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The Cubs Blog Army Makes The MSM!

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As first noted in this diary, quite a few members of the CBA were contacted by Chicago Tribune reporter David Haugh and quoted at some length in this morning's Tribune -- both in that link and in the "dead tree edition", as one diary commenter termed it.

It's nice to know that they notice us. And that they thought enough of us to actually put us in the newspaper, to bring our views to a wider audience. You'll see in the article that positions vary from "anger, frustration and vitriol", to a commenter who said:

Keep Dusty. ... That's right, I said it. I don't see a viable alternative. Uncle Lou [Piniella], he will only last three years here at most. [Bob] Brenly, I doubt they will go down that road. Dave McKay or Dave Duncan from the Cardinals, Jerry Manuel from the Mets, Don Cooper from the White Sox, Larry Bowa or Tony Pena from the Yanks. Bobby Valentine from Japan ... None of those would be markedly better than Baker. This team, as assembled, is [garbage]."

Which pretty much is in line with what I've been saying. The anti-Baker sentiment is neatly summed up by Jeff at, who said:

"It is Jim Hendry's fault that this team was assembled like a Jenga tower. A man that needs to sleep on whether or not Dusty Baker and his brain trust need to get the heave-ho is a man I have zero faith in to resolve this 'situation' correctly."

Mine, which was pulled from yesterday's game post, was mostly about why Lou Piniella or another big name would be the wrong choice for a replacement, and why I think Hendry, IF he decides to replace Baker, would go for a "young gun", someone who's been a manager-in-waiting; this would be a whole new direction for this ballclub. The last manager hired by this franchise with ZERO previous managerial experience was Lee Elia -- and the reason for that hiring was that he was Dallas Green's handpicked guy from Philadelphia.

I still believe this to be true. Dave van Dyck says in the Tribune, without reason or attribution:

The expected dispatching of manager Dusty Baker has been delayed, most likely until sometime in August, although there is no guarantee it won't be done before sunup of the second half of the season if the Cubs continue to play as they did in Thursday's 2-0 loss to the Brewers.

It's almost as if the writers have a pool going or something. "Sometime in August"? Where did this come from? How did August become a magical date? Anyway, IF Baker is dispatched, whether now, in August, or in October, I believe Hendry will choose from a group of younger men, coaches now, who are part of the "next generation" of managers epitomized by Ozzie Guillen, Eric Wedge and Joe Girardi (not those specific men, but men who are now in similar positions to the ones the three above held before they got their manager's jobs).

About the 2-0 loss to the Brewers last night, not much can be said; the Cubs simply cannot hit Chris Capuano, who is 3-0 this year against them without allowing a run. This diary suggests that it's Dusty Baker's fault that Aramis Ramirez got thrown out trying to stretch that double into a triple; Ramirez himself admitted he wasn't hustling around first base. The implication is that Baker didn't ream Ramirez out for this.

How does any one of us know this? This could be called "Piniella Syndrome". If a TV camera had caught Baker yelling at Ramirez in the dugout; well, then, he's a fiery manager who is a good leader. How does any of us know that he didn't ream him out in private? As I have repeatedly said: if you screwed up at work, would you rather have your manager admonish you privately -- or in front of your co-workers and a few random people off the street?

I think the answer to that is obvious. What the Ramirez incident proves to me, is that Ramirez has lazy tendencies. This isn't going to be solved by changing managers -- Ramirez is no rookie; he's a veteran with a big-dollar contract. That itself should be motivation enough to hustle. Brian, the diary writer, is correct when he says you don't make the first out of the inning at third base, and having Ramirez on second with nobody out might have gotten the Brewers' bullpen busy. Blaming Baker for this? I swear, if Dusty Baker announced today he had a cure for all cancers, the Baker-bashers here would find some way to criticize him for it.

The game wasn't lost because of that anyway; it was lost because Chris Capuano outpitched Greg Maddux (who threw quite well, I thought). These things happen in most baseball seasons, and if the ballclub's doing well, you shrug your shoulders and say, "We'll get 'em tomorrow". But in a season like this one, each and every loss is dissected to the nth degree.