker sentiment in this thread is indicative of the support he got in Chicago, I'm happy to see him go. You don't deserve to have a winner. You deserve to be in the back pocket of the Tribune company. You deserve to be exactly what you have been for a century.

Losers.

According to Murphy, Hendry has only 4 roster players (DLee, Barrett, Theriot and Murton) and 2 starters and one closer (Z, Hill and Howry) and no minor league players with enough value and a crappy upcoming free agent crop so fixing holes to make the team competitive next year won't happen...hence wait till whenever.

I respectfully disagree with Murph's assessment of the franchise. He's way off, but it's fun to shout the sky is falling everytime you talk about the Cubs. You'll be right far more often than you're wrong..

Revslappy, speaking of departing coaches...it will be interesting to see what happens to Larry Rothschild. Hendry kept him around from the Don Baylor era so it won't be a shocker if he hangs around for another season of towel drills.

Manny, I feel for you man. EVERYONE but the guy you wanted fired got the ax, but let's see what kind of off-season we have. You never know maybe, Mac Phail was holding back a little, he always wanted to be financially responsible. I'm not saying we haven't had the resources cuz we have, but sometimes you need to go the little extra like in the Furcal case to get the job done. Let's see what happens over the next month or two, it should tell us what we really have.

Sigh-

We'll see how Dusty "Winner" Baker manages with out his steroid boy to back him up.

Terrible in game or situational manager...no idea on constructing a line-up, but he does back up the players 100%.

Bye Dusty...

the story about Baker being told about the Neifi deal during the national anthem is in the cubs.com story as well

http://tinyurl.com/moqcr

that so rules....

I do like the fact that Mc Dodonugh was brought in by Dallas Green and was a bleacher bum, it makes me feel like he isn't so disconnected like Mac Phail was.

Dallas Green:
"Manny, I feel for you man. EVERYONE but the guy you wanted fired got the ax, but let's see what kind of off-season we have. You never know maybe, Mac Phail was holding back a little, he always wanted to be financially responsible. I'm not saying we haven't had the resources cuz we have, but sometimes you need to go the little extra like in the Furcal case to get the job done. Let's see what happens over the next month or two, it should tell us what we really have."

Yeah amazing, only Jim got the free pass (and maybe Rothschild). But I guess I have no choice about it, huh? So yeah, let's see what Hendry does the next few months, but I can't say I am expecting much.

I am surprised that nobody has even mentioned Rothschild as a possible manager replacement. He has maanged for over 3 years in the bigs and is Hendry's boy. It would be a very typical Hendry hire.

Dusty Baylor:
"We'll see how Dusty "Winner" Baker manages with out his steroid boy to back him up."

I guess the same could be said about Tony LaRussa.

Piniella is reportedly very tough on young pitchers, who are notoriously inconnsistent while finding their way in the bigs.

Unless Hendry does magic tricks and makes two veteran starting pitchers and a closer appear out of nowhere, this team is going to have to suffer through the growing pains of young pitchers.

I'd pass on Piniella and look for a guy who can develop young pitchers, because in 2007 and beyond, the economic realities of baseball will demand it.

someone may have already posted this but allegedly Hendry is supposed to meet with Baker's cronies err staff tomorrow as Hendry "wanted to speak with Dusty before addressing the coaches" accoring to WGN's presser today.

Also Girardi is too meet with the Marlins brass tomorrow...MDH speculates that he will be canned within the next 48 hours.

AZ Phil wrote:

Dusty Baker will probably end up in a much better place (for him), maybe SF again, or perhaps WAS. So I don't feel bad for him.
--

Please, Dearest Baseball Gods, do not send Dusty Baker to Washington. Miserable comforters are you all. If Baker manages the Nationals, surely now you Baseball Gods will wear me out; you will make me desolate in all my company.

Signed,

DC Tom

From sigh's excessive blurb on Dusty:

"[Dusty Baker] has gone to the postseason nine times during his big league career (four times as a manager, four times as a player and once as a coach)"

For a man that has been in baseball since the late 1960's, I would not consider a man that has been apart to 9 postseason classics over a 30 year stint in baseball a pure winner. There is no doubt that Dusty was a very successful manager in SF during the 90's, but only 4 trips to the postseason under 2 teams (Giants and Cubs) that play in GREAT baseball markets with big revenues/resources does not truly impress me.

Girardi has a meeting at 9am EST tomorrow morning, expect the announcement by mid-day at the latest.

The coaches are all gone, Hendry's just being nice. Rothschild is the only question mark, whether he'll be forced upon the new manager once again.

Apologies to Crunch and to TCR. I disagree with Crunch so completely that I am capable of acting like a 2nd grader.

i'd bet on davey johnson slipping into WAS's managerial role unless he's just sick of it from all the player bitching(s) last time around.

"He would be an ideal manager for an A. L. team where there are no double-switches and where there is a meddling owner who make the players feel like victims."

Sounds like his next stop should be Baltimore.

We'll see how Dusty "Winner" Baker manages with out his steroid boy to back him up.
---
You have to go there? I'm not so sure Bonds was on steroids before 2000. Second, Baker was always known for being just okay as a field manager; he made up for it with his players. The guy had a winning record in 8 of 10 years. I really don't think he got stupid overnight.

He made some bad moves and poor decisions, but he didn't bring this franchise to its knees by any means. He did well when he had solid talent and healthy players. He failed when it went the opposite. So perhaps he isn't so good when with average talent, but let's not make him Jim Essian, okay?

Manny, were you talking about McGuire or Pujols?
:)

From a short list of the safe-and-popular candidates I like Ron Washington. Friendly, agreeable, a good guy, players all like him... but at the same time, widely renowned for his pre-game preparation. I have some good buddies that are A's fans and Beane passed him over to re-hire Macha. For the "safe at third" Cubs the choice will likely be from the list of Pinella, Girardi, Gonzalez, Brenly and Washington.

Dusty Baylor:
"Manny, were you talking about McGuire or Pujols?
:)"

Or Canseco? Hmm......

Anybody for Felipe Alou? I did hear Moises and his father would be a package deal though.

Should've said upset... sorry, tired... jetlag... no sleep... big Firing Party... punch and pie.

"Second, Baker was always known for being just okay as a field manager; he made up for it with his players. The guy had a winning record in 8 of 10 years. I really don't think he got stupid overnight."

Dusty may have been excellent with the players. Most of them seem to like him well enough, at least. However, he was significantly overpaid to just be good with the players. For $4 million/year, he should have been the most strategically sound manager in the game, as well as a good players' manager.

At $700k, I can forgive a guy for dumb lineups and stupid double-switches. Not for $4 million.

"He did well when he had solid talent and healthy players."

Well great.....Dusty Baker is a genius!!!
He won when he had healthy, talented players...congratulations.

How about Speier? Cool, Barrett & Speier can rehab together this winter (albeit very different types of rehab) and be ready to go in the spring.

Ryno:
"Cool, Barrett & Speier can rehab together this winter"

I wonder what kind of rehab one has to do for an intrascrotal hematoma?

"Dusty Baker will probably end up in a much better place (for him), maybe SF again, or perhaps WAS. So I don't feel bad for him."

not so sure Baker is a good fit for the next couple SF Giants seasons because that team is going to get blown up either this off-season or next (if Bonds comes back next year). Schmidt, Alou, Finley, possibly Ray Durham and P.Feliz may be gone, Benitez isn't going to be ready for the first half and may have a career ending injury and half of that bully like Stanton are probably gone as well. Sabean is going to have to work Eddy Martinez and Nate Schierholtz into the rookie mix along with an underperforming Marcus Sanders and no good young pitching on the way outside of Tim Lincecum. That team is going to suck and probably resemble the last 3 years of the Cubs (with an ugly mix of overpriced veteran stopgaps and underperforming rookies..outside of Lincecum who looks terrific).

Wash actually looks a little better for the near future if Soriano comes back and they can pickup a #1 starter and a healthy John Patterson. My guess is he'll sit out 2007 (maybe do a bench or hitting coach gig) and wait to see if LA Dodgers, Seattle or Arizona opens up in 2008.

oh and Boston is letting their hitting coach Ron Jackson go...just throwing it out there as D.Ortiz has credited him for reinventing his swing and they never suffer on the offensive side...seems a little curious actually.

"He did well when he had solid talent and healthy players."
----

Actually, he did well when the lineup was pretty much set with a couple obvious run-producing bats, a rather obvious batting lineup, and a reasonably strong bench with clear roles. In that context, a "player's manager" who takes the flak from the press, deflects attention and criticism, and stays with his guys is not a bad thing.

But that's not what the Cubs have needed, they haven't needed it since Game Six. He did not become Captain Edward John Smith, he became Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg from the Cain Mutiny...a Freudian delight who crawls with clues.

Dusty may have been excellent with the players. Most of them seem to like him well enough, at least. However, he was significantly overpaid to just be good with the players. For $4 million/year, he should have been the most strategically sound manager in the game, as well as a good players' manager.

At $700k, I can forgive a guy for dumb lineups and stupid double-switches. Not for $4 million.
**********************************************
Well great.....Dusty Baker is a genius!!!
He won when he had healthy, talented players...congratulations.
-

Who's fault is that? Hendry is the one who gave him the contract. Everyone from Hendry to us fans knew what we were getting with Baker. The guy was never acknowledged as being a good field manager. He was outdone multiple times during the playoffs (2000 vs Mets and 2002 vs Angels come to mind). He was know as taking care of veterans and making most of talent. He did that in '03 & '04. It didn't go that way in '05 & '06. That's what I am saying.

Hendry had a closer in 2005, Dempster. Baker held on to Hawkins for a month and a half disaster.

Right, and we saw how the Dempster experiment has turned out.

yeah Dumpster was horrible in 2005

Alou officially gone from Giants as well

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Giradi's next and now there's talk of Showalter potentially getting axed

A-rod is getting dropped to the 6 hole and a rehabbing Sheffield is moving to cleanup. Ouch..that should help A-rod's confidence.

"Dusty Baker is a winner. Even with the injuries, the horrendous lack of talent provided to him by the Tribune Co., and the lack of support by monday morning quarterbacks who don't understand the intangibles and couldn't manage their way out of a fantasy league paper bag, Dusty Baker was *still* 322-326 with Chicago. I'm a diehard Cubs fan since age 9, but this might break me of that bad habit. If the anti-Baker sentiment in this thread is indicative of the support he got in Chicago, I'm happy to see him go. You don't deserve to have a winner. You deserve to be in the back pocket of the Tribune company. You deserve to be exactly what you have been for a century.

Losers."

Is this you, Manny?

How can anyone call Dusty a "winner" in the face of what's transpired over the last 4 years.
He's a fraudulent, excuse maker who glady takes credit when something goes right, but who whines about criticism and deflects any blame when something goes wrong.
I'm sure he's a good family man and a nice guy, but he's a dinosaur in the baseball world.

Don't clog the doorway on your way out.

BJS:
"Don't clog the doorway on your way out."

Yes, please don't, we got one chubby GM that hopefully won't be far behind you.

Well, all I can say is it is about damn time. Dusty should have been shown the door 2 years ago, yet managed to ride things out long enough where it can be said that 2006 wasn't his fault, and be excused by some for his failings of 2003, 2004, and 2005.

While the last 2 days can only be seen as a step forward, the lack of accountablity within the Cubs still frightens me. While the McFail will no longer be around to say what a great job Hendry and Dusty are doing, while the team is going on another 8 game losing streak, the Interim President leaps praise on the GM who let a lame duck manager stay in charge of a young team - in part because of "winning streak" just before the all star break.

Meanwhile, even when Hendry finally shows Dusty the door, he talks about what a great manager Dusty was.In the news conference, you got the impression that Hendry didn't really even want to get rid of Dusty, or if he did, he didn't really know why.

Its called accountability, and the Cubs have made a good start by dumping McFail and Dusty. It's also a positive that the interim team president is finally talking about a World Championship as a goal, and even Hendry has verbally admitted responsibility for the disaster of the past 3 seasons (something that McFail and Dusty never did), but there is still a long way to go to prove those words and to really fix the Cubs mess.

For those interested in such things:

Dusty Baker was the 55th person to have the title "manager" of the Chicago National League Ball Club, the first being A.G. Spalding.

Baker's winning percentage as Cubs manager is .497 (322-326), decidedly mediocre but still above the median (.482) for a Cubs manager. It is virtually identical to Herman Franks (238-241), who many of us remember as the man who ushered us into the "Barry Foote Era".

Former Cub managers tend not to do so well after they leave. Since WWII, the Cubs have had 34 managers not including Baker. 23 never managed again in the big leagues.

Say you exclude Lou Boudreau (who went back to the broadcast booth after switching jobs with Charlie Grimm in 1960) and the six members of the "College of Coaches" in 1961-62 (who were never full-time managers, although Charlie Metro and Harry Croft did get managing stints at KC and Houston). That leaves 28 post-war Cub managers and only 9 who got jobs as managers after leaving the Cubs:

Charlie Grimm: Boston/Milwaukee Braves (631 games between Cub jobs)
Bob Sheffing: Detroit (384 games)
Lee Elia: Phillies (254 games)
Leo Durocher: Houston (193 games)
Bob Kennedy: Oakland (163 games)
Jim Marshall: Oaklang (162 games)
Jim Lefebvre: Milwaukee (49 games)
Stan Hack: St. Louis (10 games)
John Vukovich: Phillies (9 games)

With the exception of Grimm and Durocher, that's not very good company for Dusty.

I'm happy to see him go. You don't deserve to have a winner. You deserve to be in the back pocket of the Tribune company. You deserve to be exactly what you have been for a century.

Losers.

I hope Dusty Baker manages your team next year.

Sammy, "I want to get back in my house."

So long you lazy Dusty dog.

...just kidding

Manny said:
"I am surprised that nobody has even mentioned Rothschild as a possible manager replacement. He has maanged for over 3 years in the bigs and is Hendry's boy. It would be a very typical Hendry hire."

Rothschild is the one person who I wanted fired before Dusty. I'm not sure if it's possible to get less out of more then what he got. I don't know, when a pitching coach overseas an entire roster of pitchers who can't find the plate year after year...along with too many injuries to count...it says to me a new direction is needed with how our pitchers are handled.

Rather than singling out Baker, I wish they got rid of everybody (including Hendry) and bring in someone NEW from outside and try to re-build. But I'm more concerned now with Hendry still there and know the the former merketing head (?!) the interim President!

I wish they would bring in someone who would try to start another "New Tradition" ala Dallas Greene and re-build the franchise. Hendry is part of the problem.

God bless Baker let him go to another team, the atmosphere is so poisoned there was no way he could stay. It's best for him and the fans.

I really wish they would dump Hendry now and start clean - re-evaluate everyone with fresh eyes.

Block (Adam):
"I don't know, when a pitching coach overseas an entire roster of pitchers who can't find the plate year after year...along with too many injuries to count...it says to me a new direction is needed with how our pitchers are handled."

I agree with ya. I hope he isn't around anymore, but he turned down the pitching coach position with the Detroit Tigers in the offseason to stick around here. I will be shocked if Hendry doesn't repay that loyalty somehow.

I brought up the Titanic's Captain yesterday as well. Hard not to think Titanic when talking about the Cubs. And like the Titanic the skipper was definitely at fault. But the real tragedy - the lack of lifeboats - was the fault of the huge faceless corporation that owned the doomed ship.

I suppose the decision on assistant coaches would be one in which the new manager would want to be involved. But when the team has the worst record in the National League, all of the coaches should at least offer their resignations, be willing to sit patiently for the new guy to come to town, and beg for a job interview.

I personally would like to see some of the Cubs minor league coaches move up to bench coaches in the bigs. Had we done that, we might have kept Rick Kranitz, who instead followed Pinto and Nolasco to Florida.

Coaches salaries don't count toward the luxury tax. A solid pitching coach like Bud Black will earn his salary 10x over even if you overpay the guy. Go get the best you can get.

*The total BS thing here, if we get 5 more outs, we aren't having this conversation*

Right, because Dusty would NEVER have blown it in the World Series, eh?

*This isn't good news yet. Given the option between Dusty and the unknown, I'll take Dusty.*

So last place is okay with you, rather than the "unknown". Interesting logic.

*Dusty Baker is a winner. *

Yeah, if you give him an entire roster of roidheads to manage or coke-fiends to play with.

*I'm a diehard Cubs fan since age 9*

Yeah, sure you are Moby.

*but this might break me of that bad habit.*

If it's such a bad habit, why do you do it?

*You deserve to be in the back pocket of the Tribune company.*

And so did you until Baker was fired, right?

*You deserve to be exactly what you have been for a century.*

Hey, you *are* Dusty, aren't you?

*"We'll see how Dusty "Winner" Baker manages with out his steroid boy to back him up."

I guess the same could be said about Tony LaRussa.*

Yes, good point. When has LaRussa not managed a team riddled with cheaters?

*If Baker manages the Nationals, surely now you Baseball Gods will wear me out; you will make me desolate in all my company.*

If Dusty manages the Nationals, they will be in Vegas within 3 years because he will have driven away the faithful and not attracted the curious.

I mentioned this in the last thread, but I'll repeat it here: I don't think Rothschild deserves all the criticism that gets thrown his way around here. I don't understand how he can be responsible for all of the pitching problems, including injuries (because Woody was the image of perfect health prior to Roths) and rookies throwing like rookies, but not get any credit for the good aspects of the pitching.

Zambrano, Hill, Wuertz, Ohman, Marshall, Aardsma, and others have developed above expectations; Clement had his best seasons as a Cub; Glendon had two good years of starting in 04-05; etc. If you're going to blame Roths for the bad, at least credit him with the good, too.

"Right, because Dusty would NEVER have blown it in the World Series, eh?"

He didn't blow the NLCS. We may have won IN SPITE of Dusty. We may have just gotten outplayed by the Yankees. Who knows. My point is that if we got there Dusty would be 3 years into his 5 year extension right now.

For all of you who say things like "we don't deserve a winner" and "the atmosphere was so poisoned here" etc. etc. Dusty Baker brought all of this upon himself. If not for his ineptitude then at least because of his attitude. I've never heard anyone whine and complain as much as he did. Whether it was about not having his horses or the racist letters. Even until the very last days, when he said that "everyone already put the blame on me so I guess I'll take it." What kind of passive aggressive immature lack of accountability crap is that? You don't think his managerial skills dictated that he not given a new contract (hell the guy wasn't even fired), fine, but do not tell me for one second that he did not get exactly what he deserved.

I shouldn't expect only wisdom and maturity on a Cubs baseball web log. After all, sports is a traditional arena for rude and infantile fan behavior and overblown hyperbole without a sense of proportion. However, the tacit philosophy of much of the TCR community is a belief in the level headed use of statistical analysis, (i.e., objective evidence) to evaluate players' and teams' on the field performance. Bill James warns about people who use statistics like a drunk uses a street lamppost - more for support than for illumination. I bring that up because it reminds me how much I appreciate illumination.

I really like TCR and its posters who illuminate the issues, make funny or tragic observations, or who just wax poetic. I find much of the insulting hyperbole about various players or management just depressing, even if it is "traditional" behavior. I don't mind seeing someone called an idiot as long he arguably is one, (e.g., Carl Everett, John Rocker), but it strikes me that when those kinds of labels get thrown around too freely, they lose their meaning. Also, while I generally agree with opinions on the value of OBP and other statistically-supported matters, I don't have so much faith in my own opinions that I consider anybody who differs is stupid or incompetent. Finally, sometimes I'm reminded that the players/management are also people and it's not much fun to see people getting trashed like garbage over and over again.

I like the intelligence, the analysis, the creativity, the cleverness and the "no bullshit" attitude. I would like even more it if the crude insults and the arrogant second guessing was tempered with some restraint or even some level-headed humility. I know some people find it fun. I just don't anymore.

"everyone already put the blame on me so I guess I'll take it." What kind of passive aggressive immature lack of accountability crap is that?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What Badguy said, I'm in step with his take on this.

"everyone already put the blame on me so I guess I'll take it." What kind of passive aggressive immature lack of accountability crap is that?
----

This is precisely why we all loved Dusty so much.
He was just a victim of circumstances that were out of his control.

My sarcasm meter is bit off today...I hope.

I'm wearing my 2003 Central Division Champions t-shirt...what happened? The last three years have gone down the toilet.

I agree with others who have posted that the Cubs need to start over completely. I hope that any holdovers at this point either shake loose between now and next April, or they get with a new program on Addison & Clark that should include building a professional winning culture that will prove itself out on the field, not implode into dramas, paranoias or cover-ups(eg. injury-speak).

Here's to hoping for something this off-season to begin to get excited about...what, at this point, I have no idea yet.

Well for quite a while I've been saying the Cubs need to get rid of McPhail, Hendry and Baker...in that order. I think Hendry put together one of the worst teams in the history of the Cubs...all on a shoestring budget of plus 100 million dollars. Baker gets a lot of the blame...but Hendry carries a large burden of responsibility. Hendry put the team on the field. If this is the team Baker wanted then Hendry went along with a boneheaded roster. If this was Hendry's team he wanted he has no baseball knowledge at all.

I don't think things change for the Cubs until the team is sold by the Tribune and taken over by a person or organization totally committed to the Cubs and only the Cubs WINNING. An organization who doesn't give a rats ass about newspaper sales...about t.v. revenues for the flagship station....etc....

The Cubs have huge holes to fill and Hendry consistently goes to mediocre crap players and offers them similar contracts to more decent players our rivals (White Sox, Cardinals) offer their players of great quality.

Manny Trillo has posted that Hendry is most at fault...and I agree with him. However, Baker was an awful manager. He leaves Chicago with a 4 year LOSING record...with the greatest payroll ever to play for the Chicago Cubs....

The Cardinals had injuries this year--they didn't excel, but they managed to play .500 ball...and ended up winning a division by default because the Central is so shitty this year. If only Hendry was commited to becoming .500 in June...He would have made moves to fill in for Wood/Prior....for Lee..but the bottom line is the Cubs just weren't very good even with Wood/Prior and Lee. They had nothing to offer anyone to fill those holes..they were bargaining from weakness...and will continue to do so until they are willing to get the top quality free agents...and play the "right" rookies who can become stars.

I know someone who had a direct conversation with Ron Santo....Santo said Brenly is HIGH on McDonough's list. He said he thinks McDonough will hire Brenly IF Brenly wants the job. If Brenly does then Stoney WILL be back in the booth for the Cubs...(If he wants the job back). Santo has said Stoney could be in line for a General Manager position this year with another ballclub...so if that comes to fruition Stone would of course be off the broadcasting market.

Brently has shown he can ride a horse, but a pony?
He didn't last the season (now that's fired). Pitching coach who goes against scouting reports.
The greatest damage to Bakers career would've been
if he was offered an extension. I actually feared for him. 2003 was great for Cubdom but doom for Baker & Co....it happened three years before it should've. Well I'm exhausted with the outright hate for the man, it will take a year or two but Cubdom will settle to the more peaceful loveable losers persona (though we now better now don't we).

2003 was great for Cubdom but doom for Baker & Co....it happened three years before it should've.

This is exactly the kind of crap I'm talking about when I say that Baker being allowed to last through this season has given him an "its not his fault" card, as if he didn't commit enough sins in 2003, 2004, and 2005 to be fired in most organizations that have some degree of accountability.

You can switch years 2003 with 2006, you can juggle the years around anyway you'd like, the fact remains, Baker was a horrible manager for the Cubs, who was treated far better than he deserved by the Cubs organization. A team that really had a committment to winning would have replaced this loser long ago.

An aside to those who are describing Dusty as a "Winner," what has Dusty "Won" as a manager? I see lots of years where he's had the most talent on his roster, but I don't see a single World Series Championship on his resume.

http://cubs.scout.com/2/575050.html

transcript of today's press conference. It has the statements by Baker and Hendry and then a bunch a questions Hendry answered, although not all of them.

"Well, everybody ñ I mean, Dusty and I always had that relationship. Everybody always has a wish list. Sometimes you canít get them; sometimes they stayed where theyíre at, but Dusty and I worked together Iíd say over 90 percent of the time on our rosters."
-

There you have it...
Both of Hendry's bosses have been shown the door.
Hopefully he hires someone smarter to make decisions for him. Who knows, maybe the manager he falls in love with next will be someone who values OBP above all other offensive stats.

off topic-
will carroll from b/p was just on the wgn radio visiting with the 2 nitwits. he made several interesting statements:
1. padres are his pick to win the world series.
2. odds-on candidate to be next cub mangager is girardi; it will definitely not be fredi gonzalez, who will be announced tuesday as the marlins manager.
3. dusty will take the seattle job.
4. hgh is 2 generations old; drug of choice now is insulin: very high in anabolic properties, not detectable, and very very dangerous.
5. cubs do not have fans; they have rabid fanatics, and tourists. will be interested to see which group will be catered to by the new management (me, not will.)

seattle issued a letter to its season ticket holders that Hargrove was staying in Seattle last week, fwiw.

i pressed send too soon...will also said that if "the tribune put the cubs on the market, they would fetch a billion dollars". that, friends, i would believe only after seeing it. and gives me pause about other statements he made.

"With the exception of Grimm and Durocher, that's not very good company for Dusty." - DCTom

Actually, Grimm was not considered a very good manager. He may have looked good to fans after the Hornsby experiment failed, but he was not in the same league as Joe McCarthy who had been let go by the Cubs a year or two earlier.

And Durocher? My God, if sites like this existed when Leo was batting Kessinger and his piss-poor OBP leadoff game after game, I can't imagine the amount of venom that would have been spewed.

"they would fetch a billion dollars"

I wonder if he put his pinky up to his lips like Dr. Evil after he said it.

Carroll always talks as if he has the inside poop.

He's usually wrong.

Kaplan and Waddle obviously aren't onto his horseshit... they keep having him show up to make outrageous statements.

actually, kozlowski and waddle. kaplan is observing the holiday. nitwits nonetheless.

#45: Mike Murphy post-press-conference rant...
John Mc-DONE-ah

Can I just express a pre-emptive groan for the eight billion times this lame pun will be uttered over the next...um...interim? Thank you.

Can I also belatedly slap Murphy for saying (in the HBO documentary) that Harry Caray had as much to do with the Cubs' 1984 success as Dallas Green? Again, thank you.

Glowacki was right on about Murph and many others here at TCR for that matter:

Rob G: it's fun to shout the sky is falling everytime you talk about the Cubs. You'll be right far more often than you're wrong..

I suppose it's good Dusty is gone, the team didn't exactly thrive with him around. But if his replacement is the same thing I don't see what the Cubs have gained by firing him.

Personally, I like WPZ's thoughts on Ron Washington.

can ron washington speak spanish? and yeah, that's a serious question.

i hadnt really thought of ron washington as a managerial option, honestly.

if he's got the people skills he's not a bad option, though...he definately has a great attitude and is respected, but as a leader...no idea.

im kinda wondering what skills he has besides his sense of humor...is he a "buddy" or a leader...can he be taken seriously...can he handle pressure (seems he can handle having his house destroyed, that's for sure)...

btw, who's pushing the ron washington rumors are are they linked to the cubs, even in speculation, by anyone directly?

No, crunch, I believe WPZ mentioned his name higher up in the post. I don't think his name appeared in any "official" rumors.

Official rumors, lol.

from tribune webpoll...the mcphail whitewash has appeased the masses and the heat is off hendry. i would comment on the dusty thing but that was a gimmie, anyway.

----

Which move do you approve of?

17.5%
Andy MacPhail's resignation (1909 responses)

6.6%
Dusty Baker's departure (716 responses)

68.3%
Both (7448 responses)

7.6%
Neither (833 responses)

heat is off hendry for now, anyway...not like he's immune. he's the guy that's gonna have to give the press conferences on his signings or deal with reporters on lack of signings.

Tim Kurkjian had a segment on ESPN where he lamented the results of the minority quota policy of MLB. He was hyperventilating that the minority manager losses this season hurts the league. He said that "there better be more" minority managers next year.

I'm sorry, but that has nothing to do at all with what I want to see the Cubs do. I want to see the Cubs go after the best qualified manager available that will improve this team. Their race/ethnic/social/political background is irrelevent. I don't want to hear Jesse Jackson and the likes start to insinuate that the Cubs are a bunch of racists - like had been done to Notre Dame after the Tye Willingham debacle.

Racial quotas are a huge PC trap, if you oppose it you come off as racist, but the dirty secret is racial quotas end up hurting minorities.

You're right though, Hobart Mike, I don't care if he's black, white, or green as long as he can turn the team into winners.

make non-minorities pissed occasionally, but rarely hurt.

the 64 votings right act is barely 40 years old.

one day the things it opened up for people might not be needed, but this is still a very young country.

we still have people who VIVIDLY remember not only their own jim crow experiences, but was raised by those of their parents. this goes for EVERYONE in a society. the message is/was to society, everyone...not just 1 message for whites and another for blacks and another for hispanics, etc.

the only serious debate ive seen on the "harm" involve some outdated quotas on college admissions that have somewhat outgrown their use or practicality in some areas.

as far as harming more than it helps...nah, don't buy that.

Crunch:
"heat is off hendry for now, anyway...not like he's immune."

Was the heat ever really on him? I mean as horrible of the last two seasons and offseasons have been, he has gotten an extension and a serious vote of confidence from his new boss.

I think that is part of the problem with the Cubs right now, there is no heat on him, when there should be tons. Hopefully with Baker and MacPhail gone, the focus turns sqaurely on him, like it should.

I kee on hearing Bud Black as a candidate for other teams what about him for the new cub in blue

I respect you and your opinion a lot crunch, but realistically, I don't recall ever encountering other white people being racist. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it simply means in my experience racial quotas are outdated rules. I'm white and 28.

"Was the heat ever really on him?"

my bad...was refering to the media heat, not internal pressure from the club/owners/etc.

My point was just that Tim K. was so demanding that the vacancies this year "better" be filled by minorities. Just sounded patronizing from him and a little over-sensitive.

Just get a good manager.

I think most agree the Cubs haven't been real aggressive in persuing big name free agents. Do the MacPhail/Dusty moves change any of that? Thoughts?

F.A. pursuits? I don't know.

I think part of that before was clearing up some cash from the Sammy contract(done, finally). I think that there is no excuse now to aggressively pursue big names, but are there any out there that we really should go after? I think that we need to get a big bat in the outfield. We shouldn't be hung up on the couple of pieces that we still have there (Murton, Jones). If we are able to keep them fine, if we lose one or both through a trade, so be it. Is there a young Moises Alou-type out there?

Also at shortstop. Is there a shortstop available that can swing a bat?

Lots of questions.

I usually find Will Carroll fairly annoying, but it seems to me that he's dead on about the Cubs fans base. There's the diehards, like ourselves (the regulars anyway), and there's the tourists and the fairweathers. Anyway, I'd never heard it stated that way, but that seems a very apt description to me.

Good question, Ryno, but I don't know if anyone has the answers, except for maybe Hendry. I agree that this offseason we'll see a better indication of how Hendry would ideally shape a team. If he's still signing John Mabry's and Neifi Perez's and Marquis Grissom's (remember him?), then we'll know who the culprit has been all along.

Personally, I'd love to see them at least get in the middle of some big FA names. You don't have to offer 5-year contracts to everyone, but at least consider them. I'd start with pitchers, personally, and then try to trade for a CF. Maybe try to sell high on Jacque Jones somehow. I'm not sure how I feel about Soriano and C.Lee, but I'd at least look at both of them.

First and foremost, we need a manager. Girardi's expected to be fired tomorrow, so will the Cubs be knocking on his door right away?

Andrew: Marquis Grissom's (remember him?)

Not until just now, ouch!

Marquis Grissom was only "signed" to a minor league deal - a Spring Training invitee - he resigned/retired on his own, as I recall.

It was fortunate for HIM!

A manager first?

Why?!

Again, the lack of a manager should not prevent us from preemptive strikes on FA's!

Using the Dodgers as an example, Colletti did rather well "BG" (Before Grady)

FLASH--My brother-in-law in Phoenix tells me that the rumor there is that Mark Grace is ready to take the WGN color commentator job on the presumption that Brenly is the top candidate to replace Felipe Alou in San Francisco as manager. Grace left Chicago on bad terms with MacPhail, but seeing how Andy is now out of a job....

Meh, I liked Grace as a ballplayer, not so much as a broadcaster. He's Ron Santo without the affectionate tragi-comedy.

btw, who's pushing the ron washington rumors are are they linked to the cubs, even in speculation, by anyone directly?

there was a brief mention in a trib or sun-times article with washington, Dave Righetti, Bud Black and maybe a few others. Just sounded like the reporter was throwing out some popular names..

Lets do a run down of the rumor mill...

Jason Schmidt looks like he is less and less of a possibility...

The Longview native almost signed with the Mariners four years ago -- his agent told Seattle that Schmidt was coming its way, but the pitcher had a change of mind overnight -- and his interest in the Mariners is high.

Phillies are interested in a hitter to hit behind Howard and have made it known they wouldn't mind Aramis Ramirez. But pitching remains their priority.

Astro's are expected to go after Carlos Lee hard because they want another big bat in the middle of their lineup. If that falls through Burrell could head to Houston or D'backs with the Phillies picking up a large portion of his contract.

Torii Hunter, might as well cross him off the wish list also...

he said he believes he deserves the same type of contract that Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees, which calls for $13 million a year for four years. "I think I can do everything that Damon can do," Hunter said.

No way in hell is he worth $13 million a year.

Free agent market doesn't look very good at all at this point for the Cubs.

Free agent market doesn't need to look good, trades are where it's going to be at this offseason, the question is, is Donuts up to the task?

Any of Vernon Wells, Marcus Giles, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Adrian Beltre, Geoff Jenkins, Manny Ramirez, Carl Crawford and Chad Tracy, amongst others, could be available via trade this offseason.

Here's an interesting idea: word in LA is that with the apparent emergence of James Loney, they might not be real keen on bringing back Nomar. If we lose Aramis, what about Nomar at 3B? Dude has shown he can still hit, just needs to stay healthy. Bring in a guy like Mark Loretta as backup for when Nomar is down, and we could nearly replace Aramis' production, and lower $$ cost.

Guys I'd like to see Hendry dump or not re-sign, even if he must eat some salary in the former cases: Dempster, Jones, Pierre, Izturis. There's a lot of dough tied up in those stiffs. If you could free up just half the money owed Dempster, Jones and Izzy, that's $7MM available to get a player that can actually HELP the Cubs.

Free agents don't require you to rape your farm system to get quality talent. All you have to do is give up money.

While those are all fine and dandy idea's we only got enough talent in order to pull off maybe 1 trade, if even that.

We have to sign some big time free agents if the Cubs plan on turning it around in 2007. And I just don't see that happening.

"...I don't recall ever encountering other white people being racist."

Where do you live, Ryno, Norway? Because the instances of me hearing white people say stupid racist stuff are far too numerous to mention. I've got twenty years on you and there does seem to be more of a stigma on say, yelling racist things at a game, than there used to be, but as recently as last week I heard an idiot on the el let loose with a few choice slurs. Also had a friend of ours who happens to be African American get spit on by a couple of white guys while she was sitting in her car at a stoplight on the northwest side. And that's just in the past couple of weeks.

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