Johnnie B. Baker held court in Anaheim this weekend:
I don't know dude.
Everytime the Cub manager opens his mouth we are one day closer to the Bob Brenly Era at Clark and Addison. Here's what the Cub manager had to say on three topics that concerned the scribes in Southern California:
On this past season:
"We needed Sammy. We still need Sammy," Johnnie B. said Saturday at the Winter Meetings. "I don't want to see him leave town under the circumstances the way they are now after everything that he's done for the Cubs and everything he's done for baseball in the late '90s. He deserves to be held in higher esteem than what happened last year."
"Right now, Sammy's on the Cubs," Baker said. "And until he's not on the Cubs, we have to figure out a way to have him be productive and hopefully happy and help us win."
On Sahm's bruised ego:
"Whatever feelings he has inside, it's up to us to get rid of that," Baker said. "I know last year it wasn't easy on him. It was the first time he was booed. I know that affected him. I could see it on his face. I talked to him about it a couple times."
On Sahm's relationship with Cub fans:
"You can repair that by hitting, hitting a lot of home runs and throwing out people," Baker said. "The only way you repair people is through action. Sammy's not old to the point where he can't continue to have great years. The last couple years he's been hurt and if you lose time, especially in the middle of the season, that's a long time. You're playing catchup the whole time."
On being Sahm's enemik:
"I don't expect an apology," Baker said.
Who's to blame?:
"First, you have to talk it out," the manager said. "It wasn't just me, it was a lot of things there. It was the fans, the media, some of his teammates -- there were a lot of things there. Sammy's one of the major parts who we have to get back together. If Sammy's going to be on our team, we need him to win."
This is rich! Baker and Hendry have made their own bed. Adam Katz the ball is in your court. Hendry and Baker miscalculated this one big time. Assasinating Sammy's character following his early exit has made Sammy public enemik number one in Cubland. Remember when Baker said he'd been "covering for him(Sosa) all year". What about the fact that they released the surveillance video showing Sahm leaving early. The Cubs hired Baker to handle superstar players. It looks to me like he's doing a great job.
"Who says it can't be Joe [Borowski] again? He's healthy," Baker said. "I don't know if he'll throw 93, 94 [mph] but hey, I've seen quality relievers throw less than that.
"You need a closer. Where would the Dodgers be without [Eric] Gagne? Where would the Yankees be without Mariano Rivera?"
I'll say it. Dusty, it can't be Joe Borowski. Joe got by on smoke and mirrors in 2003. He pitched his butt off for that team. As a result of overuse in 2002 and 2003 his arm is now shot. Unless the surgeon can put 10 more MPH on his fastball, it will be tough for Joe to succeed in any role.
Bonds/BALCO and the tarnished MLB record books
On Bonds admitting to "accidental" steroid use:
"You just have to take Barry at his word," Baker said. "If that's what he said, and he said it in front of a grand jury, that's the only thing you can go by."
On people passing judgement on Bonds:
"I don't even know if that's what the testimony was," Baker said. "You have to wait until they get to court to see what was true or untrue. . . . It's going to make for good TV if it airs."
On the record books:
"Records won't be tainted until somebody has accurate proof that they should be tainted," he said. "It's hard to taint something until it really starts stinking. Once it starts stinking, then you know it's tainted. Right now, it's not stinking enough."
You have gotta love the fact that Baker takes a stance on serious issues. While managing the Giants Dusty saw Bonds hat size grow dramatically. He also saw a Benito Santiago play like Johnny Bench for a season. He was never suspicious? must have just been great managing. The proof Dusty is in the hat size.