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Thinking Outside The Box Score

We're going to keep this pretty brief today, since Entourage is on in 12 minutes. Besides, many people have discussed the heartbreaking ineptitude of the Cubs in far greater detail than I ever could -- people who've suffered the ache of watching such a historic franchise falter at such incredible levels. People who are emotionally invested in Wrigley's citizens. People who are on the inside of the debacle that is the 2006 Chicago Cubs, not just indifferent New Jersey lookers-on. So we'll just say this: the other shoe is going to drop. We have a feeling it'll be tomorrow.

After blowing a 5-2 lead with an 11-run top of the 6th today which lasted 41 minutes and included two errors, three walks, eight hits, two grand slams, a two-run home run, and three different pitchers in an eventual 13-7 loss to the Mets, it just seems like the right time for ole Dusty to be replaced. Rumors have been swirling about his future with the Cubs since last season, and after losing in such an embarassing fashion, it should provide a slap in the face to the team by replacing Dusty now. At the very least, it'll let them know they're playing for their jobs from here on out. It is a disappointing end to a disappointing era. After taking the Giants to a World Series only a handful of years ago, Cubs fans were expecting Dusty to bring them back to the promised land. But after the degradation of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, and general malaise everywhere else, there's no turning back for the Cubs. It's time to end Baker's suffering and humiliation and let him go peacefully. Don't be surprised if tomorrow, Monday July 17th, is the day another one bites the (D)dust(y) in Chicago. Oops! Poor joke alert!



It's time for a regime change in Chicgo. In fact, not only does Dusty need to go, it wouldn't hurt to see MacPhail and possibly some other front office personnel get shown the door. That said, I like Dusty Baker. He's a good manager. It is not his fault the Cubs are 21 games below .500. The Prior and Wood injuries were to be expected. The Cubs staff has relied on these two for too long, and that's not Dusty's fault. It was the Lee injury that completely destroyed their season. Their offense was based on Lee. Without him, their offense is as good as Barbaro would be in a race. So why does Dusty need to go? The Cubs need to start fresh. They need a new manager (Brenley is sitting in the commentator's booth. Another possibility is Piniella.) They need to trade Pierre, who's been disastrous, before the deadline for prospects. Then with Wood they should move him to the bullpen or trade him, and trade Prior. They can't get much, but someone out there will be duped into thinking he'll stay healthy. They should also trade Walker, Maddux and any other veterans besides Lee, Ramirez and Barrett for prospects. The rebuilding needs to start now.

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