Tea Leaves

For the first time in a long time, I'm glad that I haven't seen a Cubs game in a while. I spent the weekend back at the old homestead, cleaning things up (literally and figuratively), and the only contact I had with the Cubs was reading TCR, yesterday's New York Times, and a little bit of ESPNews this morning. It looks like I didn't miss much. Or, rather, it looks like I missed a lot -- defensive lapses, poor judgment, anemic bats, a cranky back, etc etc etc blah blah blah. The net result is that the Cubs are now losers of five straight, three games under .500 in fourth place, a game and a half behind the frickin' Brewers, and six back in the wildcard, behind six teams. Is this the low point of the season? Probably. At a time like this, decisive action (or at least action that looks decisive) must be taken. That's why I'm predicting that Dusty Baker will be fired this week. All the signs are there, and in fact what's been hapening over the last few weeks closely resembles what happened during the endgame in San Francisco. You have the rumors of his interest in another job, the denial by Dusty of said rumors (with typical Bakerian anti-media comments thrown in), the dreaded vote of confidence from the GM, allegations of racism, and attention from the media outside Chicago. The only things missing are a feud between Dusty and ownership and team-leaked rumors of unsavory financial doings, and I wouldn't put it past TribCo to be looking for them. Oh, and I almost forgot about the bizarre spectacle of Dusty asking the team to extend his coaches' contracts. Is this really the right time for that, do you think, Dusty? Plus, you know, you've got the team playing badly, and not only badly but lacklusterly, which isn't a word, I know, but it fits. From the outside, this looks like a team that's quit on its leader. That's why I think it's going to happen, because something has to. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do (though it might be), mind you -- I'm just saying that all signs point to yes. All an antsy GM needs to do is look back at Florida in 2003 and Houston in 2004, and he might think that a managerial change might be just the thing a team needs to light a fire and get it back into contention. Again, I'm not saying that's going to happen; I'm simply saying one could see how one might think that could happen if one were to change managers. If it were to happen, who would replace him? I chatted briefly with Will Carroll about this very subject this afternoon, and here's what he and I had to say: christianruzich: I'm predicting Dusty gets fired this week Will Carroll: No chance christianruzich: No, huh? Will Carroll: As much as I'd like it, it's just not in Hendry's character to do it. He was a coach Will Carroll: I don't think Dusty will be back, but doing it now doesn't make much sense christianruzich: I think it does, it at least gives the perception of trying to get things done Will Carroll: The move now would be Little and I think they want a shot at Girardi vchristianruzich: Grady Little, eew Will Carroll: Exactly christianruzich: Girardi wouldn't be a bad choice christianruzich: What about Speier? Will Carroll: Possible Will Carroll: He'd probably get an interview. Who's the token interview choice? christianruzich: Do you need a token if the guy you're firing is black? Will Carroll: I think so. Sad that we refer to it that way christianruzich: Yeah. How about Terry Pendleton, then Will Carroll: Hmm. OK Will Carroll: Maybe Pat Listach Will Carroll: I just hope Rothschild is gone christianruzich: Where is Listach right now? Will Carroll: Iowa, isn't he? christianruzich: Really? I had no idea christianruzich: I'll be damned, he's the hitting coach there Will Carroll: He was interim mgr last year christianruzich: One thing i worry about: Lou Piniella Will Carroll: Not a Hendry guy Will Carroll: Esp if they're going young christianruzich: True christianruzich: Where the hell is Davey Johnson? Still in Holland? Will Carroll: Heart probs according to Ray Knight on BPR christianruzich: Did he say it means Johnson won't manage again? Will Carroll: No, just that he wasnt available right now christianruzich: I think Speier is the guy Will Carroll: Speier's got the quals...maybe Brenly christianruzich: God I hope not Will Carroll: I still think Girardi's the right guy Will Carroll: Maybe Sandberg? christianruzich: No experience christianruzich: That's the type of thing a team like the Reds or Orioles does, not the Cubs Will Carroll: Think Alan Trammell. If you're going to rebuild, you can distract and instill the "right way" christianruzich: Cubs don't need to rebuild, they have the talent, they're just not getting the most out of it christianruzich: Plus he doesn't strike me as a good communicator. Too quiet. And coming on the heels of his "today's players are whiny brats" HOF speech, I don't know if this is the right time to make him a mgr Will Carroll: I agree, but its the kind of thing Hendry would like. He's old school christianruzich: True. Which is why Girardi would be perfect, plus you have the Cubs connection Will Carroll: Right Will Carroll: And a bit more experience christianruzich: Hendry wouldn't be so "old school" as to bring in Larry F'ing Bowa, would he? Will Carroll: Yeah, but again, wouldnt be the right fit if he's going young Will Carroll: Bobby Dickerson! Will Carroll: With the season West Tenn is having, maybe he'd get it christianruzich: Maybe, but the last time the Cubs promoted from within it didn't work out so well Will Carroll: Exactly christianruzich: How much juice does Brenly have w/the Cubs front office? It might be tough to hire Speier over him if he (Brenly) wants the job Will Carroll: I just don't see it. He's too close to Dusty and this next phase is about player development. Oneri's the golden boy right now christianruzich: That's good at least, i don't think Brenly is who the Cubs need right now christianruzich: Another token possibility: Von Joshua, currently hitting coach at West Tenn Will Carroll: Tough to go that deep christianruzich: I guess i'd rank the guys I'd want to see Johnson, Girardi & then Speier. Even if he's not available, I still put Johnson at the top of my wish list Will Carroll: I'd go Girardi, Speier, Sandberg


They will fire him and still lose the next game, which I believe every team after firing a coach wins the next game.

That kind of season.

1) i would be stunned if he is fired before the season is out. although i guess it makes more sense to do it now than in november. but i don't think either will happen

2) i Know i do not want Johnny B. as my manager next year

3) if they do fire him in the next week, it won't make a difference for this year. it's already over. as manny said, the wake was saturday, the funeral last night

4) i'm quoting manny... this season is worse than i thought.

When I read that sun-times article about how he wants his coaches extended for next year the first thing I thought of was this is his exit stratagy. Clines will be fired as hitting coach, and Baker will resign in protest sticking up for one of his boys. Let's just hope his successor is either Pendleton, Leyland, or Sandberg.

This is a perfect time to can him and as it's been stated here many times before, long overdue. Do we have to buy out his contract? He has one year left correct?

No more Sandberg talk, his HOF speech was probably the most he has spoken in 30 years.
I can not see him communicating with players enough to achieve success as manager. Dunston said he hardly talked to Ryno, the only insight he had on Ryno was "you could tell when he was mad he would be clipping his nails."

I want Pinella or Terry Pendelton.


We would have to pay the contract for next year that is between 3.5 and 4 million.

Baker has to go, not because I think he's a bad manager (he's average) but because his window with this club has passed -- once the team is no longer behind the coach, you have to make a change. They just aren't playing for Dusty anymore.

I thought that Scoop Jackson article was reckless. Basically heís blanketly accusing people in sports media in Chicago as racist, and for this reason wanting Dusty fired:

ìJay Mariotti wrote in the Sun-Times last week (before the L.A. Times piece dropped), "Just take your toothpicks, wristbands and perpetual pout and head to a nice, safe broadcast booth somewhere. Now." And he followed it up with, "[Baker is] causing citywide debates on whether or not he's emotionally equipped for the job... "
I read between those lines.
I noticed how none of the other above-the-fold columnists came to Dusty's defense. Not Rick Morrissey, not Mike Downey or Carol Slezak or Greg Couch, not even my good friend Rick Telander. Not that they're supposed to, but ... they ain't we.

And he implies that Cubs fans who want Dusty fired are mindlessly regurgitating what they here from these racist media folk:

"The media sets the agenda for how the public responds to nonobjective matters and to how the audience often forms an opinion on certain issues. In sports, in this town, those opinions are often -- if not always -- set by columnists.ì

Now, I have no doubt that racism exists in Chicago sports media and that it contributes to some media members wanting the ouster of Dusty, but to make blanket statements as he did suggesting that there is some racist media conspiracy just makes him sound ridiculous. Especially since he provides no evidence that this is actually the case except for his own belief that black people are underrepresented in Chicago sports media, which again he didnít bother to take the time to give any real proof of.

These are some pretty serious and sensationalistic accusations heís throwing around, so if I were him Iíd make sure I could give some real proof before I go about trying to ruin peopleís reputations and careers.

Word is Patterson is going to be recalled for tonights game and Murton is going to be sent down. No link yet, just something I heard...

That's interesting Manny. Today's Trib said Patterson might be up in time for the St. Louis series. I wonder why Murton would go, what exactly is Cedeno doing up here?


I will be shocked if Dusty is fired after this season, and I will be something much more than shocked if he's fired this week. I just don't think there's been enough of a public push for geting rid of him. It's definitely starting, but managers with Dusty's reputation just don't get fired during the season (I'm ignoring anything Steinbrenner has ever done). The Cubs would have to lose the next 7 games before I'd ever think it possible.

But I still don't think he'll get fired this offseason. I think the most likely thing to happen is for him to get "traded" to another team to manage (such as AZ or Wash). I say traded, because he won't resign and he won't get fired. The Cubs might not get anything back for him, but it's the only way they're not responsible for paying him and he's not quitting.

Unlike Ruz I will not go out and say that Dusty will be fired soon. What I am sure of is that barring a MAJOR MAJOR change (like the proposed managerial change, GM change, acquisition of a franchise player) this team has already shown how it will play for the rest of the season: .500 ball.

Unless that totally jaw dropping event occurs, you can pretty much say goodbye to the playoffs for the 2005 Cubs. There is still hope, but again the hope lies in that monumental change.

cubsnerd, i don't think there is racism in the chicago sports media, or among the vast majority of the chicago sports fandom. sure there are some idiots out there but they sure haven't been vocal. he could get canned tomorrow and the only people that would have a real problem with it were the idiots who said it was wrong for ND to fire ty willingham when he had lost 12 of his last 18 games at ND or whatever it was. but you're certainly right that the scoop article is terrible. basically, it reads as if you can never fire a black manager/coach for any reason.

and if murton goes down to AAA and corey comes up, that will be absolutely criminally stupid. i like cedeno, but with nomar and neifi here, if he's not going to play, send him down. murton has done nothing but be incredible. we saw last night that we are short, oh, 3 real outfielders, so why send one down that has patience, decent D and arm, and can get on base?

"why send one down that has patience, decent D and arm, and can get on base? "

That would be a good question to ask our GM, Mr. Hendry.

also, i forgot to mention that corey coming up would be a signal of a white flag from the cubs.

not that i'm against that at this point, not that hendry or dusty will say that of course, but that's what it is. which is fine with me. let him try to re-build a smidgen of trade value for the offseason, see what happens. it can't get any worse than it was in june, right?

I don't think it would be a white flag. I think the white flag comes when they shut down Wood for the year and have him get the surgery so he will definately be 100% by ST in 2006.

agreed manny, it would be a huge point against hendry to allow for dusty's stupid (in this case i assume) wishes of having corey instead of murton. which is why i don't think that will happen. i have a little more belief in hendry than that.

the wood shutting down is the most obvious white flag. that signals it to the fans though. if corey comes back, that can be passed off as "he made his adjustments, got on a roll again, we need a spark", that kinda stuff. i'm just saying that i am pretty sure they (well at least hendry) would see it as a white flag. he knows this is over.

If he knows this is over why is he sending Murton down? If the season is over, why not play the rookies and "force Baker's hand" as many say on here.

I Think we need Corey up right now. He can at least play decent defense and who knows what we'll get out of him offensively, but how could he be worse than macias?

Our team speed and baserunning is the worst i've ever seen. Does anyone remember a cub scoring from first base on a double in the last couple of months?

Uh, you might want to read Rick Morrissey's column of a couple of days ago that defended Baker. Not everyone in the press is calling for his head, a la Mariotti.

Dusty, like many a Cub before him, has worn his welcome to the bone. Like Hundley, Alfonseca, Farnsworth, Sosa, Hawkins, and to a lesser extent, Patterson, the Wrigley faithful have started to turn on Johnny B. It will be only a matter of time before he is let go. Maybe today, maybe later in the season, but definitely before the start of next year.

For the right team, Dusty can be a great manager. For a team that needs a manager who isn't afraid to upset the players by getting all over them for stupid, lazy baseball, who will be a leader of the team for a team that doesn't really have any true leaders, who will understand that the model that the A's, Twins, and Braves have set forth with trusting homegrown talent and convincing them they can succeed in the bigs, Dusty is the wrong choice.

I'm fed up with Dusty's sound-byte drivel he delievers the press. Example, from today's Tribune in regards to putting Macias in centerfield instead of Burnitz, "Basically, you'd kind of have one guy out of position (Macias) vs. three guys."

I don't see the logic here. Three guys out of position? Which three are those? Burnitz would be in center, where he has played 165 games in his career. Or Lawton in right field, where he's played the majority of his career. And Hollandsworth and Murton both play left.

So it sounds good when he says it, let's keep our defense together by only subbing one person instead of three; when, in reality, he is using this as a justification to play the 25th man on the roster.

I think Dusty giving Burnitz the day off yesterday was fine, but as for Walker, Dusty said, "If I didn't give [a rest] to them today, it could have repercussions for three or four games."

Theorhetically, no one game is more important than any others, they are all worth one win or one loss, but when your team is on the precipice of losing five straight plumetting out of the wild card race faster than Lee's slumping batting average, that's an important game.

I'm uncertain of what the "repercussions" that Walker might face three or four games from now. Because, realistically, those games aren't going to mean much at all, as we are out of contention.

A manager's job, perhaps above all else, is to consisitently put a winning line-up on the field every day. Fans, looking at that line up, knew that unless Zambrano (our Zambrano) pitched a gem, we were going to lose. We feel that as fans, and be certain that the players feel it as well. When the cameras pan through the dugout, look at the body language. Lathargic, depressed players and coaches.

One of the most important parts of the 2003 season was when Farnsworth pummeled Paul Wilson. That fight helped unite the team. It showed this is a team that won't roll over and quit. That they are aggressive and pissed off at the other team. They weren't like the 2004 team, where instead of getting frustrated and taking out on the other team on the field, they folded on each other, desperately slashing out at the broadcasters and boomboxes. They weren't like the 2005 team, when in the midst of a terrible stretch of baseball, they show minimal emotion and desire. The most riled up this team has been all season is when they jumped on the fans at Wrigley for booing the other team's players. Again, FOR BOOING THE OTHER TEAM'S PLAYERS.

The pulse of this team is only a slight ripple. The last chance to revive life into a corpse of a ballclub is to can Dusty. Have a manager who will be a captain, who won't let the inmates steer the ship. Have a manager when he goes out to argue a call, will look the ump in the face, unlike the arguementally challenged Baker who's afraid to make eye contact. Have a manager who isn't afraid of losing the title, "A Player's Manager," and replacing it with "A Winning Manager."

What is it going to hurt bringing up Corey? Are we going to lose 6 out of 6 on our road trips instead of 5 out of 6? Wow, that would be rough.

He could bring a spark, we just don't know.

In terms of why Hendry would send Murton down the answers obvious, he's below infielder Jose Macias on Dusty's outfield depth chart. Hendry can't force Bakers hand unless he cuts Macias, Hollandsworth, and Neifi, and even then we'd probably see Henry Blanco trotted out to the outfield before Murton would get a chance.

Hell, at this point I'd consider sending Murton, Cedeno, Hill, Williams, Prior, Big Z, and any other option-able player who might make the Cubs in 2006 down to West Tennessee. It would be nice to have some players who know what its like to win a championship, even if it is a southern league championship.

According to the trib Pie will be back in action Thursday and probably be a Sept.1 call-up. My guess is Baker is gone by then and Bobby Dickerson (Diamond Jaxx manager) will take over on an interim basis.

>>>Hell, at this point I'd consider sending Murton, Cedeno, Hill, Williams, Prior, Big Z, and any other option-able player who might make the Cubs in 2006 down to West Tennessee. It would be nice to have some players who know what its like to win a championship, even if it is a southern league championship.

That's good stuff right there.

manny....i just said that i don't believe that murton is going to be sent down for corey. your "report" doesn't have me convinced that this half-witted scheme will happen. you can call up corey and get rid of cedeno, or macias, and that could possibly make sense. for murton, no.

re: dusty's quote about 3 people playing out of position, i'm glad that someone else pointed out how WRONG it is....at most it would be 2 people out of position. and really, it would be no one. burnitz played over half his games in center last year, in coors which is huge. lawton in Right is not that out of position. murton or holly in left is not either. he just makes shit up in order to play his guys. this is yet another example.

the fact that dusty got mad at the fans for booing someone on the other team is still the lowlight of this year. talk about distractions.... he's sticking up for someone who a) didn't come through for your team b) told the fans and the media to go piss off and c) ISN"T ON YOUR SIDE ANYMORE

argh. let's hope that this assistant coach contract stuff is the beginning of the end.

If Murton is not going to play everyday which he won't as long as idiot is manager then it is the right move. Murton looked horrible in his 3 at bats on the road trip.

Ephus: nice post though I gotta say that I had a good laugh from your mixed metaphor: Have a manager who will be a captain, who won't let the inmates steer the ship.

Is that the dreaded SS San Quentin?

Drew:He could bring a spark, we just don't know.

A spark to wet wood does nothing.

Please, please let's end this talk of making a run in 2005. At this point, as Mike Tyson would say, it's ludicrisp.

I figured out why Baker won't play Murton--he wants to insure that he can still qualify for Rookie of the Year NEXT year, thus putting all of those "doesn't play young ballplayers" complaints to rest permanently.


ROY considertion is based on service time not playing time.

it's based on both actually, either 130 AB's or 45 days on the major league roster disqualifies you from the Rookie of the Year race.

"ROY considertion is based on service time not playing time."

That is not entirely correct.

According to official MLB rules, a player who spends more than 45 days on a team's 25 man roster, accumulates more than 150 at bats or 50 innings pitched, is considered a rookie. When a player achieves these totals in the majors, his rookie status goes into effect for the remainder of the season in which he reached this plateau.

Does time after Sept 1 count towards the 130 ABs or 45 days?

I think it does as it would be considered the clubs "active roster". But I am not 100% sure about that. I couldn't find anything that says no though.

Time after 9/1 does count, yes.

Thanks for the info. The Yankees will probably not give us permission to talk to Girardi because all indications are they want him to replace Torre.

Here is a link about the ROY rules to support my above post #31.


"A rookie in Major League Baseball is defined by a player who has accumulated 150 at-bats or 50 innings pitched. Also a player cannot spend more than 45 days on a team's active 25-man roster."

So, JJ it does say active roster, but also says 25 man roster, not 100% sure, but I would bet the call up would count as it does count toward service time too.

Rob, just an FYI, it is 150 AB's, not 130.

Thanks Christian, that is what I thought.

I personally hope Dusty isn't fired now or in the off season. He's a good manager (88+ wins for 8 consecutive seasons) and one of the few proven winners in the game. This team was a train wreck waiting to happen all season. The Sosa trade dominated Hendry's off-season efforts and prohibited him from addressing the teams' glaring holes. The Cubs have a small market payroll of players doing nothing for the team (Sosa, Alou's buyout, Joe-Bo, Hawkins, Grudz buyout, etc.) Then you add our expected best hitter hitting .140-something, not even making it through April, and more injury problems to two starting pitchers. In fact, the Cubs needed Lee to have one of the best first halves in 20 years to even get above .500. Joe Torre and Bobby Cox combined wouldn't have the Cubs in much better shape. Regarding Pendelton or whoever, it's unrealistic to think that someone with no experience could come in and do better. Now since 2003 I've come to expect more from this team like most, but give Dusty the benefit of the doubt and realize he doesn't have a good team this year.

That being said, this team has become horrible on defense (especially Ramirez & Barrett) and a disaster on the basepaths. This team isn't going anywhere with those problems. Dusty's got one more year on his contract, let's see if the Cubs can at least finish strong. How he manages a "lost season" will let us all know how much he cares.

Sorry Jobu, this team already quit on him and won't play for him next year either. He screwed over Hairston, Walker, DuBois and Murton for playing time in favor of "his guys". This is all old old territory. He's also abused the pitching arms consistantly since the day he came in.

Put on your bullet proof vest and be ready to head for the hills with a post like that on TCR...

I think Dusty's plea to have his coaches' contracts renewed may be a pretty good indication of how he'll be leaving Chicago. Dusty wants out but is too proud to quit just because he's unhappy, and Hendry wants Dusty out but respects him too much to fire him.

So if Hendry fires Dusty's coaches after Dusty has publically stated he wants them around in '06, Dusty can quit "in protest", and both sides are happy.

bad info I read, 150 ab's is right {hitting head on desk]

Since we're talking managers....

- Larry Dierker
- Bobby Dickerson
- Joe Torre (who I think may get fired as well this off-season)
- The carcas of Earl Weaver (okay I think he's still alive, but we can transplant his brain into a younger body. I hear cloning is working pretty good these days).

I think Sandberg would get walked all over by today's players. I don't know anything about Girardi or Pendleton or what would make them good managers. I guess Girardi has been learning through osmosis by sitting next to Torre but why not just get Torre.

Btw, anyone else hear all the talk about how Willie Randolph treats the young players on the team. Items such as "goes out of his way to praise them for stuff" "let them figure out how to hit before moving them into the leadoff spot (in regards to Reyes" and a bunch of other stuff about working with them on their games and encouraging them. Refreshing...

In support of my "Bring Larry Dierker to Chicago" campaign...


"let them figure out how to hit before moving them into the leadoff spot (in regards to Reyes)"

The only thing reyes figured out is he *can't* hit leadoff. He has a .303 OBP and has been the Mets' #1 for most of the season.

Randolph was also quoted the other day as saying he "never second-guesses himself," which sounds like a recipe for never learning anything. He's not the kind of guy I'd want managing my team.

I'm a bit surprised, to be honest, by how far Rothschild's stock has fallen (ref: Carroll's comment that he hopes Larry is gone).

Rothschild's job survived the Baylor-Baker transition, I thought, because of how much the pitchers (read that: Wood and Prior) liked him.

Also, there seemed to be the consensus (and I think Carroll was on the same page on this at one time) that Rothschild was one of the best pitching coaches in the game. And Steve Stone still speaks very highly of him.

I guess two years of injuries and ineffectiveness are all it takes to erase a previously decent reputation.

Rob G.:
"let them figure out how to hit before moving them into the leadoff spot (in regards to Reyes" and a bunch of other stuff about working with them on their games and encouraging them."

Where did you get that from?

Reyes has batted leadoff the enrire season (457 of 481 AB's) and has done so HORRIBLY (.281 avg and .303 OBP).

I wonder what Randolph can be praising Reyes about?


That is one lonely island that you have stranded yourself on. Just pray that Manny will be kindhearted enough to pick you up and let you hitch is his little raft.

Looking forward to a Dusty-Free 2006.

I agree, the team has given up on Dusty, and so have I. Of course, after sitting in the stands for another New York sweep this weekend I'm ready for any change. If a change doesn't spark the ball club, it will still be better than having a stubborn veteran-loving manager setting the lineups in September. I want Pie!

I was listening to the ESPN radio broadcast of the game for a bit which is where I got that. I didn't realize that he batted leadoff for most of the season, so Randolph is as full of it as Baker. My bad.

I can live with a lower OBP if you have Reyes speed, but not that low.

There was also an interview with David Wright after the game and he went on praising Randolph and how he goes out of his way to work with the young players on the team.

Wasn't really wishing him to be our manager, just liked what I heard regarding how he treats the young guys on the team. None of the "we're trying to make the playoffs, no time for rookies" crap and taking all the credit for their success.

Grass is always greener..blah,blah, blah

Randolph isn't on my list...Dierker is...anyone else agree?

Not that I think a managing change should be in order unless the Trib decides to dump Hendry also, but Dierker wouldn't be a bad choice. 4 division titles in 5 years as a manager. Not much not to like.

But in those 4 playoff appearences he never won a playoff series (going 2-12, with 2 sweeps).

Here is a good interview done wiith Dierker in 2000 or 2001:


It says he is a laid back manager.

Man I hope Sandberg isn't considered for the job. He is a hell of a nice guy and was a great palyer but he is...how to put this...very dull and something of a dope. I have heard many interviews of the guy and he seems incapable of an original thought.

Hendry is safe. He was tied down by Mcphail and Fitzsimmons wanting him to get rid of Sosa and his contract before he could do anything. Despite that he put a solid team on the field.

People ... Orel Hershiser for manager!

Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers for manager!

I won't settle for less than Billy Martin! Though he's been dead 15 years, he's still got more fire than Dusty!

And he could kick your ass too!

I read Dierker's book...a great read, and he'd be a great manager...a thinking man's manager. Unfortunately, I think there's a bit of a stigma attached to him because of his past health problems, which by all accounts seem to be behind him.

I have to disagree with Ruz...as much as I hope he is right...the Cubs won't fire Baker this week.

now a few side items...

I think Baker was one step ahead of Hendry. I think he senses a shakeup coming and logic dictates the shakeup will be with the coaching staff...so in a chess move, Baker has said he thinks Hendry should offer extensions to his pathetic coaching staff. He did that for several reasons..but one is to measure Hendry's response. He knows something is about to happen and by saying he thinks the coaching staff should be offered extensions leads me to believe he thinks someone is going to be cut loose...and well no wonder we can't win when they let go of the best _______ coach in the league.

More excuses...more lame reasons for why Dusty B. can't manage and more importantly lead.

And of all the people I've heard mentioned as possible replacements...I'd have to agree with Ricky C...Orel Hershiser would be a good solid choice.

Late to the thread, but I really hope Patterson does not get called up tonight or any time soon. This season is lost. If you want to showcase his value, do it in a place where he is more likely to succeed (ie AAA). Even better, let him stay down there until he can actually become an effective contributor again. Otherwise, be prepared for Corey to drown in boos for the rest of the season as he flails away, forcing Hendry to trade him at a discount over the winter- as he did with Sosa and would have done with Hawkins without the charity of Brian Sabean.

I am surprised no one is talking about Zambrano quiting on his manager and the team yesterday. Let's go to the newspaper...

Why was Zambrano's back suddenly acting up?
That's a question the Cubs were asking themselves.
"We didn't see any signs or anything," Baker said. "He said his back was real tight."

Sure it was Zambrano. Getting your ass kicked on the mound didn't have anything to do with it? But I just love this after the inning...

Zambrano finished the inning, then told pitching coach Larry Rothschild he was finished.

Wait a minute, who runs this team the players or the coaches? What if Roth and Baker told Zambrano, "The hell your done, get your ass back out there and learn to pitch through your problems." I know, Zambrano's next reaction would be to rip off Macias's arm and beat Dusty and Roth to death. So I can understand why they wouldn't question when Zambrano says he is done.

Zambrano is going to make his next start just like all the other times he left games due to "phantom" injuries. It is Zambrano's self defense mechanism against failure. The other team didn't knock me out of the game, I knocked myself out before they could get the chance.

But it still doesn't change that Zambrano quit on the team. I don't ever like to see that from any player, no matter how talented they are. And I am sick of seeing it from Zambrano. Grow up dude, and just pitch.

If Baker is to be fired, it shouldn't be because the team is .500 -- I don't see how you could expect more, considering the injuries and the fact that even the 2003 team was not that good...they just got hot at the right time.

If Baker is fired it should be because the team has taken on his paranoia, and that doesn't work well in a big market like Chicago, where the media and the fans LOVE to HATE their sports teams.

Isn't Joe Torre still running Bernie Williams' corpse out to CF everyday? Likes Tony Womack (remember him guys?) a bit much?



Baker quit on the team first by putting that line-up. It does not make Z actions good but it is justified. Macias not charging that ball Beltran scored on is unacceptable. As was the other mistakes on D on the road trip. Z is an all-energy guy what he did was out frustration that everybody else with the exception of Maddux, Aram, Nomar and Lee are mailing it in.

So its frustration when Zambrano does it during a game, but when Sosa does it in a game he is not even playing in, it means he is an asshole. Gotcha.

Due it during a game is cool. Leaving the stadium early in a game your not even playing in is grounds for stringing a player up! Well thank god Zambrano only quit on the field during a playoff run and not in the parking garage when the playoff race was already dead. Whew, dodged a big bullet on that one, thank god!

(Warning: Sarcasm)

Baker shouldn't be fired because they are .500 (last I looked they were 3 games under)..but because they are 16 games behind the division leader and they are in 4th place floundering.

Most people still want Z around, Sosa's actions were just an excuse to run him out of town (and that worked out well didn't it?)

Z looked massively frustrated with his teammates and well you can't blame him for that. I can blame him for his actions but it just shows you much control Dusty has lost over the team.

Z will be back out for his next start and all will be forgiven.


I thought we should have kept Sosa. He was the only one did anything that last week last year. I am shocked that he has been that bad for BAL. Sosa was nothing more than Baker's scapegoat.

I'm just lately on this bandwagon, but Dusty's got to go. Zambrano a pinch runner? My short list (in order of preference):

Jim Leyland

Girardi is very articulate if youve ever heard him on the radio, is a Northwestern graduate, has a Cubs connection, is a world champion, and is young enough to be here a long time, a la tommy lasorda, whitey herzog, or even tony larussa today.

Johhny B. is not my manager

George W. is not my president.

a decent pen and a bench would be nice.

they sure as well would do this club a lot more good than any manager.

i dont see ________ (fill in the blank) doing anything with this crew of 5-6 .300ob% players the club has carried most of the year with the near-20-loss and 4.50-ish ERA bullpen.

sorry, but that's just not the tools of a championship team.

the bullpen experiment fell flat on its face and the injury backups were lame by default.

hehe...espnnews with some fantasy dude on...

he was railing on how corey patterson isnt up cuz he's hitting .215 in AAA and showing no sign of improvement...

i guess they taped these segments 2 weeks ago =p

"Girardi is young enough to be here a long time." Yeah, until the team fails and the fans call for his hide.

Pardon me for not remembering, where is Girardi right now?

"a decent pen and a bench would be nice.

they sure as well would do this club a lot more good than any manager.

i dont see ________ (fill in the blank) doing anything with this crew of 5-6 .300ob% players the club has carried most of the year with the near-20-loss and 4.50-ish ERA bullpen.

sorry, but that's just not the tools of a championship team."

I'm sorry too, but Dusty Baker has gotten minimal effort out of this year's team, and failed to keep a championship-talented team in 2004 focused enough to get to the playoffs.
The 2005 Cubs aren't one of the best teams in the league, but they're certainly much better than they've played and it appears that this team is crumbling under Dusty's leadership. There's no other way to spin it.

a couple of years ago the raiders traded jon gruden to the tampa bay bucs for 2 1st round picks. Is there any way we could fleece the dodgers/d'backs?

off season trade

Wood and No More (nomar) for Mike Young and Kevin Mench. Maybe throw in phil nevin to make the money work. the rangers are dying for pitching.

Talk amongst yourselves.

randy winn was traded to the mariners in the lou pinella deal.

dusty might only be worth carlos baerga from the nationals.

Texas isn't retarded.

Drew, Girardi is bench coach for the Yankees.

Blaze, how exactly are the Cubs going to trade Nomar when he's a free agent?

Of course, if he could pull it off it would be the most brilliant hiest in baseball history.

>a couple of years ago the raiders traded jon gruden to the tampa bay bucs for 2 1st round picks. Is there any way we could fleece the dodgers/d'backs?

uh...gruden won the super bowl with tampa...not sure that's the analogy you meant to make!

trading nomar or patterson or wood would be very stupid, their value is as low now as it's ever been.

Remind me who Will Carroll is again?

How would you guys feel about Rudy Jarmello the Ranger's hitting coach? He did a good job devloping their young hitters. This team's future is tied to the devlopment of guys like Cedeno, Murton, and Pie that is why Pendleton is on the top of my list.

where is terry pendleton right now?

according to wscr the outfield tonight will be murton L, burnitz C, lawton R. Lineups not yet posted.

Atlanta, I think.

"where is terry pendleton right now?"

Hitting coach for the Braves.

Murton, Burnitz, Lawton...

Dusty must have finally read TCR from two weeks ago.

I want to see a lineup of this:

Lawton RF
Neifi SS
Burny CF
Holly 1B
Aram 3B
Macias LF
Barrett C
Why? I just want to see an almost exclusive left handed line up.

I dont care who plays in the outfield. The team is dead unless someone lights a spark

Just think Chad, If only the Cubs could recall Ben Grieve and get Paul Bako back from LA, you could really get your wish.

How can that be their starting lineup, they are playing 3 guys out of position? I'm kidding of course, when i heard that comment i knew it was bs. Acording to Dusty, it's better to have Macias, an infielder start in the top defenseive OF position. We've all seen how bad that move is the last few horrible days.

Blue, I was totally thinking about that

Move Macias to 3rd and Grieve to 1st and Holly to left.

Rudy Jarmello is the most expensive hitting coach in the game and his road/home splits for his players do more to damage his rep than the road/home splits for leo m's pitchers in atl.

Come to think of it why not fire Baker and bring the West Tennessee manager on an interim basis? Then put Burnitz, Lawton, Walker, Nomar and any other player who is a free agent at seasons end and any player you don't see fitting in next year on waivers and start playing the young guys everyday and see first hand just how ready each individual player is AND how well they play as a team. Fire all the coaches too and bring up coaches in the farm system to not only put a daily lineup together but also to coach and shape these players so they can get experience, get playing time and see who is going to make it and who is not.

Could be the best move made for 2006.

That's a way to do it Cubfan. Real good thinking. We'll have a real easy time signing free agents next off season when you handle vets like that. Of course no team in baseball would do that nor should they. The least a team can do is look like they are still trying to win games rather than give up. But your name says it all Cubfan, wait til next year. Well you know what, when wait til next year is your mantra, next year never comes.


1 Felipe Lopez, SS Matt Lawton, RF
2 Ryan Freel, 2B Todd Walker, 2B
3 Ken Griffey Jr., CF Derrek Lee, 1B
4 Adam Dunn, LF Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5 Sean Casey, 1B Nomar Garciaparra, SS
6 Rich Aurilia, 3B Michael Barrett, C
7 Austin Kearns, RF Jeromy Burnitz, CF
8 Javier Valentin, C Matt Murton, LF
9 Brandon Claussen, P Jerome Williams, P

Well desperate times call for desperate measures. In case you forgot, the Cubs have a 100 million dollar payroll. The Stros beat the Cubs and Wood last year on August 27th...Dusty's already said he doesn't want the stress next year. Work out a deal-buy him out. Promote Speier right now. He knows this team. As for Rothschild, its very apparent he and Dusty are not on the same page. Don't forget that he was sort of forced on Dusty. Get rid of Dusty now, and you get a better perspective on Rothschild.

If I sum this up, firing Dusty now answers several organizational questions NOW instead of waiting. Its looking inevitable, might as well do it now. For christ sake you have the whole team healthy, its a 100 million dollar club-see what it can do.

Rothschild's a fraud. Send him packing with Dust Bag.

Ruz, good work. You're normally quite even-handed, which is a quality. Kudos for going out on a limb on this one.

Please god, just make this stop.


Free Agents will come when they are offered a good contract and I don't see anything more negative than a valuable asset playing ball on a team going no where. Most players would love to be traded from a loser to a contender when it's obvious the season is lost.

YES Cubs will be able to sign more free agents than they need or want....hopefully they won't sign many and will attempt to build through the farm system.

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 6 hours 31 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 6 hours 32 min ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 7 hours 43 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 7 hours 55 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 8 hours 36 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 48 min ago view