Dusty Baker Still Chewing Toothpicks, Sour Grapes ... and Other Bullets

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Dusty Baker Still Chewing Toothpicks, Sour Grapes … and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I had the Doritos Taco from Taco Bell yesterday – yeah, it’s taco with a big Doritos chip as the shell. It is an indulgent, disgusting, delicious, and absurd as it sounds. And I want another.

  • Dusty Baker is still grumbling about his time in Chicago. Obviously, Baker doesn’t deserve all of the blame for keeping the (non)story alive – every time the Cubs and Reds play, he’s asked about the Cubs and Chicago. This time, Baker was asked about what kind of outside pressures/scrutiny/etc. that new Cubs manager Dale Sveum will face. Baker wouldn’t offer any advice, instead noting that the pressure Sveum feels will “depend on how they do.” He added: “You’ve got to wait a while until you can make that assessment. Give him a couple years and he might say the same thing. He probably won’t.” Baker, of course, isn’t really talking about Sveum, he’s talking about himself. For good measure, Dusty also explained that there isn’t a lot of patience with Cubs fans these days. “From my experience, patience wasn’t a real virtue. They’ve been patient for 100 years. That’s a hard sell in Chicago, more patience. They might be patient for a little while, but unlike any other place I’ve been, they count. People count. And they can add real good in Chicago.” Baker got four years in Chicago, each of which was ultimately worse than the last, while the Cubs made him among the highest paid managers in baseball.
  • Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm both felt good about their outings yesterday, and, more importantly in Maholm’s case, both still feel healthy.
  • The Blue Jays remain interested in adding a starting pitcher, and have kept tabs on Gavin Floyd and Joe Blanton among others. There haven’t been any rumors connecting the Blue Jays to Matt Garza in months, but, hey, if you’re looking for a starting pitcher, why not try and get the best you can get?
  • Brett Jackson continues to impress everyone who matters (and those of us who don’t), but impressive performance alone isn’t going to get him a ticket to Chicago. An injury or a trade are likely the only ways he breaks camp with the big club.
  • Anthony Rizzo wants to be like Prince Fielder – in terms of hitting ability, that is. Not, like, you know, circumference. Speaking of Rizzo and Jackson, an interesting thread is going on over at the Message Board about whether to be more psyched about Rizzo or Jackson as a prospect.
  • More fluff on Junior Lake and his relationship with Starlin Castro (the two came up from the DR together, and are separated in age by just three days). I found this quote from Lake to be just adorable: “One guy is in front and one is behind, but it’s not like they can promote two people for the same position at the same time. Castro was able to develop his abilities faster than I was, but he doesn’t think he is better than me and I don’t think I’m better than him. Neither of us is better than the other.”
  • Kevin Goldstein at BP ranked the Cubs’ farm system the 20th best (or 11th worst, I guess) in baseball. He did say on the radio last night that (1) the Cubs remain the “overwhelming favorite” to sign Jorge Soler, and (2) if they do, they’ll move up to somewhere in the middle of the pack.
  • The Cubs are discussed first among teams that upgraded their defense this offseason (with third base being the primary locale).
  • The Hardball Times previews the 2012 Cubs. How do they look? Let’s just say 2013 comes up a handful of times.
  • A small change to the CBA will make the Cubs’ roster decisions on Rodrigo Lopez and Trever Miller just a touch more difficult. In short, if a player has accumulated enough service time (six years, as Lopez and Miller have), and is signed to a Minor League deal, a team either has to release him five days prior to Opening Day, or plan on putting him on the 25-man roster on Opening Day, or plan on paying him a $100,000 retention bonus in order to send him to the minors. And, if the team elects the latter of those three options, the player gets the right to opt-out of his deal and become a free agent again on June 1. Stashing vets in the minors for depth is going to be quite difficult. If I had to guess, as of today, the Cubs would probably be willing to pay Lopez the bonus and take their chances on keeping him, whereas they’d probably either commit to Miller on the 25-man or release him.
  • We’ve been captioning a picture of Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura having a conversation at the BN Facebook page. Some funny suggestions for dialog already…

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.