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  • Slump could put heat on Baker

    May 6, 2006



    SAN DIEGO -- There is nothing like a challenging stretch of any season to put the focus on any manager. So forget Aramis Ramirez and Jacque Jones and the rest as the guy most likely to be on the hot seat.

    The guy under the microscope right now is Dusty Baker. You better believe that Cubs management is watching closely to see what he gets out of his players during this struggling period.

    This is when a manager is tested most. He has to know his players' personalities inside-and-out and understand when a shove is better than a pat on the back and some sound advice more helpful than a curse-filled tirade.

    Baker has done a good job to this point of the season. And his critics should be advised that the Cubs are going to offer him a contract extension sooner or later. It's only a matter of choosing the appropriate time.

    If Baker can turn around this down period and have the Cubs competing again among the division leaders, that could be an opportune moment.

    Before then, he has work to do.

    "I sense some guys feeling bad about their performances,'' he said. "I don't know if that's called down or not. But it's certainly not the top of the world.''

    Time for him to reshape that world.

    A TRUE LEADER:
    There's a reason that Derrek Lee wanted Juan Pierre on his team again. Besides his talents, Pierre is willing to accept responsibility for personal failures, as he did after Thursday night's loss in Arizona for being picked off second in the first.

    "That's how Juan is,'' Baker said. "Juan is very responsible. He takes this game to heart. A team player always feel responsible when the team isn't winning.''

    Lee and Pierre are alike in that respect.

    SAVE YOUR BULLPEN:
    Baker has had to use his relievers more than he has wanted with the rotation up for grabs on occasion without Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

    But while he said there's a huge need right now for starters to quit turning in early exits, he believes his bullpen hasn't been overtaxed to the point of expecting a breakdown later this season.

    "With the youngsters we have and the pitchers we don't have, I was hoping we didn't put too much strain on our bullpen,'' he said. "So that when your starters are sharp, your bullpen is kind of worn. We are trying to protect the bullpen.''

    Is the present danger of hurting the bullpen a real risk?

    "It could be,'' he said. "It depends on what we get. That's what we are trying to prevent. You don't like to manage to win games and preserve [the bullpen] at the same time. But you got to do what you got to do.''

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/...t-cubnt06.html
    98 years of futility and counting...

  • #2
    A TRUE LEADER: There's a reason that Derrek Lee wanted Juan Pierre on his team again. Besides his talents, Pierre is willing to accept responsibility for personal failures, as he did after Thursday night's loss in Arizona for being picked off second in the first.
    98 years of futility and counting...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by CubBlue
      A TRUE LEADER: There's a reason that Derrek Lee wanted Juan Pierre on his team again. Besides his talents, Pierre is willing to accept responsibility for personal failures, as he did after Thursday night's loss in Arizona for being picked off second in the first.
      It's a good thing that Pierre is willing to accept responsibility, because he's failing. A true team leader rallies the troops in times of doubt, that's why Lee is back to traveling with the organization.
      What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
      Line Drive: .356
      HBP: .342
      Non-Intentional Walk: .315
      Intentional Walk: .176
      Outfield Fly: .035
      Groundball: -.101
      Bunts: -.103
      Infield Fly: -.243
      Strikeout: -.287
      It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

      Comment


      • #4
        To date Pierre has been a disaster. His OPS for the season is below .630. "leadership" be damned.
        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

        Comment


        • #5
          Not only has Pierre been horrible, any of the 3 arms we gave up for him would be good trade fodder to pick up a 1B/RF-type bat.

          Ya know, someone that could actually help the team right now.
          Jerseys hanging in my den : Santo, Jenkins, Williams, Banks, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Eckersley, Sutcliffe, Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Lee

          Oddly enough, I never bought a Sosa jersey, even during his best years.

          Comment


          • #6
            Pierre and Jacque Jones have both been sucking (others have too, but these guys were the main offseason acquisitions), and with all these injuries, Dusty should pretty much get a free pass for the time being.

            Now, if this persists after the team gets healthy, then we'll talk.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Slightly Sarcastic
              Not only has Pierre been horrible, any of the 3 arms we gave up for him would be good trade fodder to pick up a 1B/RF-type bat.

              Ya know, someone that could actually help the team right now.
              Now we'll have to use Ryu or someone else along those lines.
              What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
              Line Drive: .356
              HBP: .342
              Non-Intentional Walk: .315
              Intentional Walk: .176
              Outfield Fly: .035
              Groundball: -.101
              Bunts: -.103
              Infield Fly: -.243
              Strikeout: -.287
              It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob Sacamento
                It's a good thing that Pierre is willing to accept responsibility, because he's failing. A true team leader rallies the troops in times of doubt, that's why Lee is back to traveling with the organization.
                I am very happy to see DLee in the dugout rooting them on even though they are going through a tough time. As for Pierre I think he has to lay a few more bunts down for base hits. I know he won't do it but if Pierre tried to bunt for a hit every time he comes to the plate he could get a hit 2 out of every 5 ABs.
                Can you say S O R I A N O !!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Sacamento
                  Now we'll have to use Ryu or someone else along those lines.

                  I'm thinking more like Marmol/Gallagher/Mateo. Someone we will really really miss when he's gone.
                  Jerseys hanging in my den : Santo, Jenkins, Williams, Banks, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Eckersley, Sutcliffe, Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Lee

                  Oddly enough, I never bought a Sosa jersey, even during his best years.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Slightly Sarcastic
                    I'm thinking more like Marmol/Gallagher/Mateo. Someone we will really really miss when he's gone.
                    If Marmol or Gallagher are dealt for a guy like Wilson/Millar/Conine then Hendry should be pulled out to the street and shot at. As for Mateo, I can see him going, but the most likely asked prospects will probably be Marshall/Hill/Ryu with Ryu being the most available.
                    What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
                    Line Drive: .356
                    HBP: .342
                    Non-Intentional Walk: .315
                    Intentional Walk: .176
                    Outfield Fly: .035
                    Groundball: -.101
                    Bunts: -.103
                    Infield Fly: -.243
                    Strikeout: -.287
                    It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Sacamento
                      If Marmol or Gallagher are dealt for a guy like Wilson/Millar/Conine then Hendry should be pulled out to the street and shot at.
                      I agree, but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened.
                      Jerseys hanging in my den : Santo, Jenkins, Williams, Banks, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Eckersley, Sutcliffe, Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Lee

                      Oddly enough, I never bought a Sosa jersey, even during his best years.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Slightly Sarcastic
                        I agree, but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened.
                        If Sing were hitting in Iowa right now he'd make this a moot point. But the way the offense is struggling, Jim has really got to be wondering about pulling the trigger on trade even if he has to give up top talents for a player that can plug the sinking ship and then shift to the bench once Lee returns. Only problem is everyone is trying to hold Hendry at ransom right now, and nothing looks attractive. Do you trade away future prospects to plug a month or two long hole, and help keep the offense afloat? Tough decision, and Hendry's screwed nearly anyway he goes; the best thing he can hope for is ARam gets hot, Jones hits for extrabases, and Pierre gets on base.
                        What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
                        Line Drive: .356
                        HBP: .342
                        Non-Intentional Walk: .315
                        Intentional Walk: .176
                        Outfield Fly: .035
                        Groundball: -.101
                        Bunts: -.103
                        Infield Fly: -.243
                        Strikeout: -.287
                        It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Sacamento
                          the best thing he can hope for is ARam gets hot, Jones hits for extrabases, and Pierre gets on base.
                          Aram seems to be heating up, but I really wasn't counting on much from either of the Frenchies when the season began, and I'm not about to start now.


                          I've never been a fan of selling a bright future for a marginal upgrade or one-year stopgap, and nobody that has been rumored to be on the Cubs list would provide enough of a boost to be worth losing a top prospect, especially pitching. With Maddux and Wood likely gone after this year, and Prior's constant injury problems, we need all the starting pitching we have.
                          Jerseys hanging in my den : Santo, Jenkins, Williams, Banks, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Eckersley, Sutcliffe, Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Lee

                          Oddly enough, I never bought a Sosa jersey, even during his best years.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have put 0% of the blame on Dusty Baker. Look where Dusty led our Cubs when our team was healthy ( 2003 ). Pierre can't seem to get on base what so ever and Jones so far is a bust. I didn't expect Jones to do this bad. Lets just remember something. The Astros were sucking bad at the bottom of the division in June last year. I won't count my Cubs out yet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lipsander
                              I have put 0% of the blame on Dusty Baker. Look where Dusty led our Cubs when our team was healthy ( 2003 ). Pierre can't seem to get on base what so ever and Jones so far is a bust. I didn't expect Jones to do this bad. Lets just remember something. The Astros were sucking bad at the bottom of the division in June last year. I won't count my Cubs out yet.

                              I don't put as much of this on Dusty as some people, but he certainly deserves his share.


                              The fact that Bynum is getting any playing time at all, that stupid sac bunt with Walker the other night, and he still won't sit Jones against lefties. Dusty is in no way in the clear for his part of the teams struggles.
                              Jerseys hanging in my den : Santo, Jenkins, Williams, Banks, Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Eckersley, Sutcliffe, Wood, Prior, Zambrano, Lee

                              Oddly enough, I never bought a Sosa jersey, even during his best years.

                              Comment

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