Original comment by anonymous:
"Good blog. (Damn right, good blog, thanks! -- Hypo)
One thing however I would like your opinion on. A lot of the rather puerile Chicago media are anti-dusty, I believe particularly because he tangled with the one of their own, Stone, and turned the tables on him. Why has Perez, Karros, Gruds, Rusch, Estes, Borowski, turned around their careers and other young payers such as Prior, Zambrano, Patterson, Aramis, Lee, Weurtz, Wellmeyer become such superstars? Dusty perhaps? "
Thanks for your comment, and here's my thoughts, everyone else feel free to share your thoughts as well!
I'm going to start off by acknowledging the fact that I have already said in the past that Dusty has made some pretty questionable decisions in the past. That being said...
Dusty wins more approval from me with each passing win. Of course this is easy to say when the Cubs are winning, but listening to Eric Karros talk about playing for him last night was pretty cool. Dusty instills a sense of confindence in every player on the team, which is something that you can't teach a manager to do. He will stay behind his guys when times are rough too, so players absolutely love playing for him. Look how long he stuck behind Hawkins as the closer for crying out loud.
He really does know what he's doing as a manager, and when the players under him start to buy into his plan and his mentality, this is when really special things start to happen. Case in point: a 7 game win streak, a young SS playing as good as we would expect of Nomar both on offense and defense, a pitcher who two years ago was 1-12 now is 5-1 with an ERA under 2.00, a record of 28-24 when Karros said himself that the Cubs should be 10 or 15 games under .500 with the injuries they've sustained.
A lot of these things are a team effort that wouldn't happen with just one guy performing well or even a few guys performing well. It takes different guys stepping up every day to give the team that spark. And in order for different guys to do that, they need confidence and the right mentality, which is what they get from playing for a manager like Dusty. After the way things have gone recently with the injuries and this win streak, I gaurantee no one on this team will give up for the rest of the year. They will play their hardest and believe that they will win by doing so, and that is something special if you ask me. It's also something I attribute to Dusty, a characteristic which he possesses that could be more important than a knack for crunching the numbers in the dugout.
I'm going to attempt to quote something Karros said last night, but this is from memory, so it's really not a direct quote. "Dusty will say, 'believe in me, believe in what I'm doing, even if you don't understand it. Believe that I know what I'm doing and put all of your trust in that. If I tell you to jump off a cliff, you don't have to understand why, but just do it. Trust that if I tell you to jump off a cliff that I'll have a parachute ready to catch you.' "