With the team’s ERA skyrocketing, pitching has been one of many low points for the Cubs this season. Manager Dusty Baker seems to have the bullpen on speed dial, frequently going to the pen each game. In an effort to show that they are still trying real hard, the Cubs released transcripts of Baker’s emergency calls to the bullpen. Below are selected transcripts of his calls.

July 1, 2006; 6th Inning
Bullpen Operator (BO): Cubs bullpen, what is your emergency?
Dusty Baker (DB): It’s Maddux! The dude’s running out of gas out there!
BO: Calm down. How long has he been out there?
DB: I don’t know, man. Maybe seven innings or so.
BO: Seven innings? Christ! Rob, get Rusch up and ready! Dusty’s left the old man in too long again.
Dusty, you still there?
DB: Yeah, man.
BO: Just stay calm, help is on the way.
DB: Great, thanks dude.
BO: Anytime, Dusty. Rob, for crying out loud! Tell Rusch to quit gabbing with those girls in the third row and get ready!
[END CALL] July 4, 2006; 2nd Inning
BO: Cubs bullpen, what is your emergency?
DB: It’s Prior! He’s dying out there!
BO: Wait … what? It’s barely the second inning.
DB: Yeah, he’s really laboring, man. I need somebody else in there.
BO: No.
DB: What?
BO: You heard me. What’s my rule, Dusty?
DB: Aww man!
BO: Dusty, what’s my rule? We’ve talked about it a million times.
DB: You don’t talk to me about putting in relievers until at least the fourth inning or until you finish your coffee and Sudoku, whichever comes first.
BO: Good. Call back later.
DB: But …
[END CALL] July 4, 2006; 3rd Inning
BO: Cubs bullpen, what is your emergency?
DB: Hey man, I need to get Prior out of there. Who do we got?
BO: Who do we got? Nobody I’d recommend.
DB: Really? What do you suggest we do?
BO: Leave him in.
DB: But …
BO: Seriously, Dusty, what’s the worst that can happen? He gets hurt and we lose? That’s going to happen no matter who we send up there.
DB: Good call. We still golfing Thursday?
BO: You know it.
[END CALL] July 14, 2006; 6th Inning
BO: Cubs bullpen, what is your emergency?
DB: Hey man, Novoa is getting into some major trouble out there. Get Alfonseca up and ready.
BO: Um … what?
DB: You heard me, get …
BO: Yeah, I heard you Dusty but …
DB: Well what’s the problem then?
BO: Let’s see … maybe it’s that he doesn’t work here anymore?
DB: Really? Since when?
BO: Since three years ago.
DB: Wow. No way, man. I really liked that dude.
BO: Yeah, it’s a shame to lose that stellar ERA. Who do you want me to get ready then?
DB: Let’s go Joe then.
BO: Joe? Joe Borowski?
DB: Yeah. Why?
BO: Well, he doesn’t work here anymore either.
DB: Damn. Really?
BO: Yeah.
DB: Okay, how about Hawkins or Williamson?
BO: Nope. Neither.
DB: Remlinger?
BO: No.
DB: Koronka?
BO: No.
DB: Leicester?
BO: No. Are you kid …
DB: How about Farnsworth, Cruz or Hollandsworth?
BO: Wow. No. And Hollandsworth wasn’t even a pitcher.
DB: What? What about that kid from ‘Rookie of the Year’? Henry something?
BO: Rowengardner? Dusty, wow. You have got to be kidding me! He’s not even a real player! That was a movie!
DB: No way!
BO: Jeez. How about I get Howry up and ready?
DB: Who? Who’s that?

heckler editorial staff