Friday, June 23, 2006

Equal Time for Dusty

I have spent the majority of my time on this blog complaining about Jim Hendry. I truly feel that he has done an incredibly poor job of building the team and I feel he deserves the majority of the blame for the Cubs current woes. However, Manager Dusty Baker deserves a little bit of my wrath.

Tonight against the Twins, Dusty once again batted Neifi Perez 2nd in the line-up and Todd Walker (who is DH-ing) 8th. There is absolutely no excuse or justification for doing this. In general, Walker is a better hitter. Tonight, the Cubs are facing lefty Johan Santana. So my first thought was, Perez must hit lefties better. However, the fact is that he doesn't.

Over the past three years, Perez has a .291 OBP against lefties while Walker's is .339. This year, Walker also has a higher OBP than Perez. Walker's OBP is .317 while Pezez's is .273. So why is Neifi batting 2nd?

The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that Dusty just doesn't know what he is doing. I think he manages from his gut, but he's been wrong so many times, you think he would learn to ocassionally consult the stats.

Like so many others, I'm calling for Dusty's head. But unlike other people, I think the club should hold off on getting rid of him until the end of the year. The season is lost and there are no really good manager candidates out there right now (except possibly Lou Pinella), so why rush in to firing him. Be patient and look for a manager who is a really good baseball guy. If he has a connection to the Cubs (like Joe Girardi), all the better.

Dusty has to go, but not now. The Cubs should bide their time and make sure they get it right this time.


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