Good news from today’s Chicago Tribune! Now that there’s no pressure at all, the Cubs are playing better!

Meanwhile, over at Cubs.com, Carrie Muskat says that Dusty Baker thinks the Cubs are still in this thing.

This kind of confuses me. I mean, if the Cubs actually win enough games to get close to a playoff spot, won’t the pressure be back on? Is there anyway they can play the rest of their games at an undisclosed location (perhaps somewhere in the Yukon Territory) where no one can see them? That should keep the boys loose.

Of course, this being Cubs.com, Dusty gets a chance to blow a little smoke at us.

“Basically, we have the same team, but we have some guys who have gotten hot and are performing,” Baker said. “We’ve got some kids who are getting better through experience. Half the guys here hadn’t had a Major League start yet. Time brings about change, hopefully a positive change. It brings a learning curve. That’s our job to teach them. A lot of these guys have had to learn on the job.

“I know what I can do,” he said. “I just manage the best I can.”

So, I guess the good news is, Dusty, the man who previously claimed that young guys should get all their learnin’ in the minor leagues has become a great teacher. He’s taught hitters to hit, and the pitchers to hit. Dusty is the reason for the Cubs current winning streak. It has nothing to do with the fact that even the worst teams usually have at least one hot streak during the season. Anyway, this all seems to be setting us up for the inevitable, Dusty Baker extension talk. Personally, I think that Baker will be offered, and will accept a one year deal to manage the Cubs for 2007, and redeem the last two seasons. If he isn’t able to do that, then both he, and Jim Hendry will be shown the door.

What do you all think?

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