Disgruntled Chicagoans just don't get Dusty
Tuesday, March 15,
Scanning the Cactus League and some people under the microscope: Dusty Baker: The bottom line is that Dusty has had chances to win that long-awaited championship, and his teams haven't come through. Life could be worse. Over the long haul, it should be enough that his strengths (character guy, players' manager, solid instincts) overshadow some horrific autumnal episodes.
It's not enough at all. The Chicago media can't let go of last season, insisting on pinpointing the blame. After pushing for Sammy Sosa's departure - - absolutely the right move on the Cubs' part -- writers and broadcast outlets are now obsessed with Sosa: his feud with Baker, how he will be missed, who's winning the spring training war of words.
Good lord, get over it. Sosa is one of the great prima donnas of our time (he was late for his physical in Baltimore because he insisted in riding in a limousine, not a conventional car). Baker protected this guy like a father covering his bratty son's tracks. Now the media has gone totally insane, to the tune of, "OK, Dusty, you got rid of Sammy; let's see what you do now."
The fact is, Baker may not have enough winners. Two years ago, after his weak Game 7 performance against Florida in the NLCS, Kerry Wood admitted, "I choked." Mark Prior, speaking of last season's collapse, used that same word about the team. That should be the biggest of Baker's concerns, not a bunch of idiots calling him a dummy.
One of Dusty's friends, a white man, recently told me, "I hate to say this about my town, but a lot of people in Chicago don't want to see a black man in a job that responsible." That's a loaded statement, but don't dismiss it unless you've walked in Baker's shoes. Racist, impatient or just plain dumb, people in Chicago don't get Dusty. They don't deserve him, either. Win or lose, he will be long gone as soon as his contract expires in two years.
Don't wait two years Dusty if you wanna leave!
Dusty has put his Bay Area writer-friends to work. Now the opponent is gonna be Chicago and Cub fans. Dusty always has an alibi and an excuse. Mr. Jenkins(Dusty's mouthpiece) can use the excuse of racism and paint Chicago as a Midwest backwards town. Maybe that flies in the Bay Area. (That plane won't even get on the runway at O'Hare or Midway.)
Chicago has a lot of problems Mr. Jenkins(Dusty). We have big city crime, we have a public school system that needs to be fixed, we have a Czar running city hall, we have a billion dollar park downtown that our kid's kids' will pay for, we have scandals every week in our government offices, etc.. We know Chicago ain't perfect. As a sports town our problem is believing in every Manager that says they've come here to build a winner. That's what Dusty, Jauron, Baylor, Wannstedt, and all of the rest have told us.
Dusty Can't Handle Chicago
Baker is too thin-skinned to handle the Chicago media. If Baker was not ready for media and fan scrutiny, why did he come to Chicago? The facts are the facts. Baker came to the Cubs touted as a manager who could handle superstars and keep the clubhouse happy. All of that blew up in 2004. The team became unlikeable and blamed the everbody (except themselves) for blowing the wild card. On the field Dusty Baker has not managed worth a damn since he has been in Chicago. If Kerry Wood "choked" in game 7 of the 2003 NLCS, it was Baker who choked in game 6.
Dusty's unnamed white friend
Why didn't Mr. Jenkins publish the name of Dusty's white friend who called Chicagoans racist? If somebody's gonna make racist allegations in print, I'd at least like to know who's making the allegations.
If Dusty's nameless white friend would like to comment I'd love to hear from you.