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Tuesday, August 10

Open Letter to the Manager of the Chicago Cubs

August 10th, 2004

Mr. Johnnie "Dusty" Baker
Manager, Chicago Cubs
1060 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613-4397

Dear Mr. Baker,

I would like to respectfully request that you do something different with Sammy Sosa.

I have no reason to believe that you do not want what we all want, which is to win as many games as possible, to make the playoffs, and to eventual win the World Series. I am a great admirer of your track record of winning with the Giants, and last year, with our team. I was very happy when you were hired to manage the ball club, and I was very pleased when you took the 2002 team, worked in several mid-year acqusitions, and came within 5 outs of a pennant.

Also, please do not count me amongst those who blame you for what happened during games 6 and 7 of last year's NLCS. I myself might have had Matt Clement ready to pitch relief in game 7, but I have no way of knowing how ready he was to take on such a task, only you could know that. I'm not sure there was anything your could have done anyway; it was the Marlins' year, and I am a firm believer in many of the things you place your trust in, such as karma, pre-destination, and luck.

What seems to happen a lot, though, with human beings who work so closely with one thing for such a long time, is that sometimes you get TOO close, and what may seem simple from the outside, appears much more complex to the people on the inside. Now, it is possible that there may be problems with the team that we do not know about. Probably not, since the media does a good job at finding and dissecting everything it possibly can, and there doesn't seem to be any 'curtains' anymore where issues are hidden for decency's sake, as there was when you played.

All I am saying is, from where I sit, as a very interested observer, student of the game of baseball, and rabid Cub fan since I was out of diapers...Sammy Sosa is shitting all over the team, our chances, and most of all, your authority.

You and Gary Matthews have tried to coach him, but he refuses to heed your suggestions. He will not accept a demotion in the batting order, and will not accept anything less than what he has always done, which is to do it HIS way, regardless of its impact on the team. He is openly jealous of the fact that your boss, Jim Hendry, has brought in another superstar player, Nomar Garciaparra, a move that cannot be construed as anything but a positive attempt to win games.

If it were anyone else on the team, you would act quickly and decisively. You compare Sammy to Barry Bonds, but in case you haven't figured this out by now, and my apologies if you have, but Sammy is NOT Barry. Barry accepts his role on the team, he plays situational baseball when needed, without being told, and although he is arrogant and aloof, he places his team values above his own as he executes his job. Sammy does not, never has, never will, and he has no reason to believe that his way is not the best way, because nobody has ever had the courage to tell him otherwise and re-inforce it with action.

If he will not respect YOU, with your proven track record of winning, he will not respect anyone. You have given him every chance to succeed, and you have done your due diligence in researching every angle of the situation. Unless you want to lose the season, waste the efforts of every other person in the entire organization, and lose the everlasting respect of your players, staff, and management, you MUST SIT SAMMY DOWN NOW!! Tom Goodwin would have gotten at least one base hit in San Francisco, sir, and that is the question you have to ask yourself as you let Sosa drive you down the path to despair.

I can be reached at, if you wish to correspond further about my thoughts. Thank you for your time.


Rob Letterly
Mendota, IL