Friday, October 01, 2004
posted by James - 1:33 AM
I came into this season eyes wide open about Dusty Baker. I've never trusted his ability to lead a team to the pinnacle of baseball success; not from what I saw in San Francisco, and certainly not from what I saw last year.
No mistake about it, his mishandling of the pitching staff (i.e needlessly piling on pitch counts for Prior, Wood and Zambrano, first-guessable calls and non-calls to the bullpen, etc.) cost the Cubs a trip to the World Series.
I am taking this opportunity to make this unretractable statement:
If the Cubs do not make the playoffs, Dusty Baker should be shown the door, given CTA fare ($2.00 including the transfer from the Red Line to the Orange Line) and booked a plane flight to whatever team wants to hire him... you're-not-welcome-here-anymore style.This year's team (injuries and all) wasn't a "thick of things" kind of team. This team was a World Series winner with even a mediocre field manager.
Dusty's only good trait is the unconfirmed assumption that players want to play for him, which might mean the retainment of Nomar, Ramirez, Prior, und so weiter.
Then again... that didn't help him win in SF and it hasn't helped him win diddly here.
I see a trend developing with Dusty Baker-led teams.
2002: WS losers
2003: NLCS losers
2004: (potentially) wildcard losers
2005: just plain losers???
I don't want to find that out next year when the Cubs are still going to have a quality, young team with some money to burn, but they're going to need a manager who won't piss that away like Dusty has the last two years.
They need a manager with proven winning experience (Jim Leyland anybody?), Dusty's got three days to prove he's that guy.