Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Now that I got my extension...

By Paul Sullivan
Tribune staff reporter
September 5, 2005, 8:42 PM CDT

It took 137 games for Dusty Baker's patience to run out.But the Cubs manager finally had seen enough Monday after watching his players miss several signs that helped pave the way to a 6-4 loss to St. Louis at Busch Stadium.

Afterward, Baker criticized mental lapses by Jerry Hairston, Ronny Cedeno and Todd Walker, who all missed signs."We keep going over them and over them and over them," Baker fumed. "It seems like the same guys are missing signs. You keep going over them, but you ought to have the signs by Sept. 5."

Hairston responded: "Obviously, you don't want to [miss signs]. But make no mistake about it. That's not why we lost."

The problems began in the fifth when Walker was caught stealing on the first pitch after a leadoff walk, apparently believing a hit-and-run was on with Henry Blanco at the plate. Walker blamed himself for the mistake."He put the sign on," Walker said, referring to third base coach Chris Speier. "I'm not making stuff up. He just took it off as the sequence went on, and I didn't see it. I'm not sure if that impacted whether we won or lost, but ..."


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