Tagged: Jim Hendry

FUTURE OF THE CUBS

I know I like to write and talk a lot about the Cubs future.  I keep focusing on this hope that Theo & Co will put together not only a World Series Championship, but   build a dynasty with multiple championships.  Maybe it gets old to some and amuses others, but I truly believe we are building a foundation to grow on.

Over the last week, the Cubs have traded a minor league player to the Astros, Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers and Scott Feldman to the Orioles.  These trades allowed the Cubs some flexibility for the international signing pool as well as getting rid of Marmol.  Theo & Co. are on pace to exceed that maximum amount allowed this year in the international pool and may be penalized for next year’s pool.  I’m good with that if it’s true that we are getting 2 of the top international players in Eloy Jiminez (OF) and Gleyber Torres (SS).

Add the international signings with the draft strategy that the Cubs are using now that Jim Hendry is gone.  Speaking of Hendry, remember the 2010 1st Round Pick, Hayden Simpson?  Well, he has already been released from the independent Frontier League Southern Illinois Miners.  He pitched 7.1 innings and was unfortunately lit up.  His ERA was 15.95 with more walks than strikeouts.  Anyway, Theo & Co. are drafting with a strategy for the long haul in my opinion.  I like the direction the team is going.  Hopefully, we can sign Kris Bryant, our 1st Round Pick this year, soon.

Add these drafted players along with our international signings and I expect the Cubs to have one of the highest rated minor league systems in all of baseball.  Hopefully, that will eventually translate to wins at the Major League level.

In addition to the moves the moves that have already been made the Cubs  still have Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg, Alfonso Soriano and a handful of other players that are likely to get traded this month.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

Bottom line, I like the direction the Cubs are going.  I’m not completely sold on Theo’s approach, but I’m hopeful that it will work.

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Jim Hendry a Yankee Now

Even though I thought things got out of hand towards the end of Jim Hendry’s tenure with the Cubs I was happy to read today that he will be working for the Yankees as a special assignment scout.  Good move by the Yankees and glad to see Jim is back in baseball.  He had some good years with the Cubs, but it was definitely time for change.

Best of luck to Hendry in his new role.

MADDUX

Okay, this post is not about my newest son, Maddux.  It’s about Greg Maddux and to some extent, his brother Mike.  Last year, Greg was Special Assistant to the General Manager, Jim Hendry.  I really don’t know what Maddog was responsible for, but I like having him involved with the team in the front office.  Not only did he have a Hall of Fame career, but I feel he is one of those guys that knows a lot about the game.  I think he would make a great GM, Manager, scout or pitching coach.  Maybe I am giving him too much credit, but it’s just how I feel.

With all of that said, I am hoping that the Cubs find a way to keep him in the organization…..for multiple reasons.  I think a guy like him knows what it’s like to play all the day games at Wrigley Field and the toll it can take on a player during the season.  He could help educate younger players on how to approach the game on the field and off the field.  I would think with his resume, a majority of the younger players would definitely listen.  And now that his brother has interviewed for the job of manager of the Cubs it would please me to have both brothers working for the team.  And who knows, maybe they could convince Ryne Sandberg to be a bench coach for the team as well. Time will tell, but I have a feeling that Mike Maddux will be the next manager of the Cubs and Greg will have a job with the team.  Whether that job is on the field or in the front office doesn’t really matter to me.

On another note, I finally read the book “Moneyball”.  I loved it!  I would recommend it to anyone even if they were not a baseball fan like myself.  I look forward to watching the movie now.

WHAT A DAY!

Well, the Cubs have finally parted ways with GM Jim Hendry.  I would like to wish him the best.  He did help guide the Cubs to three appearances in the playoffs under his watch.  He made some great trades early in his tenure.  But his massive contracts to Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Kosuke Fukudome have hurt the Cubs tremendously.  I give him credit for the teams he put together when the Cubs were winning and I hold him accountable for the team he has assembled this year as well.  Thank you Mr. Hendry for your time with the Cubs.  I know you tried.

In December of 2010, I wrote two posts on Jim Hendry as our GM.  Here are the links to both posts.

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/20/a-closer-look-at-jim-hendry-part-i-free-agents/

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/21/a-closer-look-at-jim-hendry-part-ii-trade-history/

 

 

Now comes the hard part.  Who will the Ricketts family choose to replace Hendry.  I hope that Greg Maddux would want the job, but I’m not sure he does nor do I know if he would be able to do it.  I would like to believe that Maddux would be a great GM and lead the Cubs to the World Series.  He was a special assistant to Hendry so I’m guessing he won’t even be considered for the position.  I think the Ricketts family will be looking for a GM with more experience.  Time will tell.

Finally, today the Cubs won a great game over our Arch Rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.  The game was won in extra innings with Tyler Colvin knocking in the game’s winning run.  This game was unique though.  I’ve watched a lot of Cub games this year and they’ve seemed a bit flat as a team.  Today was different.  When Colvin drove in Soto to win the game the Cubs celebrated as if they had clinched the division.  It was pure joy and excitement.  I don’t know why it seemed different today, but it did.  Maybe it was a tribute to Hendry.  Maybe it was because the clubhouse downer, Carlos Zambrano, wasn’t there.  Maybe it’s because the Cubs had fun playing baseball today.   Whatever it was, I know I enjoyed today’s game.  The Cubs never gave up and their excitement at the end of the game was refreshing.

Oh wow, just turned on the Little League World Series game between Pennsylvania and Kentucky and there is over 41,000 people in attendance.  WHAT A DAY!!!!

 

 

 

THOME AND MORE

First, I am really excited to see Jim Thome reach 600 homeruns.  He did it the right way in my opinion.  I have never suspected him of using PEDs to reach this historic number.  Thome and Griffey, Jr. are the two players from the steroid era that I believe did not cheat.  Maybe I am being naive, but I believe strongly in both players abilities without the use of steroids or any other PED.  With that said, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! JIM THOME!!!!!

On to some Cub news.  It appears the Cubs are going to keep GM Jim Hendry.  I don’t like it necessarily unless he can regain some of his magic that he used when acquiring Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.  His history of trades has been decent but his big free agent signings and even one of his big contract extensions have been busts.  Kosuke Fukudome, Alfosno Soriano and Carlos Zambrano are all players that received nice contracts from Hendry.  That’s not good.

I still wish the Ricketts family would make Greg Maddux GM.  Imagine him bringing his brother, Mike Maddux, over from Texas as our new pitching coach.  That would be great!  I trust Maddux and would love to see him as our GM some day soon.

While the Cubs have been playing better baseball as of late I am not sold on our potential roster for 2012.  I know it’s early, but Ricketts and Hendry better come up with a serious game plan for the future.

TRADE DEADLINE AND FRUSTRATION

I must admit that I was disappointed the Cubs were not more active this year as the trade deadline approached.  I like the trade of Fukudome to the Indians.  I hope he is able to help them out.  I would love to seen the Cubs do an overhaul on their roster.  I felt Marlon Byrd should have been traded to a contender such as the Braves.  I was hoping that Soriano would have been traded to an AL team and I really felt that reuniting Carlos Zambrano with former pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, in New York would have helped the Yankees.  I was surprised that we weren’t more active.  I also expected Carlos Pena to get traded to the Pirates.  Instead, former Cub D. Lee was.  I will be rooting for him to do well except when he plays the Cubs.  Last night Lee homered twice, but the Cubs still managed to win.

Maybe Jim Hendry and the Cubs believe that this team will be able to compete next year with a few minor tweaks.  I hope that is the case, but I’m not sure at this point.  I haven’t been impressed with Hendry for a while now and I am disappointed with Mike Quade’s performance as manager.  It really makes this Cub fan angry for not hiring Ryne Sandberg!!!!

I think the Phillies acquisition of Hunter Pence was a great move and Carlos Beltran will definitely help the Giants.  I did not like the Cardinals move of trading away Colby Rasmus.  I understand he has wanted to be traded for a while, but the Cards traded him while his value was low.  Bad move in my opinion.  I think Edwin Jackson is a young pitcher with lots of potential and Dave Duncan may be able to turn him around, but he is also a free agent at the end of this season.  So, they traded away the “heir” to Jim Edmonds for some rentals.

The Cubs need to play some good baseball the last two months of this season so I can regain some of my hope for next year.  The fact that Hendry is probably going to begin next year with the same roster is frightening unless several players start turning things around soon.

HENDRY, PUJOLS AND MY CUB/CARDINAL RIVALRY

jim-hendry-hugs-albert-pujols 1.jpg

Okay, I know I haven’t said anything lately about Albert Pujols.  I’ve tried my best to abstain talking about him.  Yet, the events that have occurred this week have forced my hand.  Evidently, Jim Hendry and Albert Pujols are good friends.  Before the opening game of this week’s series between the Cubs and Cards the two men shared some pleasantries.  jim-hendry-hugs-albert-pujols 2.jpg
If Jim Hendry’s friendship with the Cardinal slugger enables the Cubs to sign him next off-season I would be surprised.  I am not buying into the hype that the relationship these two men have is going to cause Pujols to leave St. Louis and come play for the Cubs. 

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However, I could be wrong.  It may be a hint of what is to come. I seriously doubt it, but I’ve been known to be wrong quite a bit in my life.  Just ask my wife, she will tell you! 
Believe it or not, I think Pujols should stay in St. Louis and finish his career as a Cardinal.  The truly greatest players for me are the ones that play their entire career for one organization.  Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Robin Yount and Mike Schmidt to name a few, are some of the guys that played for 1 team and are Hall of Famers.  I guess this soap opera will continue throughout the season and won’t be decided until November.  Until then, baseball fans will have something very interesting to talk about.
On another note, my personal Cub/Cardinal rivalry continues.  I took my 3 year old son to pre-k this morning.  Both of us had Cub jerseys on.  As my son entered his classroom the teacher said good morning.  My son was distracted by his friends already in the classroom and did not respond to his teacher.  Immediately, a father of one of the other children says, “That’s the manners of a Cub fan for you”…..I do not know this man who thought he was being funny. But it did aggravate me that a grown man would take a cheap shot at a 3 year old kid who was wearing a Cubs jersey.  For the record, this man had a Cardinal t-shirt on so I believe he is a Cardinals fan.  Anyway, I gave the man my Forrest Gump Alabama stare without saying anything to him.  I think he got the point.  That’s just another example of a Cub fan living in Cardinal territory.  I am certain that Cardinal fans living in Cub territory have experienced similar interactions.  Maybe I am too sensitive, but I cannot stand stupid comments like that.