Cubs GM Hendry to mull Baker's future over break

The Dusty Baker era could be entering its final days with the Chicago Cubs.

Dusty Baker Baker

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry told Chicago reporters Tuesday he would use the four-day All-Star break to decide whether an overhaul, which could include firing manager Baker, is in order.

"I'll spend a lot of time over the break not just with the way the situation is, but with your own players. I'll sit back and reflect on the first half," Hendry told reporters.

"You are getting ready to go into a month where you have to evaluate what you have. You want to give everyone a fair chance to succeed," he said.

Baker met with Hendry on Wednesday and felt "comfortable" about his job status. Baker was confident he would be given the chance to rescue the season.

"We need to win, that's no secret," Baker said. "Yeah, I feel comfortable. A lot of other people don't feel comfortable, but I feel comfortable."

Tuesday's 7-2 loss to Houston dropped the Cubs to 23 games under .500 at 30-53. Chicago is just two games out of last place in the NL Central and 15½ games behind the first-place Cardinals.

Early injuries to Derrek Lee, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood have contributed to the Cubs' struggles. But the Cubs have scored the fewest runs of any NL team and have the second-highest ERA.

"We're all frustrated. It's all our faults," Baker said. "We're not exactly tearing it up in any department. We've just got to do a better job, that's all."

Among the candidates speculated to replace Baker, if he is fired, are former managers Lou Piniella, Tom Kelly, Jimy Williams and Gene Lamont and Braves third base coach Fredi Gonzalez.

Baker, whose contract is set to expire after the season, is 286-283 with the Cubs.

The Cubs were buried by errors last season and finished 79-83. Baker has taken heat for the Cubs' collapse against in the 2003 NLCS -- when they were five outs from the pennant before losing Games 6 and 7 to the Florida Marlins -- and for various comments he has made.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.