As an unashamed, long time Baker supporter, I have often posted in defense of the Cubs' manager who led us to our best season since 1984. I accept that, and I accept that some of you don't think Baker is the man to bring our Cubbies a championship--nuff said.
However, I have never seen--and I admit that I could have missed--a posting that suggested the Cubs offer Baker a contract, but only with the stipulation that the coaching staff is replaced: top to bottom. We need some hungry, hands-on baseball lifers and thinkers who are motivated to rally the players and do everything possible to get the best out of them.
First off, I think we all agree that the Cubs organization has made one major mistake: eating the hype surrounding our young aces, and relying too heavily on their arms--namely Prior and Wood; Secondly, and contrastingly, we've also been the recepients of misfortunate with our injuries: namely, Wood (2 years), Prior (2 years), Ramirez (last year), Garciaparra, and now D. Lee (whose absence I believe is compounded by the fact that the absence of his presence negatively effects our lineup in a synergistic way). These two facts cannot be argued, nor underestimated.
Hey, I love Sarge. He's one of my favorite Cubs, and was always clutch as a pinch hitter--but he, and D. Pole, and G. Clines, and even Larry Rothschild--who arrived with so much hype and so many accolades-- haven't shown a damn thing in my opinion.
I can't hide my belief in Baker. Nor can I try and convince anyone else out there that he's a track-proven manager, who's poured his heart and soul into The Cubs, and his desire to provide this cursed, drought-ridden team a championship.
But I will say this--Before you jump on the tired Fire Dusty BandWagon consider three things.
1.) In his first season with The Cubs, he managed a team to within several outs of a World Series appearance.
2.) He's been short-handed each succesive season, the team having been decimated by significant injuries
and, most impotantly--
3.) Who will you replace him with that's available and proven?
That said, I don't believe in the coaching staff, and I think that if Baker has one weakness, it's the fact that he doesn't surround himself with the best coaching options to compliment his managerial style.
This seems to me to be the next-best-thing that the Cubs can do to progress out of this mire in the next three years.
Big Win Tonight. Go Cubs--
When your so far down, there's always reason to believe