Hendry: Baker's job secure with Cubs

Hendry: Baker's job secure with Cubs

NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Friday that manager Dusty Baker's job is not in jeopardy.

"I hired Dusty in my first year and I felt we had the right guy," Hendry said. "I'm confident we have the right guy."

Baker signed a four-year contract with the Cubs in November 2002, and has led the Cubs to back-to-back winning seasons. The team has not performed as well this season as some expected, and Baker has been rumored to be interested in other jobs, most recently the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baker vehementally denied the rumor.

"He's certainly in good standing with me," Hendry said. "I completely believe him when he says there's nothing to the Dodger story. When I walked in his office [that day], he was trying to call [Dodgers manager] Jim Tracy. He wasn't happy about the rumors. I think it's unfair to the club and to him that these things are being run rampant with, when he's made no overtures to wanting out.

"We have a very upfront, honest relationship," Hendry said. "We're not playing as well as we all would've hoped but that's certainly not a reflection on his standing with me as a general manager as far as managing our club."

Veteran reliever Mike Remlinger, who was designated for assignment on Friday, said the manager always takes the heat.

"If this team doesn't do what it's supposed to do, then it's going to come down to him, and that's the nature of the game," Remlinger said. "I don't have any simple answers. I don't think you can criticize any aspect of Dusty's managing. But for whatever reason, things haven't clicked."

The Cubs have had to battle through plenty of injuries, but besides needing to be resilient, why else can't they win?

"We've all been asking ourselves that question a lot the last couple months," Remlinger said. "I don't know. It's not like you have only a couple people on this team who carry you. You've got a large group of quality, quality guys and that makes it that much harder to understand the lack of success.

"The good side, you're five games back [in the Wild Card race]," he said. "The bad side is there are teams piling up ahead between you and the top and when that happens in the Wild Card and they're not in your division, that's hard to do. I still think Houston is the best team in the Wild Card and [the Cubs] have a lot of games left against Houston."

The Cubs entered Friday's game against the New York Mets at 54-54.

"There's still a third of the season to go, and the most exciting part is left," Baker said. "Until you're mathematically eliminated, you're never out. We've still got plenty of action."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.