How Close You Were, Dusty

Ah, such a rite of fall: The ritualistic execution of baseball managers. It always is a fun day, the day right after the baseball season ends, because managers just get picked off left and right. It's only a matter of time until Florida, bewilderingly, cans Joe Girardi, but we're gonna look at Cubs skipper Dusty Baker, who all but confirmed his Cubs days are over.

"I'm gone. I won't be back," Baker said Sunday after the Cubs completed a last-place season with an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. "Somebody's got to take the blame, and it might as well be me."

It's amazing to us just how close Baker came to becoming a Ditka-esque legend in Chicago. (He, frankly, wasn't so far off in San Francisco either.) One half-inning changes — you might remember that half-inning — and the guy would never buy a meal in Chicago again. Now? The team president resigns, Baker is run out of town and the Cubs are worse off than they ever were. We would never, ever become a baseball manager.

Baker: "I'm Gone, I Won't Be Back [Chicago Tribune]