Same song and dance in Chicago

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

Since 1908, which as baseball fans know was the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, the manager with the most postseason appearances was Charlie Grimm, who managed the Cubs to World Series in 1932, 1935, and the last one by the North Siders in 1945.

In the 64 years since the last pennant in Wrigleyville, there’s been only one period of five or more straight winning seasons, occuring from 1967 to 1972.

Three managers with back-to-back winning seasons (Durocher, Baker, and Pinella) as well as one (Pinella) with back to back postseason appearances, something that last happened in the first decade of the last century when the Cubs won back-to-back World Series titles.

Pretty pathetic don’t you think?

So why now, after the Cubs’ loss to the Phillies yesterday at Wrigley, in which the Phillies swept at Wrigley for the first time since 1984 is there talk of doing away with Pinella?


In Dusty Baker’s first two seasons, he did more with less. Outside of Sosa, there was no one else picking up the slack offensively, until Aramis Ramirez came in late 2003 and afterwards, Derrek Lee in 2004.

Then when Mark Prior and Kerry Wood saw their promise go to waste, the Cub fans turn their wrath on Dusty and decides to literally run Baker out of town.

Bring in Pinella plus high-priced free agents and the contagious disease that has plagued the Chicago Cubs for a century overtakes them and they turn into disappointments.

Call me a Dusty apologist or whatever, but it is completely impossible to blame Dusty Baker or now Lou Pinella for the product on the field.

They had to play with whatever cards they were dealt and if they won, fine, if not, that was also fine.

What is the point when you’re going to have 3 million fans every season and a venerable old ballpark that everyone wants to be seen at?

The problems that the Cubs have had, even with the postseason teams, has not been addressed by Jim Hendry.

Hendry, although he made some great deals in the early part of his tenure, has seen his recent moves backfired, whether it was Kevin Gregg or Milton Bradley, who I think needs to learn how to count to 3 again.

So when the Cubs are out the World Series for the 65th season, the blame should not wholeheartedly on Pinella, but on the man who has made more Cub fans shake their heads than Steve Bartman and the beer thrower.