Thursday, August 31, 2006


Warring in Wrigley

The Cubs's lineup got a big boost with Derrek Lee coming back, but it's still full of overrated chumps like Juan Pierre, so Noah Lowry and co. shouldn't have too much trouble. Then again, a healthy triumvirate of Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Michael Barrett is a little scary, especially for a lefty.

Unfortunately, their manager is a bit of a goofball. Dusty Baker was a good manager in his ten seasons with the Giants, but his bizarre hunches and insane insistence on playing Marvin Benard and Shawon Dunston way more than was ever needed could be exasperating. With the Cubs, though, he's basically Public Enemy #1 in the Windy City. Just ask this guy.

Baker's crimes are particularly evident in his mishandling of the lineup. He has notoriously given too much playing time to the likes of Jose Macias and Neifi Perez (who robbed Derrek Lee of last year's MVP), and continues to put low-OBP speed guys at the top of the order. This year's leadoff man, Juan Pierre, is hitting an anemic .283/.328/.386, but hey, he's fast and has stolen a bunch of bases, so he must be OK, right?

When recently asked about why the Cubs were dead last in the league in On-base Percentage, Baker's reply was this:

"On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage. Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

Oooooooo-kay. That pretty much sums it all up right there. Dusty doesn't like runners getting on base. Dusty doesn't like a lot of guys scoring runs. Dusty has been snorting too many of those toothpicks down.

Let's please win this series.

Welcome back, John. Your posts are always right on the money.

Nice win today despite the usual disaster with Blownitez and an 0-for-13 by the top three SF batters (Winn, Vizquel, Hillenbrand).
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