Trib columnist Rick Morrissey runs down the usual list of reasons why Dusty Baker shouldn't be fired.
A couple things I take umbrage with. I actually don't take umbrage, but I really wanted to write that.
Morrissey says that "You say the Cubs have been poor fundamentally since Baker arrived in Chicago? I didn't know a big-league manager had to teach the art of hitting the cutoff man."
Most certainly he doesn't. But he does have to demand it. And he has to discipline players when they fail to execute these things. Perhaps he is different in the clubhouse than with the media. What we read and hear is usually some sort of praise for players who make errors or display bad fundamentals. It's akin to enabling. If Michael Barrett has 6 passed balls by mid-May and there is no knuckle-baller in sight, I don't want to hear that it's a tough staff to catch, as Baker said recently. I want to hear that Michael Barrett has to improve.
Morrissey also writes something that I simply cannot wrap my head around: "This is a team with bad offense, not bad offensive mechanics."
The Cubs under Baker have not shown any patience at the plate--Baker's "Sometimes the best pitch to hit is the first" quote comes to mind. They rarely work pitchers deep into counts. They rarely draw walks. They rarely exhibit smart baserunning. They do not see enough pitches. They are devoid of any offensive philosophy or template. The players that are the worst at getting on base often occupy the top 2 slots in the lineup. They are in need of "Plate Approach for Dummies".
The argument here has never been it's all Baker's fault. No one expected the Cubs to dominate the league without Lee, Wood and Prior. But we expected some adjustments and play commensurate to the talent still there. We've not seen that yet.