The Rumor Mill – Dusty Baker

Possible Replacements for Dusty Baker and Could A-Rod Become A Cub?

Updated – 7:00pm C.T. – Dusty Feels Comfortable According to the Associated Press

While the Cubs do play the Astros in the series finale on Wednesday night in Houston, the hot topic among the Cubs Faithful on Wednesday is the possible firing of Dusty Baker. I thought this might be a topic that should have its own place to discuss. I also wanted to pass along other information that I had heard on Wednesday as well concerning Dusty and the possible replacements that have been mentioned in the last 24 hours. Also, for those of you that missed Jason’s column earlier on Wednesday, don’t forget to check it out….it is a good read.

Before we get into the Dusty discussions, Barry Rozner mentioned in an article in the Daily Herald on Wednesday morning, should the Cubs go after Alex Rodriguez? Rozner does mention that he has not heard anyone in the Cubs organization mentioning this, he does mention the Cubs might be able to trade Aramis Ramirez, Jacque Jones and Ryan Dempster for A-Rod….I just wanted to throw that out for discussion as well.

Now to the Dusty discussion….

Obviously by now you have all read the articles in the Sun-Times by Mike Kiley and in the Chicago Tribune by Paul Sullivan, both mention the same names as possible replacements for Dusty Baker.

Lou Piniella, Tom Kelly, Jimy Williams, Gene Lamont, Fredi Gonzalez (the name I have heard for the past several weeks), Chris Speier and Mike Quade, manager of the Iowa Cubs.

Mel Antonen of USA Today and Charley Steiner both discussed Baker’s situation on Wednesday during Steiner’s show on XM Radio. Both feel Dusty must go and here are some of the reasons they give:

Chemistry in the Clubhouse – They both feel Dusty has lost control of his team and that stems from Dusty’s lack of leadership. There was an article in Wednesday morning’s Tribune that stated the fingers are starting to be pointed. Aramis Ramirez was not happy after Tuesday’s loss to the Astros, the report was also on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

Jim Hendry’s Indecision – Hendry’s unwillingness to make a commitment one way or another about Dusty’s future with the team has created problems in the clubhouse. Hendry should have decided 8 weeks ago whether or not he was going to extend Baker’s contract and not allow it to drag out this long.

Must Send a Message to the Team – According to Antonen and Steiner, Hendry must send a message to the players that this kind of play will not be tolerated.

– XM Radio also reported on Tuesday that Dusty is interested in the manager’s job in D.C. for the Nationals if Frank Robinson retires at the end of the season.

This is what I have read and heard over the last 24 hours, I do not feel an interim manager is what any club needs.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to discuss Dusty and the Cubs, as well as the game….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne