... they are absolutely chock-full of what we've been discussing here since Sunday; viz. the future of the Cubs and Dusty Baker.
Phil Rogers says the Cubs should keep Baker, under certain conditions:
But the more I consider this morass of a season, it seems to me that the Cubs probably still need Baker more than he needs them.
Baker has a tremendous dignity, which he wears on his sleeve. He has credibility from his playing and managing days. He gets respect from umpires and opposing managers. If he wasn't running the Cubs, who would be?
That's the question you've got to answer.
Lou Piniella is available, and probably will be after the season. But if a winner like Baker can't succeed at Clark and Addison, would Piniella want to try? What would established managers think about coming to the Cubs if Baker's 2003 trip to the championship series with a team that had won 67 games the year before only turned up the heat on him?
I'm usually not a fan of Rogers' writing, but these are excellent points.
The Tribune also has a long interview with Jim Hendry, who says, among other things:
It's easy to say we should go out and get somebody. But you're not going to get a better hitter to play first base than Todd Walker while Derrek Lee is out.
And if you think Baker might just walk away from his deal, think again:
"I can't believe we're going this badly with the team we have. I've racked my brain. I can't sleep. We've got to find a way to fight our way out of this."
"Part of my job is to try to delete that [thinking]," he said. "What happened four years ago is different than this year. I try not to bring stuff from one year to the next. You have to be positive in order to have positives.
"In San Francisco, [broadcasters and former players] Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow said 'to be lucky, you have to think lucky.' My whole thing is to continue to think positive and think championship."