The Cubs finally announce the firing of General Manager Jim Hendry today after more than nine years on the job. Spending oodles of money without much return suggest the move is hardly unexpect though reports surfaced in recent days that Hendry’s job was safe.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts issued the following statement:
“My family and I appreciate Jim’s dedication during our time with the Cubs and thank him for his overall 17 years of service to the Cubs organization,” said Ricketts. “It is time for a fresh approach in our baseball leadership and our search begins immediately for our next general manager.”
Not many people are happy about the decision to remove Hendry, “many people” being fans of the Brewers, Pirates, Reds and Cardinals. Astros fans aren’t happy because, you know, the Astros. Dustin Parkes is also reportedly dispondent over the loss of his favorite whipping boy.
The wild spending and mishandling of the Carlos Zambrano situation obscures the early success the Cubs experienced under Hendry’s stewardship. After playoff berths in 2003, 2007, and 2008, Hendry was one Bartman away from Brian Sabean General Manager For Life status.
For all his success, I cannot think of a single contributing player the Cubs developed on their own. Carlos Marmol doesn’t really count, I’m afraid.
Hendry now indicates he was notified of his dismissal nearly three weeks ago but stayed on board to sign his draft picks, which is a shocking and stand-up thing to do. Hendry was frank in a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times about his time in Chicago:
“At end of the day, I’m not going to leave here with any problems,” Hendry said. “Tom Ricketts is a good man. We just didn’t win enough games.”
Impressive stuff in the face of his dismissal. Hendry leaves as the third longest-serving GM in Cubs history. The Cubs won more more game than they lost (749-748 ) under his watch which, for the Cubs, isn’t all that bad. He worked with the club since November 1994.
The Cubs hand the interim job to AGM Randy Bush, most famous for being a pinch hitter for most of his playing career, too. Whomever takes this job inherits quite a mess, with holes and ugly contracts scattered like cans of Old Style in the Wrigley bleachers. Isn’t as though the next guy will lack the funds to spend his way out of this mess, that’s for sure. If there is one thing the Cubs know, it’s throwing good money after bad.