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Fired for stating the truth?!?


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Criticism of Cubs' Baker may cost Stone his job

 

October 2, 2004

 

BY MIKE KILEY Staff Reporter Advertisement

 

 

Steve Stone's position as the Cubs' television color analyst could be in jeopardy after he criticized manager Dusty Baker on Thursday night on WGN Radio for having "a very bad game" against the Cincinnati Reds that afternoon.

 

Baker said he also felt Stone personally attacked him with his strident questioning on the Fox Sports Net postgame show after the 2-1, 12-inning loss to the Reds.

 

Stone disagreed with Baker's decision to pitch Mike Remlinger against the Reds' Adam Dunn in the 12th. He also thought Javier Valentin, whose double scored Dunn with the decisive run, should have been intentionally walked.

 

In his comments on WGN Radio, Stone said: "If you want to put it delicately, it wasn't Dusty's finest hour. I thought he managed a very bad baseball game. . . ."

 

Stone said Friday he was surprised by speculation he could lose his job. He has been a Cubs broadcaster since 1983, except for a hiatus in 2001-02. "I wish to remain a Cubs broadcaster. I love Chicago. The fans are the best. The organization has been wonderful to me."

 

Stone and Baker met earlier this season over complaints Stone was being too critical. Baker said he felt they settled their differences, but friends of Stone know he didn't appreciate that Baker refused to stop his players' verbal attacks on Stone.

 

Stone met before Friday's game with team president Andy MacPhail, general manager Jim Hendry and Baker. "I think we have resolved everything," he said. "I had a very nice conversation with Dusty. We talked and are on the same page."

 

With the Cubs on the verge of elimination from any playoff hopes, Baker was taken aback by Stone's timing. "If it's something personal, you talk about it with somebody instead of broadcasting it to everyone else," Baker said.

 

Hendry said there must be some discussion about how Stone can coexist with Baker and the team. "You are certainly entitled to your opinion constructively," Hendry said. ". . . But we went past constructive criticism of how the game was managed. It was pretty clear it was personal. That's an inappropriate way to go."

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