In today's Tribune Dusty informs us that he has no intention of playing youngsters the final 11 games. This from Bill Jauss' notes:
"We want to try to finish above .500," Baker said before Tuesday night's game against the Brewers. "I also owe it to baseball and owe it to the Phillies and the Florida Marlins and the Washington Nationals to play my best lineup because those teams are competing with Houston in the wild-card race."
This from the manager that ran out Korey Patterson, Todd Hollandsworth, and Neifi Perez on a daily basis when the games mattered. Now this guy is telling us what he owes to baseball, the Phillies, the Marlins and the Nationals. Does he owe the Cubs anything for the $4 million he's receiving this year?
In Mike Kiley's article in today's Bright-One the Cub manager discussed this sites favorite strikeout artist Korey. Dusty gave us this brilliance:
Baker was asked if he had soured on Patterson.
"No,'' he said. "I wish he had done better, but he wishes he'd done better. You don't just lose your skills like that. It's not like he's old and hurt, so most of it has to be mental. Guys around the league ask me: What's up?
"Remember Mark McGwire came up and hit 49 home runs and there was a year he hit under .200. He came back. So it can be done, most definitely. It's a matter of being positive and mentally strong. Sometimes you can't put your finger on it. We have tried almost everything, and he's tried a lot of stuff. It's not from lack of effort.''
This has got to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard the Cub manager say. (And we're talking about the guy that told us Latin and African-American ballplayers were better playing in hot weather.) What "skills" has Patterson ever shown us? Swinging and missing? He is fast. As far as I can see that's it. Next comparing him to a young Mark McGwire? How about the list of players GM gave us on September 13th?:
there were only thirteen that fit these lowly conditions. harry craft. tuck stainback. cito gaston. mickey stanley. bill robinson. tony scott. george wright. tony armas. marvell wynne. john shelby. henry cotto. cory snyder. darrin jackson. and now patterson has become the fourteenth.
Those players are a much better comparison Dusty.
It really looks to me like Dusty has no interest in helping this organization position itself for 2006 and beyond. Here's hoping Hendry allows the Dodgers and any other teams that want to talk with Baker do so. Meanwhile I'd like to see Hendry go after Lou Pinella or Joe Girardi. In Tampa Pinella has agreed not to return to the Rays bench in 2006. Uncle Lou would be an interesting fit in the Cub dugout.