ATLANTA, July 5 (UPI) -- The Chicago Cubs Friday made Don Baylor the latest managerial casualty, firing him in the midst of his third season with the club.
Baylor, 53, had a year-and-a-half left on his contract with the team, which he took over in 2000. The Cubs were 34-49 this year and on pace to lose 90-plus games. They were 187-220 during Baylor's tenure.
Cubs President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Andy MacPhail, who also has been named to the owners' negotiating committee, announced the firing.
Baylor struggled this year to motivate the underachieving Cubs, who have ranked last in the Major Leagues in batting most of the season.
In an interview with MLB.com on Wednesday in Miami, Baylor said he hoped to continue to stay at the helm for the second half of the season.
"I'd like to," Baylor said at that time. "I'd like the players to think that just because you have one first half, it doesn't mean the second half has to be that way. The way that we kind of beat ourselves. We've left runners on base, runners on third, we've done a lot of things that we have to do better in the second half. That's my belief."
Baylor becomes the sixth manager in baseball fired this season.
"I don't sit around and think about 'Poor me,'" Baylor said when asked if all the rumors bothered him. "I think about how we can get these losses reduced. We talk about winning a series all the time. We talk about it, but we have to go out and show you can play with everybody in your division. It's kind of Jekyll and Hyde -- one time we do it and the next time we don't."
The Cubs have been among the biggest disappointments in baseball this season and are in fifth place in the National League Central Division with a 34-49 record.
The team announced that Bruce Kimm, who was managing the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate at Iowa of the Pacific Coast League, will take over the managerial duties on an interim basis, beginning on Saturday.
Kimm, who turned 51 on June 29, was in his second season as Iowa's manager and his seventh as a minor league manager. He led Iowa to a 44-45 mark this year, and his career minor league managerial record was 480-449.
The former big league catcher has 12 years as a Major League coach on his resume. He was part of the World Series champion Florida Marlins coaching staff in 1997.