Three years ago on the final weekend of the season, the Chicago Cubs were zeroing in on a division title and Dusty Baker was the toast of the city.
A familiar slogan seen around Wrigley Field read, "In Dusty, We Trusty.'' Now with three games left in one of the worst seasons of his managerial career, Baker's contract is about to expire, and daily speculation centers on who will replace him.
General Manager Jim Hendry said months ago that Baker's status would be determined at the end of the season.
Baker sounds Friday like a man who knows he's not coming back, even if he doesn't have the official word.
He says he knows the reality of the situation, but he adds that there's a difference between being beaten up and beaten down. He says a little cryptically that "You can beat me up, but you can't beat me down.''