Baylor was a LOT of the problem. Don absolutely refused to give youngsters a chance. Shoot, he had Corey Patterson platooning with Rosey Brown this year in his last month. Before the platoon, Rosey hadn't played and Patterson was hitting over .300. Then Don decided to platoon. Corey's dropped to .275 now, and Brown is hitting a miserable .194. He kept Jeff Fassero, the vet, on the roster, leaving no space for better prospects like Jesus Sanchez, Scott Chiasson. Despite Julio Zuleta developing into a very nice player, he decided to go with the older players, and basically told Zuleta he wasn't wanted. Julio was hitting great and could have become a very nice player. Now he'd refused to play for Baylor and the Cubs are trying to sell him to Japan. He sent Bobby Hill down to AAA in favor of the older Delino DeShields, despite Hill having just started heating up and Delino saying that Hill should be on the roster and that he was willing to stay on the DL to keep him there. Don just wouldn't give the youngsters a chance. I am VERY, VERY glad he is gone. Oh, another thing... I've been watching the Cubs for years now, and trust me, they are not very good at laying down the sacrifice bunts, and they're a HORRIBLE hit and run team. An alarming stat: The Cubs are on pace to lead the majors in sacrifice hits for the fourth consecutive year. Holy hell, Don Baylor has called for sacs in some of the WORST situations... GOD it pisses me off.
I am SO glad he's gone. Memo to Bruce: GIVE THE YOUNGSTERS A SHOT! Even ESPN SAID THE CUBS HAVE THE BEST MINOR LEAGUE SYSTEM IN BASEBALL!
Look at the future:
Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Juan Cruz, Jon Lieber, Matt Clement, Robert Brownlie, Luke Hagerty, Andy Sisco, Ben Christensen... ALL are good enough to be in any team's rotation! The Cubs could have one of the best, if not top three in the league, rotations, in two years! And, Carlos Zambrano is going to be a STUD closer.
In the field:
2000 number three overall pick, at shortstop, Luis Montanez, has been playing better lately, and he's only 20! Give him another year and he's ready! A guy that Don refused to call up, even though he's ready, first baseman Hee Seop Choi has monster power! Bobby Hill is the guy Peter Gammons said would develop into the best leadoff hitter in the national league! Corey Patterson was the number one prospect in baseball in center field! We have Dave Kelton at third, a guy with very nice potential. Left field could be where Nic Jackson plays; yet another very good hitting prospect. If we get a good catcher, our future is right in front of our faces! Don't screw it up!