The Cubs lost their fourth in a row tonight to the Battling Buckos of Pittsburgh, losing 11-6 in what might be described as a “must-lose” game. This team reminds me of the 1999 and 2002 Cubs – it looks as though they are just going through the motions. It’s not that they’re not trying; rather they are playing without purpose. Were I the manager I would be preaching in the clubhouse about “playing for respect,” i.e. trying to instill some sense of competitiveness in a season that was over in late May. Instead, the Cubs must listen to talk about hate letters from a man who “sometimes” feels welcome in his own home ballpark.

Hendry has said repeatedly that he intends to finish out the season with Baker but I think it’s now time to pull the plug. Not because Dusty has done anything wrong, it just doesn’t make any sense for the Cubs or for Baker. There is about a month left in the season and the Cubs can use this time wisely to make some decisions about players and coaches. Barrett, Ramirez, Lee, Jones, Zambrano, Marshall, Eyre and Howry are locks for next year but decisions have to be made about players like Theriot, Pagan, Murton, Bynum, Guzman, Hill, Marmol, Mateo and Aardsma.

I would also like to see the Cubs give Mike Quade a month’s audition at the helm of the club and see what he can do; it’s a wonder that Dusty Baker can sleep at night and I’m sure he dreads getting up every morning. Now is also the time to part company with Larry Rothschild and let one of our minor league pitching coaches come up. There’s no doubt in my mind that one of them could do as good if not better of a job than Mopey Larry.

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