Apr 13th 2008 11:52PM by Eamonn Brennan
The Reds visit the North Side of Chicago this week, which officially makes it Hate Dusty week in Cubdom. And while that sentiment is probably justified in a lot of ways — Baker has done plenty to deflect the blame for a pretty bad managerial hash in 2005 and beyond — some of that is going to get overblown. In other words, all of the ills in Chicago are not Dusty Baker’s fault.
Kerry Wood, one of the two pitchers many think Dusty ruined, wants to bury that hatchet: “I’ll be excited to see him,” Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood said. “People forget he was the first manager in a long time to have back-to-back winning seasons. Eight years ago, if you would’ve talked about a guy coming in and turning the organization around and winning in back-to-back seasons, they would’ve said, ‘We’ll take it.’
“Obviously, it didn’t end the way he wanted it to, and the way we wanted it to end,” Wood said. “Dusty puts his heart and soul into whatever team he manages. I think the players understand that, and people around him on a daily basis understand what he puts into the game. I hope [the fans] treat him well.”
Kerry might be being a bit too optimistic here. OK, I’m being too kind. Kerry’s being way, way too optimistic, because Dusty’s probably going to hear the boos all week. Still, here’s hoping Cubs fans get it out of their system and focus on the task at hand. The Dusty obsession has to end sometime.