By John Lemon
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Friday, August 25, 2006
With the Cubs falling so far out of the playoff race early this season, it has given all the want-to-be general managers plenty of time to figure out how to fix the team for 2007.
Sign free agents Barry Zito and Carlos Lee. Decide how much you can count on Mark Prior. Determine which of the Cubs’ young arms and outfielders will stay.
One area the Cubs appear to be lacking is their on-base percentage. At .318 for the year, the Cubs are last in the National League by a wide margin and ahead of only Tampa Bay (.314) in the majors.
Manager Dusty Baker took his turn addressing the team’s problems Thursday, and he didn’t seem too worried about the lack of baserunners.
“On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage,” Baker said. “On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isn’t that great to me.”
Baker’s focus would be improving the team’s power. The Cubs are tied for 10th in the NL with 124 home runs.
“I think the problem we have to address as much as anything is the home run problem,” Baker said. “They have out-homered us 2-1 in our own ballpark. That’s the bigger problem.”