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Busting Dusty

One of the more interesting - or maybe more correctly - infuriating things that happened last week was that former Cubs manager Dusty Baker came to town. And of course Dusty can't not open his yap and spew complete and utter BS.

I mean, he should ride in this thing because he's so full of bologna.

Granted, it's grasping at straws these days to find anything to make you angry about the Cubs, but hand it to Dusty to light that old fire.

For example, Dusty was asked about how this current Cub team stacks up against his 2003 team. You know, the Bartman team.

His answer was that, essentially, this year's Cub bullpen is a lot better. Because, you know, his bullpen in 2003 was so bad he had to ride his starters too hard.

I mean, really? You can't just say something like "We'd give them a run for their money?" Or, "That would be a fun series to watch?" How hard is it to just kind of give a non-answer and move on?

Nope. Not Johnnie B. Baker. He always has to blame someone else for his shortcomings. Nothing is ever his fault.

But you know what? I looked it up and found out that the 2003 bullpen wasn't all that bad. In fact, they were 8th-best in all of baseball and 4th-best in the National League. Fourth-best! Dusty's pen that year had a cumulative 1.4 Wins Above Average, compared to -1.3 for that year's world champion Florida Marlins.

Do you think Dusty even knows that? Does he care? No, he doesn't care about the truth.

Now, I'm not saying the 2003 bullpen were the Nasty Boys. But give the finger-pointing a rest.

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Oh, and Dusty had a gem of a line about people missing him.

"Sometimes people appreciate you more when you're gone than when you're there," he said.

Yeah, and sometimes people are super cool with you not being around. I'm going with that one. No one has appreciated you more through the years, Dusty.

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Sweet weekend series watching the Cubs get the brooms out on the Nats. And explain to me why Daniel Murphy - you know, the guy batting almost .400 this season - is either not directly in front of Bryce Harper or behind him in that lineup? Oh, that's right: Because Dusty's managerial philosophy is still locked in the 1980s. Dusty Baker, you are not missed.

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See also the item "In Dusty We Cannot Stand" in the Beachwood Radio Hour Show Notes here.

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Week in Review: The Cubs went 7-0 for the week, sweeping three from the Pirates and four from the Nats. There were even close games this weekend with the Nationals. And it's good to see the Cubs letting teams think they have a chance sometimes.

Week in Preview: The boys in blue stay home for six more games, with the Padres and Pirates coming in for three each at the Friendly Confines. I will say that it would really stink to get to one of those games this week and have it be the one where they lose. You'd have to really feel lousy if you saw a loss right now. They just don't happen. And you'll have to take your W flag home and feel sad.

Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. Did you know that there's a site that covers the coming and goings on Matt every day? (Sadly, no such site for Matt Murton.)

As for the outfield this week, with Szczur on the DL, Jorge Soler had three starts in left, Kris Bryant had two, and new Cub Ryan Kalish had one. Jorge (Joe Maddon seems to call him George) went 2-for-14 for the week with one walk. He got a handful of pinch-hitting at-bats too. The average is .181 so far and the OBP .274. Not sure how a team that wins this many games can handle all that deadweight, but they are doing it.

Former Annoying Cub of the Week: The Cubs seemed to have made a solid move in trading Chris Coghlan late in the offseason. Currently Chris is batting .144 with a .230 OBP. Yikes. I can't say exactly why Coghlan bugged me last season with the Cubs, but he just kind of did. I just thought they could do a lot better. And they really have this season. Yeah, he is not missed.

Current Annoying Cub of the Week: Clayton Richard has been kinda looking like there was a reason the Cubs got him for basically nothing last year. I mean, they got him for cash, which is something to people like you and me, but cash is kind of like giving up a bucket of balls in major league baseball transactions. I think he'll be gone soon enough.

Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe kept the silly going this week, bringing in a mariachi band on Cinco de Mayo. I couldn't really tell if Dexter Fowler thought it was cool, or stupid, or just another silly thing, or it made him want to grab a taco before the game. But it seems like he was into it enough, and who couldn't go for a pre-game taco anyway?

Kubs Kalender: Fans attending Cubs games this week will receive jack squat. Yep, just a ballgame. But if you were to go to D.C., the Nationals are giving away Bryce Harper Bobbleheads. At first it might look like a home run trot he is posing for, but it's actually just him being intentionally walked again.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that at this pace Bryce Harper will never get another hit in his career.

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Marty Gangler is The Cub Factor. He welcomes your comments.

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