The Cubs were destroyed by the Cardinals this weekend, swept in three games in new Busch Stadium to end the season series with the Cardinals. A lot has changed since the Cubs beat the Cardinals in their first match up of the season on a cold day in April. I really can’t believe how bad things have gotten. The Cubs are 2-11 on this latest stretch after dropping the first game of the series against Pittsburg. I don’t know if this is funny or sad, but against the Cardinals, the pitching line was; Friday Juan Mateo vs Jeff Suppan; Saturday Rich Hill vs Chris Carpenter; Sunday Les Walrond Jeff Weaver. Les Walrond??!! This is the best you got? Jerome Williams is that bad that he couldn’t get moved up instead of Les Walrond. Oh boy. More exciting than the series was all the talk about the troubles with Dusty Baker and Joe Girardi. Both managers are hearing the buzz increase about possibly being fired, but while Joe is taking the high road, Dusty is throwing the Wrigley fans under the bus. So I have a solution that should make everybody happy. I say the Cubs trade Baker to the Marlins for Joe Girardi. Heck, we’ll even throw in some cash.
Same Old Dusty-Cut And Run
Dusty continues to use his same old song and dance. Make some damaging remarks, then backtrack and trying to make it sound like people were blowing thigs out of proportion. He constantly does this. A lot of people saw the USA Today article for what it was, a way to save face after more than two years of poor performance. Some members of Chicago’s own 670 WSCR sports radio even went as far as to say that Baker probably made up the letters. While I don’t deny that there are racists in the city of Chicago, Dusty made it seem like everyone at Wrigley was a racist. Once people started to call him out on his "exit strategy", Dusty went to cut and run mode, claiming that he was "sorry it even came out." He tried back pedaling, saying he gets a lot of nice letters;
"It’s outnumbered a couple hundred to one." And that the message in letters from fans, "depends on if we’re winning or losing, or if somebody agrees or disagrees with my decisions."
"Quite frankly, I’m sorry it even came out," Baker
So are we Dusty, but you can’t take back what you did. You indicted the city for your own personal benifit.
Dusty then did what he does best; blame other people for this situation.
"I’m not the one who brought it up. This is something that’s been there on and off for 20 years since I’ve been in the game. It’s not the majority of the time, it’s sometimes. Everything I’ve said has been true, and I’ve left out quite a bit."
Poor, poor Dusty. Dusty then went out of his way to say that he needed a hug. He was asked what would bring him back to the Cubs after this season.
"You always want to be where you’re wanted," he said.
Awwww. Then he complained about how people were speculating about his job. This is what 4 million a year gets us? A guy who whines when people are speculating about his job while leading his team to 20 games under .500? Dusty never understands why we hate him here in Chicago. We gave him a lot of money and a great team and he has done nothing. They say team take the attitude of their manager. LaRussa, Torre, Cox, command respect and don’t take losing very well. Dusty just whines, moaps, and complains, and the team follows his example.
To put an end to this controversy that Dusty Baker created, I will quote former Cub third baseman and all around nice guy Bill Madlock, who said;
"Fans in Chicago, fans anywhere, you’re always going to have some ignorant people out there, even if 99.9 percent of Cubs fans are fine. I think Dusty’s smart enough to know it’s a small, minute part of the fan base."
If the Marlins do decide to get rid of Girardi, it would be a huge bonus for the Cubs. This is a guy who took a team that was still smoldering from the fire sale, and has them within three games of a wild card spot. The Marlins have a payroll of 15 million dollars. Just to put things in perspective, the Cubs have four players making more than 10 million by themselves this season; Derek Lee, Kerry Wood, Aramis Ramirez, and Phil Nevin. The Cubs payroll is at 97 million dollars. And while the Cubs are 13.5 games out of the wild card, the Marlins are only 2.5 games out. Why?? How could this be? Because the young Marlins play the game the way that Girardi makes them. While being asked about the Cubs, Girardi denies that he is going anywhere, but says
"People know I grew up a Cub fan and I played for the Cubs, went to Northwestern, that my wife is a Chicago girl. I understand why people mention it. It is [flattering], but people always ask me about my job, and I say I don’t worry much past tomorrow because we don’t really know what life holds."
Much like Ditka was a Chicago Bear through and through, and Ozzie Guillen is a White Sox through and through, Girardi is a Cub. When asked about the highlight of his career, he doesn’t mention the three World Series he won with the Yankees. He mentions the first time he walked onto Wrigley Field. He cares about the city and he cares about the Cubs. Like Ron Santo, he wears his feelings for his team on his sleeve. Do you think Dusty is ever going to care about the Cubs after he leaves?
While Dusty complains about starting young pitchers, Girardi has three rookie pitchers with ten or more wins. When you listen to the Marlins talk about Girardi, you realize why Cubs fans like me long to see Joe back in a Cubs uniform.
Pitcher Scott Olsen said;
"He was just standing there watching us run one day, and I guess we were going too slow and he was giving us a hard time, and I said, ‘It’s hot out here. Why don’t you run with us?’"
"Sure enough, he’s out there the next day, outrunning everybody. Everybody was like, ‘Why did you make him do that?’ I was like, ‘I didn’t know he was that fast.’"
Former Cub Dontrelle Willis says
"He’s continually trying to teach us something, whether we’re winning by eight runs or losing by one. Baseball is one of the few sports that you don’t have to be the strongest or the fastest to be successful. He’ll tell you himself he didn’t like hitting, but he had knowledge of the game, things that don’t necessarily go in the stat book."
Matt Herges says
"He’s very cerebral, not just because he went to Northwestern and was an engineering major. He just is. He’s with it. He doesn’t let anything go by. He sees it all. In the clubhouse, in the weight room, on the field, tendencies, he picks up signs. A lot of times, managers depend on other people to do things like that. But he’s a perfectionist, to say the very least."
You mean he pays attention and doesn’t go fishing every day?
Miguel Cabrera says
"He gives everyone a chance and respects everybody. He goes out every day and says we’re going to win, we’re going to win. No matter what’s happening, we’re down 10 runs, he makes a move to make something happen. When you see that, you say, hey, this guy is here for one reason. He has done that for the whole year now, and we want to win for him."
You mean to say he doesn’t just complain and chew toothpicks?
Finally, Girardi preaches accountability and practices tough love with his youngest players.
"I tell them [when they struggle]: ‘Don’t think I’ve lost confidence in you. You’re going back out there.’ I believe in them."
Now you know why we want Girardi hear so bad. I have my own personal reasons for not liking Dusty, but maybe it’s just that he is the wrong coach for the team. Maybe Dusty would be successful under different circumstances. What I do know is this. The Cubs could have fired Dusty and hired Joe Girardi this year. Joe Girardi is a young first time head coach, and the Cubs would have paid Dusty his salary and Joe a lot less. Girardi is only making five hundred thousand a year. That’s all it would have cost a team with a 97 million dollar payroll. The results would have been a lot different. Instead we got the mess that we are in now. In a year when the NL is so bad that even mediocre teams have a chance to be in the playoffs, the Cubs aren’t even close. And the Marlins and Joe Girardi are. If the Marlins do make the playoffs, forget about the Marlins getting rid of Girardi. Winning makes a lot of bad feelings go away.