Baker, Alou fired on first day of offseason

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker is out as the Chicago Cubs' manager following a last-place finish and a failure to take the team to the World Series in his four years.

The Cubs made the announcement Monday, a day after team president Andy MacPhail resigned and the club finished with a 66-96 record.

"I wish we could have gotten it done but we didn't," Baker said. "You see four years come to pass very quickly."

Baker was in the last season of his $14 million-to-$15 million deal and had hoped to resurrect the franchise that hadn't been in the World Series since 1945 and hadn't won one since 1908. The Cubs got within five outs of the Series in 2003, but never came close after that.

He compiled a 322-326 record during his time in Chicago.

Baker left the San Francisco Giants after leading them to the 2002 World Series, and almost guided the Cubs there in 2003.

Giants fire Alou

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants cut ties with manager Felipe Alou, a day after the team finished its second straight losing season.

The change had been expected for some time, with the 71-year-old Alou's contract expiring. He said he would like to stay in baseball in 2007, possibly with the Giants, the franchise that signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 1955.

After winning 100 games and the NL West in his first season in 2003, the Giants did not make the playoffs in Alou's final three years. He had a 76-85 mark in 2006, ending his tenure with a 342-304 record.

-- The Associated Press

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