Blog Entry

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 4:03 pm


When Dusty Baker's departure as manager of the Cubs was all but certain, he had to deal with a truly abominable act.

"At the very end, somebody took a dump right where I stood in the dugout every day," Baker told FOX Sports. "That was the low point. The grounds crew guy cleaned it up. He said, 'Oh, I think it’s dog crap.' I said, 'No it ain’t. That’s human crap.'"

That would be bad enough if that incident was isolated, but Baker also had to deal with threatening phone calls and letters that all too often skewed into the racist category. No one knows if the two incidents are connected, but the overall message is the same of intolerance.

Say what you want about Baker's managerial tendencies -- and people have, including this author in this very space when talking about Baker's wrecking of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior's arms along with Aaron Harang in Cincinnati (more on this later), but such actions are unacceptable, no matter the setting or situation.

Baker inherited a tough job in taking over Cubs manager and it only got worse after the infamous Bartman game during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. (And it must be pointed out that Steve Bartman does not deserve the blame for the Cubs blowing that game.) In fact, Baker and successors included, only Jim Riggleman has managed the Cubs for more than four full seasons since Leo Durocher's firing in mid-1972.

"They turn over their managers pretty quick," Baker said. "They don’t stick with anybody for a period of time, because everybody’s counting -- Year 100, Year 101, Year 102. There’s no such thing as a four- or five-year plan. It’s a one-year plan."

And yet, while plenty of other Cubs managers have had to deal with the outrage of Cubs fans, it's Baker that has to deal with human feces exactly where he stands in the dugout. Yeah, the groundskeeper cleaned it up, but that doesn't get rid of the figurative (and perhaps even literal) stink.

No one deserves that. But that's not all that happened to Baker in Chicago. Since his experience in Chicago, he's been saddled with a reputation that he perhaps does not deserve.

"It really hurt my reputation," Baker said of managing in Chicago, especially after disappointments in 2005 and 2006. "Ever since then, all of a sudden, 'I don’t know how to manage. I don’t know how to handle pitchers. I don’t like young players.' … They don’t even have a clue about it. I never heard that in San Francisco."

Baker had his missteps in San Francisco, most notably yanking Russ Ortiz with a lead in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series and attempting to give Hernandez the game ball, but it must be noted that there were no complaints about Baker's pitcher usage in San Francisco. It's tougher to defend his actions with Prior and Harang, but consideration must be given to the fact it would have happened regardless.

And there's certainly no defending the actions of whichever spineless person chose to take a dump at Baker's feet.

(Was this an inside job? Certainly no fan could get access to the field before the gates even open.)

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Dusty Baker

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:58 pm

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Good post Cubswin.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:40 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

I always wonder when I hear stories like this. Did someone sneak into the dugout when no one was in the stadium, or did they risk being seen? Did someone stand lookout? What exactly was the dump meant to represent?

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:51 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Here's what people need to understand.  The fact this is the Cubs trumps everything.  Throw logic, excuses, race, etc, out the window.    There is a transcendant cloud over everything Cub.  Baker, like everyone else in the last century, was just not able to overcome the heavy wet blanket that constantly lays over Cub nation.  It's just meant to be this way.  Time to accept it, and stop playing the blame game.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:37 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Excellent comment!!!  I also recall that Prior used to be tauted as having the best pitching mechanics in baseball.  Some guys are just destined to break down.  Also, why is 100 pitches the magic number today?  Is it because there has been a scientific evaluation of that number or is it because it is a nice round one.  I bet it is the latter!  Nolan Ryan and many of his generation often threw far in excess of 100 pitches a start as well as routinely throwing complete games in an era where there was a 4 man pitching rotation.

Look how careful Washington was with Strausberg and Florida with Josh Johnson and both ended up with TJ surgery.  This is typical of today's reporting.... make generalizations (i.e. Baker ruins pitchers) with only someones subjective opinion as the basis.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 9:17 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

The nasty Urinals must have been where else are you going to go?
Or it could have been where Alex Gonzalez shat his pants during the 8th inning of game 6 aganst the Marlins.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:19 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Cubswin2108, here is the evidence you ignore- the Cubs don't even make the playoffs without Prior's run of starts that you cited. I looked up the recap of that Sept 1 game; here is a snippet-

"I wanted to stay in, but I had 130 pitches. No reason to go more," Prior (14-5) said.

The loss moved St. Louis into a first-place tie in the NL Central with Houston, which beat Los Angeles on Monday night. The third-place Cubs are 1{ games behind the Cardinals and Astros."

If Dusty had pulled Prior or held him back or taken him out and the Cubs bullpen had blown the games then you would have crucified him for bad game management. I saw enough of this last year with Bruce Bochy; whenever the other team succeeded it was always because Bochy should have done the opposite of what he did, whether it was bring in a relief pitcher or leave the starting pitcher in.

Not only this, but it  evidently didn't bother Prior much at the time; in his first playoff start he pitched a complete game, winning 3-1, then pitched 7 innings and won Game 2 of the NLCS. I'm sure I don't need to tell you he was leading 3-0 in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, do I?

You might want to look at Tim Lincecum's stats from 2008, his first full season in the majors. Pretty similar to Prior's 2003, including the high pitch counts in September. Check out Matt Cain in his first full year, 2006. Besides, the manager is trying to win games; you do that with your best players. I realize this is not so commonly understood on the North Side, but if you stop looking only for evidence that confirms your bias, you might get at the truth once in a while. I gotta think looking for a scapegoat every time anything bad happens has to get old, too.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:50 am

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Damn right I will cheer them on even if they lose 162 games this year, that is what a true fan does!
Not a bandwagon one like you!

Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:47 pm

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Really? Do you see any other rookie being pitched like this:

Mark Prior pitch counts in Sep 2003

Sep 1: 130 Pitches (8 innings, in a game that was 6-0 after the 5th)
Sep 6: 129 Pitches (7 innings)
Sep 11: 110 Pitches (in 5.2 innings)
Sep 16: 124 Pitches (in 8.2 innings)
Sep 21: 131 Pitches (in 7.2 innings)
Sep 27: 133 Pitched (in 6.2 innings)

Not only that, but it was his first full year pitching in the majors.

Then this fiasco when he dismatled a complete workhorse:

Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:39 pm

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

Mark Prior pitch counts in Sep 2003

Sep 1: 130 Pitches (8 innings, in a game that was 6-0 after the 5th)
Sep 6: 129 Pitches (7 innings)
Sep 11: 110 Pitches (in 5.2 innings)
Sep 16: 124 Pitches (in 8.2 innings)
Sep 21: 131 Pitches (in 7.2 innings)
Sep 27: 133 Pitched (in 6.2 innings)

Not only that, but it was his first full year pitching in the majors.

Again these are reposts but I could not have said it any better myself

Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:37 pm

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story

These are re-posts from ""
so I take no credit but it utlines why Dusty ran himself out of town- I also included how he pitched Prior down the stretch of his first major league season:

He took Kent Mercker’s side when Mercker physically accosted Steve Stone.

He took Todd Walker’s (and a few other guys’) side when Stone and Chip Caray were kicked off the team flight.

He refused to confront Sammy Sosa on absolutely anything. (Because looking the other way with self-centered steroid-addled prima donnas is how Baker built his career.)

He played Jose Macias – a player who we all correctly guessed was not only the 25th man on the Cubs’ roster, but also the 750th man in MLB — in 98 games and almost 200 ABs.

This was part of Dusty’s “self-handicapping” system, in which he’d “keep the team fresh” by benching at least one, typically 2, and often 3 starters in every single game for the entire season. How many times do you remember seeing a 2004 lineup – especially on a getaway day when we should have been going for a sweep — and thinking “oh crap. It’s a Goodwin-Macias-Bako day”?

And as Stoney pointed out after that season ended, Dusty never called one hit-and-run in the entire 2004 season. Frankly, that critique may have been the final bridge burned for Stoney — Dusty flipped out and called it a “personal attack”, and the only reason it really hurt was because it was true.

We should have taken some notice from SF, who “opted not to retain” Baker after winning the freaking NL pennant. He’s a singularly horrific manager, and has no business being in an MLB dugout. - following the numbers to Cooperstown

not throwing each day is where it tightens up.

if you take days off between throwing, your arm will fatigue easier over a season. Fergue jenkins has gone over this time adn time again in detail, explaining that pitchers need to throw 365 days a year, even if only light toss to keep the muscles and joints loose in the arm, and that is why he (and others) avoided having injuries from pitching. Nolan Ryan has stated he 100% agrees regarding that.

If my memory serves correct, the routine for many pitchers is:
   Day 1 Pitch
   Day 2 No throwing
   Day 3 short and long toss
   Day 4 short and long toss, bullpen session
   Day 5 short and long toss, bullpen session
   Day 6 Pitch

"I like coconuts, you can break them open and they smell like ladies lying in the sun" Widespread Panic

by on  

my 2 cents sour grapes from Dusty he had the team before he lost it.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or