July 2, 2010

The Daily Brief: Baker Chides the Cubs

Last Game
The Reds began a 4-game series in Chicago against the Cubs and won in extras 3-2. Travis Wood was excellent in his first start, but Nick Masset was shaky and forced the team into extras. But in extras on the road, the Reds are undefeated. It’s like they like defying the odds or something.

Next Game
Bronson Arroyo takes the mound to keep the winning continuing. The Cubs send out former sucktastic Red Ryan Dempster. Game-time is 2:20pm EDT.

Baker’s Thoughts on Chicago
The Cincinnati Enquirer got some good quotes from Reds manager Dusty Baker about his time managing the Cubs. You know, the team he managed before the Reds that hasn’t won a world championship in 102 years (and counting).

“It’s tough, and the No. 1 reason it’s tough is because nobody lets anything go of the past,” Baker said. “Everybody’s still counting. I was here four out of the 100 years. You talk to most people, they act like I was here the whole 100 years. I’m only 61 years old.”

It’s a great quote, and gets to some of the dysfunction in Chicago. They are forever tied to that number, to that long history of missing it by that much.

Baker mentions how he focuses on the present and the future, which is good, but I think he does it too much, like the Cubs focus too much on the past. One should never be crippled by the past or regret, but it does have a handy way of providing lots of opportunities to learn. Given Baker’s teams continued lack of production at the top of the order, one might think that examining some past failures would be worthwhile. At least now Brandon Phillips is leading off. His Not Out Percentage of 37% certainly blows the 29% of Orlando Cabrera out of the water. Too bad Cabrera hits 2nd.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds have now won their last 9 extra-inning road games. This dates back to June 2009 and includes 5 such games this year. This sets a new club record, breaking the previous high mark by the 1944-45 Reds. The longest such streak in Major League history was by the 1997-2000 New York Yankees, who won 14 in a row.

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