Monday, May 09, 2005

The Gloves are Off

Many of you saw the article in the Tribune on Friday where Jim Hendry gave Dusty Baker the dreaded vote of confidence. Hendry then compared the Cubs to two team from recent history.

"(The Astros) were one step from being buried and then the last few months they were probably the best team in baseball. The year the Marlins won the World Series (in 2003), they fired the manager (Jeff Torborg) and then Jack (McKeon) takes over, they go 2-8, and all of a sudden, boom, you get turned around and you go off."

What to think of Hendry comparing the Cubs to teams that succeeded after their managers were canned? Is Hendry being coy and tipping his intentions or was he just making a poor choice for a comparison?

The answer was given yesterday when Dusty Baker allowed Carlos Zambrano to throw 136 pitches in a complete game win over the pathetic Phillies.

Anyone who wants to blame Dusty for overusing Big Zamboni is an idiot. Using Zamboni to finish the game was Baker’s response to Hendry. Essentially, Baker said, “You want to fire me for losing games? Many of the losses are your fault for giving me a bullpen less reliable than a Tom Arnold punchline.”

Clearly, the gloves are off. The big boys are already trying to tone down some of the speculation. Why else would Paul Sullivan’s write this line (“Baker isn't in any danger of losing his job”) in today’s game notes?

Pay close attention to whom and how Baker uses which players in the coming weeks (example: Jason DuBois and his 10 thumbs get a chance to earn the left field job). This will probably work out badly for either Hendry or Baker, if not both of them.

That might not be such a bad thing for all the fans.

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