Friday, June 3

Dear Anonymous:

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.' "


At 2:46 PM, Blogger JT said...

It speaks volumes of the desire this team has to prove people wrong, as well as Dusty's current managerial form.

With so many injuries, guys are being given a chance to fully prove their worth to the team, guys whose contracts may be nearing an end (I think Rusch was signed to a 2-year deal through '06... did he resign this season or am I completely wrong on this?) and guys who have for a while been either on the perimeters looking in or who are young and have a chance to escape AAA once and for all.

I am pleased to see guys like Wuertz, Wellemeyer, Novoa, Rusch, Dubois, Corey P and Perez above all, because they (in my mind) are a group from whom not as much was expected pre-season as opposed to the perenially-achieving Lee, Burnitz, Ramirez, Prior, Wood to name just a few.

These guys have played their way into the team, and played their way into the minds of opposing teams. I bet not many of them were heavily scouted before the season began, and look at them all now.

That says as much about our success as does Dusty's ability to get guys to buy into the team and buy into his confidence.

Let's see what we can pull tonight against Adam "Electric" Eaton.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the original question asker and agree 100% with the sentiments in the Blog.

To suggest Ruschs form this year is down to contract ignores last year, where he was pretty damn good!

Remember Karros and and Gruds performed hugely well the first year they moved to Chicago, and unfortunately Gruds got injured in his last year!

Estes also rebounded with Dusty.

To suggest Lee and Aramis as perennially achieving is a bit of overstatement. Do you think Marlins would have traded Lee for Choi if they even suspected a little bit, that Lee had the ability he has shown this year? Ditto for Aramis and Pits. Did they think he could 50+ errors down to 10-15 he commits now? How about Barrett and P.Alou's comment that he will never call a good game to be a catcher?

Kudos for Hendry to see Lee, aramis etc.s potential and his belief that he had the manager to bring the best out of them. Remember Andy and jim have both said that players will take pay cuts to play for Dusty! Frankly I have no for love Stone or the quick on the trigger media. They lead many of us fans, down the garden path, to sell a story.

I hope when we have a dip, (and we will!) we stay with the positive belief this time.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger JT said...

I misstated what I was trying to say, and thanks for calling me out on it. I took one too many hyperbole pills with my cereal this morning.

I didn't mean to question Rusch and company's quality or talent at all. I also didn't intend for it to sound as if I was citing qualities or factors outside of their abilities as being evidence for their worth, so let me rephrase a little.

Rusch's performance is not motivated by upcoming contracts, not in the slightest.

What I intended to add to the discussion was this:

Guys like Lee and Ramirez, guys upon who a great deal of pressure has been placed especially in the wake of Sosa and Alou's departure, have NOT been the only ones to play exceptionally well this season. The guys, like Glendon Rusch and co., whose respective places on the team were largely ignored in the run-up to the season, have come out and shown what they are capable of.

It's not just the guys on the front-cover of the pre-season scouting reports and magazines who have achieved, and that is what makes this team a good team.

New faces, like Burnitz, have filled in capably for Sosa and co., and people who were perhaps not viewed by other teams as threatening have also contributed.

The team is playing as a cohesive unit, thanks to Dusty and his managerial style, and we're not relying on the performance of a superstar to carry us through each and every game (like, say, the Yankees?).

Rookies, under-the-radar guys, established stars, newcomers, underrated players - these all form the substance of a team. And with their recent play, they are a team.

Thanks for letting me clear that up. And thanks for continuing this discussion, let's keep it going.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger JT said...

When I say "whose respective places on the team were largely ignored in the run-up to the season," I mean by the media, and those media writers who put together all the pre-season previews and predictions for magazines and newspapers etc etc.

Just to further clarify.

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree totally on your last comments.

lets hope the media doesn't jump on Dusty's back as soon as we have a dip.

This will only increase the pressure on the team to fail by encouraging some more gullible among us to ring talk shows on mass or boo without reason to get rid of the first quality manager the cubs have had for decades.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

touche, boys. i think my strongest feelings on what i've read from you guys is the idea that we have to keep positive when there is a dip in production and runs. i wrote that whole thing up about Rusch and how great he's been as a starter, but he's gonna get burned eventually, so let's not jump all over the backs of Baker and all the Cubs when things stop going so perfectly.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Hyposquasher said...

* "dip in production and wins" is what i meant... not runs. although they are good too.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger JT said...

Too true, guys.

Loving them and then hating them the next day - that's the media's job.

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I have to say that I've never heard anything bad about Dusty said by someone who has played under him. They all love him, and they all play hard for him. In addition, the Cubs are on Route for yet another winning season, their third consecutive, and that is something to be thankful for. Who was the last manager to make that happen? Of course, we have to remember that other factors go into this, but Dusty should definitely get some credit for it, since I gaurantee you he'll get blamed if the Cubs start losing.

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