Andre Dawson sees better days for Cubs

July, 2, 2012
7/02/12
9:34
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Andre Dawson may be depicted in a Montreal Expos cap in the Hall of Fame, but his six seasons with the Chicago Cubs, beginning with his MVP year in 1987, have always resonated deeply with him.

Currently serving in the Marlins organization as a special assistant to the president, Dawson has been keeping an eye on the Cubs as they try to turn things around under president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.

“I think they’re doing it the right way,” Dawson said on the “Waddle and Silvy” show on ESPN 1000 on Monday. “You give Theo the benefit of the doubt now. You know, we expect you to go in a certain direction, you have the keys, and however you’re going to do it, whatever time it takes, we expect certain things. And this is gonna play out, I think, for the better.”

Although the Cubs are still languishing in the NL Central cellar, they put two young players on the National League All-Star roster -- Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair. Dawson believes Castro has the skills to build a team around.

“I like what I’ve seen from Castro,” Dawson told the radio show. “I saw him when he first came up and I followed him and I see what he continues to do at still a very young age. He is one of the individuals that’s going to be the nucleus of your ballclub. [If] he continues to make his work ethic impeccable, be better than what he is, then you’re going to get some great things from him.”

Along with Castro’s early success, the progress of young starters Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood and the recent call-up of top prospect Anthony Rizzo indicate the Cubs have hope for better days ahead. The Cubs have gone 5-1 since Rizzo joined the team on Tuesday.

“This organization -- they got some young talent,” Dawson said. “I think once you get rid of all of the old salaries, the big money that has really come back to bite them you can move in that direction. I’m still a Cubs fan. This is a second home for me. I still follow the organization ... I’m looking forward to that day.”

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jake Arrieta
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.53 167 156
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .292
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167