Hendry Extension Appears Imminent

Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune and Mike Kiley in the Sun-Times are reporting that the Cubs and Jim Hendry will begin negotiating a contract extension for the GM today or Wednesday, with a deal expected to be in place possibly as early as Thursday. Kiley believes the first question Hendry will be asked at the expected Thursday news conference is whether he plans on giving Dusty Baker an extension, but I would be a lot more interested in asking Hendry: 1. Does he think he is--or is not-- going to be able to get Derrek Lee to agree to a contract extension past 2006 in the next few days, and if he can't, does that push the issue to end of the season? and 2. Does he plan on approaching Aramis Ramirez about giving up his player option for 2007 (possibly in return for the Cubs guaranteeing the club option part of the mutual option for 2009, plus tacking on another year worth somewhere around $13-$14mil at the end of the contract)?.
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The last 2 years....
1) Spend 200 million dollars
2) Get destroyed in your division by 37 games
3) Fail to get quality players to improve glaring holes

Reward: Contract extension for being a dumbass at your job. Priceless.

The Chicago Cubs, where accountability is meaningless.

I like it. I like the stability of it all. Hendry is a good baseball man. I don't love him either, but I think he grasps the big picture better than say, Jim Frey.

He'd be wise to wait at least a month on any decision regarding Dusty.

I agree I think Hendry has done a good job so far. As for Baker? I'm not so much a Baker basher as most of you are because quite honestly no manager in baseball would've won the past two years with these teams and the injuries we've endured. BUT! I'd wait until the ASB.

It's the right move. Hendry is not perfect, but to say he should be let go is very shortsighted. He is a fantastic dealmaker (although his record in that regard is of course not perfect).

Unlike many GM's, his best deals are those he has NOT made (Hampton, Beltran, Benitez, Kolb, Pecival, Thome, Lowell, Hillenbrand come to mind). The Thome, Hampton and Betran deals in particular would have set the franchise back several years, based on their asking prices at the time.

As a Cardinal fan, I applaud this move!

:)

ROBB: you're a dork

I'd certainly rather have hendry than walt jocketty...

And if we listened to the hendry bashers here we'd end up with some fool like kevin malone who would spend tons of money on any name FA available in order to impress the "fans" who equate action with progress.

433, you can add Percival to that mix as well...and Hendry DID go after him despite the fact that he was already an injury risk at that time. Plus, you don't really know how many of those guys Hendry did attempt to sign and got vetoed by Fitzsimmons(the tower) or McPhail...Hendry doesn't have free reign like Kenny Williams does so I wouldn't put his non-signs into the plus column on his resume.

ESPN1000 also claims that the extention is likely to get done by the start of the home opener.

Personally I'd rather see Hendry in a scouting and/or player development role myself but unless there are some unexpected openings in other organizations I can't think of a more qualified GM for the job..I would just prefer a one year extention and hope that one of these years the starters are healthy and we can see what Hendry can do when he's not tied down by an expiring contract from a steroids abuser and physical breakdowns of the starting rotation. I'd probably rather have Steve Stone fill the job...yes I'm serious. With all the movement of assistants to GMs like Esptein, Hart, Shapiro this past off season, the well is pretty dry for the types of GMs I'd want. I'd prefer a guy like Mark Shapiro or Riccardi myself but I wouldn't want DePodesta or a complete saber guy who doesn't even consider defense or character either.

I just hope this extention isn't a precursor to a Baker extention because quite frankly I can't deal with one more year of The Dude let alone another 3 years.

Couldn't agree more, Phil. Why is Hendry meeting with McPhail now when Cubs fans want to see DLee extended first? If Hendry can't get DLee extended soon, like within the week, that's another strike against him in my book.

Honestly, though, I don't know who out there would be much better than Hendry. Maybe Kim Ng?

I'd certainly rather have hendry than walt jocketty...

Not everyone would agree with you there.

I'd give Hendry an extension on the condition that he find another manager.

Jocketty is SOOOOO overrated. Show me some brilliant moves he has made. Losing Edgar Renteria and getting David Eckstein? WOW! Show me where he spun Bobby Hill into Aramis Ramirez.

re: jocketty

other than the rolen trade (which was more a failure on ed wade's part than anything else), I can't get real excited about anything jocketty's done recently.

mark mulder doesn't appear to be worth what they gave for him...they give ray king away because the bully manager doesn't like him...and they "replace" larry walker and reggie sanders with...john rodriguez and juan encarnacion? david eckstein and junior spivey up the middle? sidney ponson is the #5 starter?

yikes.

The Hendry equation is complex, but the way I crunch it down, he deserves the extension. As for a Dusty extension, let The Dude prove a few things over the next two months.

I agree with 433 that one of Hendry's best traits is not making certain deals. While it is flashy to sign the big names to the big contracts, it also hinders a team's ability to sign other players. As we learned last year, it is nice to have decent backup players.

I like the way Hendry has handled DLee and A-Ram. He found value in good, young players and is building a team around them. I'm also a fan of the Todd Walker deal...good bang for the buck. Hendry overpaid for Eyre and Howry, but those annual salaries and contract lengths are no where near crippling.

Has Hendry made mistakes? Of course. But I haven't seen him make a fatal one. Overall, I like his "batting average" and "plate discipline".

Cubbie Fan: No, Robb is not a dork!

He is a loser!

Anyway, the Cards have their own problems so if I was "Robbie," (let's call him Robbie!), I would worrry about my own house. Boy, those Cards look soooooo tough at the corner outfield positions and, well, let's throw in second base and short while we are at it. Oh, I forgot, Eckstein is a major force, okay, yeah, whatever. Yawn.

Robbie or Rubby?

Jockety did sign Carpenter off of the scrap heap though so that is his definite plus...whomever is responsible for originally signing Pujols should get as much credit as anyone. Jockety gets no pat on the back for signing Edmonds either because McGwire is more responsible for him coming to STL than Jockety. At this point, I'd take Haren and Calero over Mulder as well. Going into a new ballpark and cutting payroll doesn't seem to add up either but that probably is on ownership rather than Jockety. I'd definitely take Hendry over Walt

Noodle, good point about the Walker deal -- we shouldn't overlook that. Hendry negotiated a $2.5 million option for Walker for 2006, which turned out to be a very shrewd deal. $2.5 million for Walker!

Another recent overlooked non-deal was Nomar. Hendry decided against offering Nomar an incentive-laden deal for 2006, a decision that was criticized by many. That choice is looking wiser by the day with the report that Nomar is about to go on the DL again.

And let's not forget Hendry's knack for avoiding arbitration with players, a process that usually causes bitterness and alienates a team's own players.

Hendry has weaknesses, but I'll continue to take my chances with a guy who generally makes wise free agent choices and rings up the occasional stunning trade (Karros/Grudz, Ramirez, Lee, Nomar/Murton). There are many GM's in baseball who don't have even a single trade like that on their resume.

Oh and Rolen grew up a Cards fan in central Indiana so no props for Walt on that signing either. Rolen wanted to be there.

if I was a Cards fan I would without a doubt applaud the extension to Hendry if it led to an extension of Dusty. I don't think Robb is a dork. Just a happy fan.

"those Cards look soooooo tough at the corner outfield positions and, well, let's throw in second base and short "

Kind of can say the same about the Cubs. But I believe Napoleon Dynamite(Murton)has a bigger upside over Sooooooooo Taguchi.

Can someone tell me what the actual Cub payroll was the last two years? We're always throwing the 100 million a year around but have they actually spent that much? I thought it might be a little lower. And, of course, last year a lot was spent on the O's rightfielder.

Has anyone been paying attention to Thome? He has been on an absolute TEAR. HR in the opener and another today. Including spring training, I think he has about 10 HR in the last 9 games. Sick.

From what I have heard in the MSM is that the Lee deal is close. Hendry probably just wants the 1st annoucement of his 2nd contract to be he has re-upped Dlee. As for Ramirez I would let the season play out before any contract talks take place. He said the day Ram was was signed last year that if Ram earned his way to be paid more he pay it. For all we know he could Nomar his groin and we could be stuck with a large contract with him when he cant be relied on to stay healthy which knowing Hendry's caution on long-term deals is probably his thinking.

The Cubs payroll for 2005 was ~86 million not counting the money we paid Sosa to go away to the East Coast.

Chris writes, "other than the rolen trade (which was more a failure on ed wade's part than anything else), I can't get real excited about anything jocketty's done recently."

True, he hasn't come up with the big deals or big signings that attract attention. The Cards' minor-league system is rated near the bottom; and every year begins with predictions that this must be the year when it all falls apart.

No, Jocketty doesn't do anything particularly smart. All he does is win. That's all.

I like Hendry; but I could do with a little of Jocketty's kind of incompetence with the Cubs.

No one disputes Thome is a great hitter...the question is can he play anywhere close to 162 games? If so Kenny Williams has won the lottery lol

I am very disappointed right now with Hendry/McPhail ability to get a quality ace pitcher. Not extending Hendry and firing Baker would not solve the Cubs basic problem which starts at the top with McPhail and the Tribune company. Making money is their primary object as good businessmen, not winning pennants. And that would be okay except they believe making money can be just as well done by cheating and misleading the fans. Which is why the mood has gotten rather ugly the last 3 years. The Cubs had an excellent chance (they were leading the wild card by two games going into the last week of the season) to get in the playoffs in 2004, despite the injuries, but they managed to blow it. By 2005, they knew Prior and Wood were what they were, or at least should have known it and should have made a plan. They did not.

Jocketty has consistently kept the Cardinals a contending team the lat 10 years. Ditto with the folks down in Houston. Both teams have pretty much won all the divisions the last ten years except for 2003. And they both have won wildcards places during that time (Houston's pitching making them very dangerous in the playoffs despite a pretty lousy farm system. Jocketty, Ken Williams, Bill Stoneman with the Angels, and of course Schuerholz in Atlanta, they have all proved they can do something that McPhail and Hendry have not been able to do, establish team that every year contends, not pretends.

Fire the Tribune Company, I say. Sell their stock and don't buy tickets at these outrageous hockey game prices they are now charging.

Jockety gets no pat on the back for signing Edmonds either because McGwire is more responsible for him coming to STL than Jockety.

I doubt that Mark McGwire had the power to trade Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy for Edmonds.

Making money is their primary object as good businessmen, not winning pennants. And that would be okay except they believe making money can be just as well done by cheating and misleading the fans.

Sorry but that theory is just plain wrong even if it is widely held. I think they really want to win. Losing is embarrassing and no matter how much Cubstuff they sell, they'd sell twice as much if the Cubs win the pennant.

McFail wants to win. Hendry wants to win. Evil Dusty wants to win. The players want to win.
The Trib is spending enough to win pennants, they just aren't a good enough baseball organization to
ever actually do it.

"I doubt that Mark McGwire had the power to trade Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy for Edmonds"

McGuire picked him up at the airport.

I can't agree with all of the people calling for McPhail's head. He isn't responsible for game strategy--that's Baker--and he isn't responsible for roster construction--that's Hendry. He's responsible for the overall management of the Cubs organization, and from where I sit he's done a pretty good job: the farm system seems much improved from where it was a decade ago; the payroll is one of the highest in the NL; ticket sales and team popularity are at an all-time high; Wrigley is being gradually modernized without sacrificing much of its traditional charm; and perhaps most importantly, the Cubs are taken seriously each year as legitimate competitors.

He certainly isn't perfect; off the top of my head, hiring Baker and the Caray/Stone fiasco are two obvious mistakes I'd attribute to him. But take a minute and consider how horribly so many of the other teams in the MLB (hell, in our own division) are run and how that affects their competitiveness.

the payroll is one of the highest in the NL

Where does it rank exactly, does anyone know? If payroll corresponds directly to fanbase, then shouldn't the Cubs be in the top 5 in the majors?

Yeah sure Jockety isn't reponsible for anything. You praise Hendry for getting Aramis for Hill but will not give any credit for Jockety getting Rolen. Do you guys believe the crap coming out of your mouth?

I believe the White Sox have a higher payroll than Cubs this year.

And what players from McPhails improved farm system have made an impact at the major league level let alone the Cubs?

I agree with most of your assesment

And what players from McPhails improved farm system have made an impact at the major league level let alone the Cubs?

Hendry's system:

Wood
Prior
Zambrano
Juan Cruz
Hee Choi
Adam Morrissey
Bobby Hill
Mike Bruback
Mike Nannini
Kpat
Marshall
Hill
Guzman
Francis Beltran
Brendan Harris
Justin Jones
Ronny Cedeno
Ray Sadler

Have all come up through the farm system and helped the ML club in one way or another.

farm system is stocked...team's payroll is DOUBLE what it was in 98...double. double.

so what exactly has hendry done bad? a manager or something...ptth. hell, his biggest screwup, trading willis, got the cubs 3 years of clement for 16m total...and it could have been 2/8m if he wanted to cut his losses. too bad he didnt cut his losses on garciappara before he tore his groin into shreds, but the residual murton pickup helps ease that.

guy has a hell of a farm he's cultivated with arms galore and some young, athletic power hitting.

he's pimping out cubs ownership and making them spend.

i dunno what cubs fans could want outta a GM that hendry isnt providing aside from those that wanna bitch about a manager or a lack of drafting no-running, boring ob% hitters filling the system with 100 LF/1st/DH types.

hendry's biggest knock seems to be his draft/trade love of athletic/tools guys...especially ones with power. he loves raw athletes...

after decades of bitching about money hendry/mcphail team up to strip the trib. of 50-ish million in less than 8 years.

after decades of cubs signing overpriced pitchers insted of developing their own, they're absolutely flush in them.

What is sick is that Thome is a notoriously slow starter. He usually sucks eggs in April and early May. Mid May is where he usually gets hot as the weather warms up and goes on his late spring/early summer tears. If he really is in mid-season form and stays healthy, which I think he will, then the Sox have a good chance of running away with things early if their pitching is better than average.

AaronB --

You also have to count the players that Hendry/McPhail got in exchange for the talent that you listed (and I think that's where you were going with that anyway). If a minor leaguer was traded for another player, then the other player is a "product" of our farm system (i.e. our system allowed us to get the guy).

So, these guys go on the list too:

DLee
Aramis
Pierre
Murton
Barrett

I'd have to say Hendry's biggest downfall is exactly what Crunch said. Only I think it's a bigger problem than he makes it out to me. The game has changed and Hendry's old school philosophies are just that, outdated. There is nothing wrong w/ looking for the the power hitters, building a team that is based on waiting for the three run homer. With the way today's ballparks are built and the pitching watered down as it is, you need to go that way. Hendry believes in the that power. But there is also one key thing that goes along w/ that. OBP. There is no such thing as a 3 run homer if no one is on base. It's obvious he wants guys who can mash the homer, but his denial of the importance of OBP is also very obvious. There are three guys on this cub roster who fill that role, Walker, Lee, and Murton. Lee's also your 3 run homer guy, so he's out. They are trying to 'rid' themselves of Walker. And as for Murton, well, the kid has played himself into the role and forced their hand. Many times Hendry could've filled his roster w/ these OBP guys, and every time he's gone after the high K guys (Jones, Burnitz, etc).

Jury still out on the Pierre deal.

RF hasnt been easy on any team the past couple years.

sosa forced the issue last year...some may argue RF should have been signed even before the sosa trade, but when the 'final straw' came along burn was about the only guy left to be had.

CLE spent all year last year and this offseason looking a RF before they decided to just let blake (ugg) take it for good.

this year it was encarcenon or jones...giles was available, but the guy turned down 3/33m from toronto to stay at home for 3/10.

jones locking in at 3 years in the OF with murton around locks up the corners (pending trade), though.

with no RF'r in the system ready its not that huge of a deal...if there was a 1-year stopgap to be had in RF it would have had to be a high-risk type signing (hildalgo) or trying to do what more than a few teams have been attempting and try to trade for one.

either way, it doesnt seem like RF's are out there for the taking, or available in trade cheaply.

hell, STL has settled for larry bigbie/encarcenon and cleveland just marched blake out there another year.

RE:433 I was trying to go there, that was my point. I forgot willis,jorgenson,pinto,mitre,nolasco, Barrett for Miller doesnt qualify, JOnes,Harris,Beltran netted murton. Dubois netted Lawton,

DLee
Aramis
Pierre
Murton
Barrett

It's not that Cubs' management has done nothing over the past few years. Certainly they've increased payroll while turning the Cubs into on-paper contenders. Let's not forget Gary Gaetti started for the Cubs not too long ago, and he was about 68 years old. They have definitely improved.

I think the main points of contention are that the payroll is still not where it should be, and top mgmt is pimping Wrigley/gouging the fans.

To point:
In 2005, the Cubs were 9th in the majors in payroll, with NL clubs NYM, PHI, STL, and SF ahead of them. However, they were 6th in the majors in attendance and 2nd in both average ticket prices ($32) and Fan Cost Index ($210).

In the recent past, Trib mgmt has added a rotating ad board behind home plate, expanded the bleachers (while also pimping them as the "Bud Light Bleachers" - directly advertising the company that owns the Cards), added Sears ads all over Wrigley, jacked up prices to $250/seat behind home plate, increased ticket prices every year, and even extorted the rooftop owners for 17% of their revenue.

When you add all of the increased revenue to the already ridiculous cost of a ticket to record-setting attendance numbers, you should have a higher payroll. Until we have a payroll in line with our attendance, ticket cost, and market, I think fans will continue to be pissed.

Hendry is the best cubs GM of most of our lifetimes. Other than Dusty Baker his only other major mistake was his failure to make any attempt to sign Miguel Tejada after the 03 season. It was painfully obvious that SS was the weak link on that ballclub and Tejada was Begging to go ANYWHERE except baltimore. With Tejada instead of the gonzo/neifi/nomar's carcass would have ensured a playoff birth, Latroy hawkins or not.

Hendry was after KPat and Wood by the way ... which probably defends him more. Drafting Prior? That was as easy as possible. Although that draft was very strong and had the Twins wanted to spend money, the Cubs might be sitting w/ Texeira right now. Probably the smartest thing he has done was this past off season by hiring Tom Wilken from the Devil Rays. This guy is a scouting genius and has built the D'rays farm system nicely along w/ originally building the Blue Jays system which Riccardi gets a lot of credit for (deservedly). But by no means is the Cubs system one of the best in baseball. The lack of 'impact' players is a problem considering the high draft picks they've had. And the first rounders the cubs have drafted under Hendry are not impact players if they haven't fizzled out already (Pawelek doesn't count, one fall of AZ ball doesn't show much).

Are we talking about McPhail or Hendry?
Hendry I like, McPhail not so much.
He has been here for over 15 years and shows one division title. He stuffed Ed Lynch down our throats. What happen to "the five year plan"?

Of course all will be forgiven for one WS title.

Just one.

"Hendry is the best cubs GM of most of our lifetimes"

Not a chance. Dallas Green built the 84 team and would have won more games if the Trib didn't decide to destroy the Cubs for a profit in the mid to late 80's. The whole story has been recounted here many times.

Dallas Green was before my time as a fan anyway, if not my lifetime. But you are definetely right that he was a good GM.

Well, I guess I am not sure who all these good on base percentage guys that Hendry should have signed the last two years were. I mean, let's look at the Cards and Astros. How many players have they brought in from outside their organizations in the last two years who are great OBP guys?

One thing I am pleased about is that at least the Cubs have a lot more team speed than they did at the start of last year. Look who we had back then, guys like Dubois, Holly, Nomar, and Burnitz. Now we have Bynum, Pagan, Cedeno and Pierre. Granted, Korey obviously had speed, too, but Pierre is gonna steal more bases for us. And Pagan, man oh man, he came home from second in the blinking of an eye on the single to left. Pagan can just flat out run. Same thing for Cedeno. He impressed me with his speed beating out that bunt single. And it really was not even a close play at first. And Bynum is supposed to be faster than any of these guys.

Yeah, I know that the speed will not do us a lot of good if these guys do not get on base. All I am saying that it is nice to have a lot of team speed for a chance. I mean, even ARAM has slimmed down a bit. Let's give these guys a chance, maybe a week at least, before we start the doom and gloom about OBP.

I would like to see what Hendry would do given the chance to stretch his legs. Anyway, looks like some of his future moves are made--I like the idea of a Murton/Pie/Pagan outfield in '07.

As for Dusty, as much as he's frustrated me, I just don't think we can get a better manager--many of the new managers out there are either unproven, i.e. Girardi, or near-forgotten guys and near-failures like Leyland or Grady Little. Let's face it, there's no way this organization is going to lure over the likes of Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, or...shudder...La Russa.

Kpatt would count because Hendry was scouting director when he was drafted. Not sure on Woody. I couldnt find a link as to when Hendry joined the org.

I did like the fact that Dusty tried the hit and run yesterday. I think that is the 1st time i have seen that from him since Barry bonds wore a size 7 3/8 hat.

Murton-Pagan-Pie is appealing, which is why Jones' 3yr. deal was curious and why we gave up too much for Pierre.

Jockety gets no pat on the back for signing Edmonds either because McGwire is more responsible for him coming to STL than Jockety.

"I doubt that Mark McGwire had the power to trade Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy for Edmonds."

AaronB, Jocketty would only do the trade if Edmonds agreed to an extention...McGwire was the one who sold him on the team and city...doh.

Dallas Green was better. Farm system under him produced as well as the late 50s-early 60s of Hubbs, Williams, Santo, Brock etc. So to call Hendry the best of the rest is like being called the world's tallest midget. Himes, Lynch, Frey were all beyond horrible. A room full of dogs could have done a better job.

murton pagan pie????? What about murton PIERRE pie. We just got a quality leadoff guy that we've been missing for decades (except in minor spurts) and we are not happy with him? I say if pierre is successful then KEEP him and try to trade jones.

Jocketty is SOOOOO overrated. Show me some brilliant moves he has made. Losing Edgar Renteria and getting David Eckstein? WOW! Show me where he spun Bobby Hill into Aramis Ramirez.

Uh--Placido Polanco and crap for Scott Rolen? Kent Bottenfield and Adam Kennedy for Jim Edmonds? (Was the McGwire trade on Jocketty's watch? 'Cause that was another heist.)

Nothing against Hendry, but I think Jocketty's about as good a trader as there is in the business.

Though I should add, the Mulder for Barton/Haren/Calero trade wasn't very good, and could end up being downright awful.

MikeC:
"2) Get destroyed in your division by 37 games"

That really doesn't matter much considering the Wild Card. Pointing out how many games they missed the playoffs by would be more prudent.

But I agree giving Hendy an extension now, shows why they have not won a WS in almost 100 years. POOR ORGANIZATION!!!

BArry Foote:
"He'd be wise to wait at least a month on any decision regarding Dusty."

Why? So Hendry gets an immediate reup for not getting good enough players, but Baker should not because he didn't get more out of them?

They should be tied at teh hip and at least Hendry seems to understand that with the signs pointing to Hendry reupping Baker.

Robb:
"As a Cardinal fan, I applaud this move!"

Sadly, I am sure the White Sox fans are with you...

Crunch:
"so what exactly has hendry done bad?"

How about only making the playoffs only 1 of the last 3 years with a more than enough payroll and a SUPPOSED stacked minor league system. While the team on the other side of town win a WS with less money and less minor league talent.

Who cares, Pitt sold Aramis Ramirez to the first team that picked up the phone and called them, same with DLee and the Marlins.

To down grade Jockety for those moves and to put Hendry on a pedastal for his is just plain ignorant on most your guys part.

Take a look at the Cardinals history. 1999 they were 75-86. Not as bad as the 2002 Cubs team that went 67-95. But that didn't stop them from adding pieces to the team for the 2000 season. They added Jim Edmonds and Darryl Kile and the bullpen improved dramatically with the addition of Dave Veres. They timed getting these players along with young talented players coming up through the Cardinals system such as Rick Ankiel, JD Drew, Matt Morris, Fernando Tatis and Edgar Renteria.

After that the rest is history, 2001 Pujols came on the scene, Matt Morris entered the rotation and won 22 games. Some of the talented young players failed or were injured but they had the veteran impact players carrying the load. By 2002 the Cardinals saw a weakness in the 3rd base position and upgraded with another MVP caliber player in Scott Rolen and they went out and got a real closer in Jason Isringhausen.

By 2004 after getting bumped from the World Series because of the rotation they went out and got a real ace in Mark Mulder.

The Cubs were in much of the same boat in 2002 as the Cardinals were in 1999. They had an off the planet good player in McGwire, we had Sosa. Just because they were not that good in 1999 it did not prevent them from getting Edmonds, because the added benefit of him with their younger players would pay off in the long run.

The Cubs could of went out and got Rolen and Cubs history would likely be much different than it is now. Signing Pudge would almost certainly made our history different. Instead with a lousy team and a bunch of young talent coming up the Cubs decided to put all the pressure on them to perform and refused to get them any help.

The Cardinals went out and got talent at the exact moment they needed to. When the young players were cheap! The Cardinals have been doing what they should have since that time, tinkering with the team that is just a step away from being a championship team. The Cubs have been doing the same thing since 2003 but with far less talent and bolsted by the illusion of winning a division with only 88 games and thinking they were just a step away.

What did the Cubs do to reward themselves after the 2003 season? They added Derrek Lee, that was good. They spent huge sums of money on a over the hill Maddux, and decide to trust the arm of journey man Joe Borowski for 2 straight years instead of getting a real closer.

They came up with roughly the same results and what did the Cubs do to improve after the 2004 season? Get rid of Sosa, replace him with Burnitz, get rid of Alou replace him with Todd Hollandsworth. Nomar was a good signing till he ripped his groin out, and no one could of predicted that.

The Cubs actually downgraded in some areas and found some unexpected surprises in others. With no real increase of talent overall the team went south in a hurry. The talent level was thin across the board so if 1 guy got injured it was a massive blow to the entire team to playing winning baseball.

The Cardinals went out and got Mark Mulder we went out and got Jeromey Burnitz and people wonder why we finished 21 games out last year. The talent level is massively tilted to the Cardinals side, they had injuries but they had the talent to weather those injuries.

You can laugh about their OF of Taguchi and Encarnacion but Encarnacion will perform just as well as Reggie Sanders only cheaper and play more games. By the end of July or sooner they will have tons of options to upgrade either LF or RF. Teams such as the D'backs will be looking to move Gonzalez and Green. The key with the Cardinals is their core team is intact. Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Carpenter, Mulder, Isringhausen. And they can survive if a guy like Rolen goes down. Can the Cubs survive if Dlee goes down? We saw what happened when Ramirez was out, we were not a very good team.

mark mulder was given up for thier best hitting 3rd/C prospect and a perfectly servicable reliever with a fastball and a nice slider...oh yeah, and a starter who's doing just as well as mulder.

>>>They timed getting these players along with young talented players coming up through the Cardinals system such as Rick Ankiel, JD Drew, Matt Morris, Fernando Tatis and Edgar Renteria.

Jocketty's so good in fact, he actually groomed Renteria while he was a Marlins farmhand!

Manny, MikeC, etc.:

I don't mean to single you guys out, but I am not clear about what you and other Hendry critics really want. Which of these do you believe:

(1) Hendry hasn't done the job and should be fired. Period.

(2) Hendry should be given one last chance to succeed; if the Cubs don't contend in 2006, Hendry should be fired.

(3) Before anyone talks about Dusty being fired, they need to take a look at Hendry, because he's the root of the Cubs' problems.

For a long time I thought you guys were saying (3), but lately it sounds like you have morphed to(2) or even (1).

In other words, without bringing Dusty into the equation, do you think Hendry should be fired?

for everyone who thinks that the juan pierre trade was bad....
Sergio Mitre has gone 1 2/3 hitless ball against the 'stros....damn you Hendry

Ooops i mean 1 1/3 and then he plunked Preston Wilson hahaa

Why hasnt hendry signed Zambrano to an extension? Most clubs lock up young starting pitchers over long years for 3 mill a year. Are we just going to let him go after this year? Any plans to re-sign him. He is going to cost a fucking fortune and will probably end up with the yankees.

Z has another year of club control left.

with as good as he is so far the discount for singing an early deal would save the club maybe a couple million, if lucky, at this point while gambling injury.

433-
At this very moment, I believe #2 (Hendry should be given one last chance to succeed; if the Cubs don't contend in 2006, Hendry should be fired.). But I would change contend to make the playoffs.

But, more and more I lean towards #3 (Before anyone talks about Dusty being fired, they need to take a look at Hendry, because he's the root of the Cubs' problems.). But that being said, Dusty is teh manager and they are a team and if Hendry is to be gone, i think Baker should be too.

Manny -- thanks. I kind of thought that's what you were saying, but lately some posters (not necessarily you) seem to be calling for Hendry's head, right now. That's obviously a huge step, and totally unjustifiable in my opinion.

Does anyone believe that Hendry should be fired, right now? If so, why?

Hendry is only the second general manager MacPhail has hired since taking over as Cubs president in September 1994. Ed Lynch was MacPhail's first GM from 1995 until July 2000, when MacPhail fired Lynch and assumed GM control for the next two years at Tribune Co.'s request.

Talk about a dysfunctional organization (a real oxymoron)--MacFail hired to take over the Cubs in 1994.....Ed Lynch was a joke...so the tribune company requested Lynch be fired...and then basically demoted MacPhail to fix the Cubs as the GM for the next two years....then after failing the club again--was promoted back to his duties as President...hired Hendry who basically has brought a mirror imaged (mirrored as in medicore with anyone's guess how good or bad they will be each year) medicore club to Wrigley...and they continue rewarding each other for pitiful performance.....

dysfunctional is the key word here.

I misspoke...according to the suntimes Ed Lynch was MacPhail's first GM from 1995 until July 2000, when MacPhail fired Lynch and assumed GM control for the next two years at Tribune Co.'s request.

So the Trib wanted Lynch fired....so the Cubs/McFail in all his glorious wisdom...went out and made Lynch a special assistant to the GM....sweet....only in a dysfuntional organization does this happen.

The thing that drives me nuts about the team is that they won't overpay for a year or even five years when a Furcal's available or somone like Thome wants to come to the team. So instead of looking at spending a billion on salary over 10 years - with some above 100 million and some below, it seems like they've decided to be in the 90-100 million range every year whether the free agent talent and players that can be had in trades warrants that kind of dough or not.

I'd prefer the Marlins feast or famine approach to this terminal mediocrity.

Does anyone believe that Hendry should be fired, right now? If so, why?

Yes I do. I think he failed miserably the past two seasons.

Every year sports pages all across the country have a headline similar to "This is the year the Braves are overtaken"....sometime before opening day...and consistently they prove the skeptics wrong.

John Schuerholz is an outstanding GM and compared to him Hendry fails miserably. I don't think it is Hendry's doing alone. As stated, I think McFail is a real joke and is the wrong man for the job. Hendry's biggest mistake as realizing (accurately I might add) that the Cubs strength was their young pitching throughout the organization....he then (this is the biggest mistake here) went out and hired Dusty Baker who is known to favor veterans and abuses starting pitchers...

One could reasonably predict that Dusty would overuse his starters and they would spend considerably more time on the DL and surgical beds than they would on the field. Dusty was the wrong choice for this team and Hendry made the assumption that Baker was a good manager for ANY kind of team. History would suggest Baker was as good as Barry Bonds and that is it. So yes I think by hiring Baker...then hanging on to him after realizing he's the wrong man for the job...he has proven he isn't the man for the job and should be fired.

When organizations can go from conception in the MLB to a world series in 5 years with nothing but a shoestring budget....then dismantling and building another world champion in a few more years....while the Cubs outspend anyone in their division and compete with everyone in the league for top dollars spent....and have nothing to show for it 98 years going....you have a truly dysfunctional family...it isn't a Billy Goat's fault...it's a dysfunctional organization....

sadly unless McFail is fired and the Tribune company sells this club to someone remotely interested in winning....nothing is going to change.

if you pay 13m per for 3 years of furcal...and aram is making about 10m a year...and you're negociating with d.lee...where to those negociations start?

14-16m? 3-5 years?

i have a hard time believing anyone would pay more than 10m a year for furcal...much less 13m for 3 years. he's in some very elite company for a guy who's good for 350 ob% and 10-15 homers. his arm is excellent, but he's no ozzie smith with the glove or his arm accuracy.

i'll take d.lee's 7-8m a year 3 year deal over thome's 13m a year 6 year deal. choi didn't work out and it was an organizational gamble for 03...

its not even like thome's a good defensive 1st baseman either...

433-
I agree with you that firing Hendry now is too drastic of a step, but I would say firing Baker now is too drastic a step too. Some even wanted him fired after 2004.

Four years is long enough to judge the direction the team is going and after this year, Hendry would of had more than 4 years.

It should be playoffs or bye bye, but this is the Cubs and tomorrow they will be reupping a GM who has won basically nothing and has a vastly overrated farm system. And he will shortly reup a manager, who many fans HATE passionately and blame the demise of the Cubs.

Shame on the Cubs!!!

Well Mr. Durability is at it again...

Garciaparra, signed as a free agent during the offseason, was injured while swinging in his first-at-bat Sunday in the Dodgers' exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.

Does anyone believe that Hendry should be fired, right now? If so, why?


433-
speaking solely for me, this would not be the right time to fire hendry. he has made his bed during the offseason; let us see if it was a good bed or not. he and baker have been in control for 3+ years, and this ought to be the year in which their plan bears fruit.
if they are in the hunt after the a-s-b, and more last-minute trades are needed, hendry seems to do well at that time. and baker should have the benefit of this one last doubt to see if the players hendry has assembled can become winners.
if there is a deep playoff run, there is a ton of time to extend them after november 1. if the boat sinks, well, the captain and first mate ought to go down with the others.
and in all fairness, hendry probably deserves as much time at his job as mcphail has had at his job; mc pahial may be the architect of defeat here as much or more so than hendry and baker. the difficulty is, mc phail is more difficult to remove simply by being one rung higher on the corporate ladder.

The question 433 asked was should Hendry be fired now.

There is a LOT of options besides firing Hendry and Re-upping Hendry. They could wait and see how this club peforms in the first 40-50 games. Why they would re-up now is just another thing dysfunctional groups would do.

John Schuerholz blah blah blah

compared to him everyone sucks...even beane, arguably...you cant compare every basketball player to m.jordan or you're gonna end up constantly disappointed.

who are the cubs supposed to replace a guy who helped double this team's payroll, revamped the minor league system, and quite honestly has more +'s to his credit than -'s with?

there's not a lot of quality unemployeed GM material sitting out there. i guess you could lure someone's scouting director away, but hell, hendry was a hell of a scout so where do you start your laundry list of what makes a good GM?

"One could reasonably predict that Dusty would overuse his starters and they would spend considerably more time on the DL"

# of starters dusty sent to surgery in SF: 0

dusty uses a couple guys in a season more than some magic # and suddenly sabr blogs go nuts and people cry about something that hasnt happened the past 10 years of dusty controlled teams.

some people actually blame kerry wood on dusty, too. *shrug*

How many of Dusty's starters in San Fransisco were

How many of Dusty's starters in San Fransisco were

How many of Dusty's starters in San Fransisco were under 25 and threw 95-98 MPH fastballs and 93 MPH sliders....

sorry for the triple posts...post didn't take the first two in total.

crunch-
you make good points, but when you have a need sometimes you need to overpay for it and worry about the money paid out in a few years later. Hendry did that for the bullpen, why not SS? There is room in the budget when you consider Wood and Maddux will be coming off the payroll next year. As a supposed good GM, Hendry should of made deals that made his team better and Furcal would of clearly did that.

Cubfan:
"Well Mr. Durability is at it again..."

And people laughed at me when I said Nomar was an inuury prone perennial loser.

Sad part is I actually drafted him in the late rounds for my fantasy team. Stupid me...

what's dusty's injury record with these mysterious cubs pitchers he's injuring?

kerry "injured before dusty even got here" wood?

mark prior? mark "ive missed more time to liners off my elbow and running into midgets than any injury ive ever had" prior? the mark prior that was doomed last spring and came back to go 3-0 in april?

i guess dusty should have yelled "DUCK!" when the comebacker was coming at him and "MOVE!" when giles was bearing down on him.

seriously...take a step back and look at this subjectively.

if you want an arm destroyer, go check out frank robinson.

even at best you got 1 guy...2 if youre a total pesimist and wanna give baker wood's baggage...and that 1 is a pretty weak arguement given his time missed vs. his injuries.

Southside Irish: for everyone who thinks that the juan pierre trade was bad....
Sergio Mitre has gone 1 2/3 hitless ball against the 'stros....damn you Hendry

--
Make that 5.2 innings of 3-hit ball, no runs. Wow, I really hope this is not gonna how he pitches all year...or else I think it will be fair to declare the Juan Pierre trade a bust.

It should be playoffs or bye bye, but this is the Cubs and tomorrow they will be reupping a GM who has won basically nothing and has a vastly overrated farm system. And he will shortly reup a manager, who many fans HATE passionately and blame the demise of the Cubs.

I agree with you Manny....I have no problem with the Trib waiting until July or August to make a decision on contract extensions. If the club is successful then and they want to extend the contracts--great....if they are looking lost and dysfunctional as usual--then I think a change may be warranted then or at seasons end. Upping now just makes no sense.

Mitre is making his first start and its against one of the worst offenses in baseball in HOU, let's see him make 10-15 starts first. Also, let's see how Pierre does for us.

well, no matter what any of us think, hendry's a slam dunk to get another contract..probally til 2010. i'm not trying to kill a discussion, just speaking on what's pretty much a foregone conclusion.

he's got a hell of a farm system he's cultivated and has proven himself quite a winner when it comes to making trades.

even when he loses he wins when it comes to tallent so far. he hasnt been screwed...yet.

him and mcphail have combined to take 50m in payroll from the big bad trib over the past 8 years...

they seem to be a damn fine team and there's no reason to believe they won't continue to do it.

well, i guess some have reasons to believe they "wont continue to do it"

but seriously, i have a hard time finding any major hendry flaws aside from his tallent/tools style of drafting over college ob% superstar drafting.

btw, he does touch on guys like this...they're just usually later draft picks...fox, fuld, etc etc...

Wow,

When someone's first point is that this guy should be rewarded for doubling the payroll, thats a problem, and actually that is a negative to him. Lets look at it

Pre $100 million payroll = Suck

Post $100 million payroll = Suck

So essentially he has used twice the amount of resources and done nothing. That is inefficiency at its greatest. Hendry must be part of a union to be that lousy at his job and be rewarded for it.

If he doesn't over pay for every reliever coming off a career year, he could have upped Furcal another 1-2 million a year (or any other top free agent)

And Hendry is not a great evaluator of talent. He OVERVALUES every minor leaguer he has. The only time he can make a good deal, is when he can find another GM that believes these mediocre prospects are all-stars

Thome practically begged to come here. His contract now wouldn't be as large if he signed with the Cubs. Also, look at his numbers in 2003, how great would those have looked at first base in Wrigley in 2003. (See Pudge for similar argument)

Only a Cubs employee could be rewarded for a such a lousy job

Finally, comparing Hendry to Walt is an imbarrassment to Walt. The biggest difference between the two. Walt gets free agents to St. Louis. He makes good trades, then gets them locked up for years. Hendry expects every free agent to take the Wrigley/Cubs/Chicago discount.

Note to Jim: Look at your dysfunctional team, listen to fans at Wrigley. This is no longer the great place for players to come. They aren't going to sign for $3 mill a year undervalue for you Jim. You had Furcal, you should have locked that deal up before the Dodgers ever got involved

Theres two ways to have long term success. The Yankees, BoSox, etc..pay a high premium for top player (not really the way I would do it, but it works for high payroll teams), or the A's. Actually have a good minor league system that produces quality players while they are young and cheap. Draft good and have some sort of idea how to construct a team

One or the other Jim, but do one please.

I think we should judge the Mitre for Pierre deal based on 6 innings of baseball. And let us base it solely on Juan Pierre's first game as a Cub. 3 for 6 3 runs and an RBI.

Sounds like a fair deal.

Those damn high OBP guys. Always clogging up the bases. Its frustrating to see those guys always on base

"Make that 5.2 innings of 3-hit ball, no runs. Wow, I really hope this is not gonna how he pitches all year...or else I think it will be fair to declare the Juan Pierre trade a bust."

What if both players play well for their new teams? Or, more likely, Mitre finishes around 8-14 with an ERA over 4.50? The Cubs have their first leadoff man since the second half of '03. Unless Pierre has a Koreyesque OBP I don't see how Mitre - even pitching well - can reduce this trade to a bust for the Cubs.

Note about Walt's trades

Don't go off about the Mulder trade. I thought he got robbed by Beane then, and still do. Except he went after Mulder instead of Hudson because he knew he could get Mulder locked up for a few years

payroll...fans bitch about it...its delivered after a couple decades...still not enough.

what gives?

rather have the 1998 53million payroll?

last i checked baseball was a 162 game crapshoot that's determined by playing the game.

last year's 100m....16 of it in baltimore, wood's 10m or so on the DL 3/4 of the year, garcippara missing 3/4 of the year is another huge chunk.

we're getting closer to a 50m payroll here...happy now?

you'd think reading some of this that the club was in turmoil and players are wanting to flee.

todd "i'd rather stay here on the bench than be traded" walker would disagree...the same walker that turned down more money from KC and TEX to come play here.

even the guy who have escaped this "hell" dont refer to it as hell...

and if hendry overevaluates his minor league tallent...what about the GMs that have taken his trash to give the cubs 1/2 the lineup they're fielding this year that hendry aquired for less than their market value. how did those GMs get jobs?

#90 of 93: By MarkK (April 4, 2006 10:08 PM)
Southside Irish: for everyone who thinks that the juan pierre trade was bad....
Sergio Mitre has gone 1 2/3 hitless ball against the 'stros....damn you Hendry

--
Make that 5.2 innings of 3-hit ball, no runs. Wow, I really hope this is not gonna how he pitches all year...or else I think it will be fair to declare the Juan Pierre trade a bust.

-

MARK: Sergio Mitre is out of minor league options, and since he has given no indication that he can be effective working out of the bullpen, the Cubs weren't out of line trading him to the Marlins, if including him in the deal was what it took to get Juan Pierre. And one of the other pitchers the Cubs sent to Florida in the Pierre deal (Renyel Pinto) will be out of minor league options next Spring Training. Being out of options was one of the strikes against Todd Wellemeyer and Jon Leicester, too.

Normally, not having options left makes it MORE likely for a pitcher to make the Opening Day roster coming out of Spring Training, but because the Cubs have three pitchers (Wood, Prior, and Miller) likely (hopefully) returning from the DL in the next few weeks, the Cubs really need pitchers who DO HAVE minor league options left (like Sean Marshall, Jerome Williams, Michael Wuertz, Angel Guzman, Rich Hill, Roberto Novoa, David Aardsma, et al), who can be moved back & forth betwen Chicago and Des Moines as needed.

So if Mitre has a good year for the Marlins, that's OK (whatever), because he wouldn't have had that same year if he had stayed with the Cubs, and then the Cubs wouldn't have Juan Pierre, either. Since Hendry (for better or worse) failed to match the Dodgers offer and sign Rafael Furcal to hit lead-off, acquiring Juan Pierre became a much higher priority. And Mitre was part of that price.

Besides, Mitre having a good game against the Astros doesn't bother me one bit. He is actually pitching as a surrogate for the Cubs. I am more concerned with the Astros losing than I am with the Marlins winning.

GO FISH!!!

I have wanted Baker fired since he was hired. That is no secret. I have been on Hendry's case for years for failing to address the offense. You can go back to my old blog and look up that fact.

Hendry is half a GM. He is pretty good at drafting when his team is at the bottom of the league but can't restock the system when the team is mildly decent. That may be part his problem and the really shitty scouts and coaches we have.

What Hendry is not good at is sealing the deal on free agents. But then again no Cubs GM has been. But for the 100 million he spends to put a roster together it is the most uninspired, un-balanced, least talented, group of rejects you could buy for that kind of money. For 3 years the offense has not been upgraded. We went from Sosa and Alou/O'Henry to Dlee and Ramirez surrounded by some lackluster crap. That isn't improvement that is called holding the line.

We have needed atleast 1 more big bat for the past 3 years and what has Hendry brought us? Burnitz and an over-paid Jock Jones.

The only time Hendry goes out to get a half way decent player is only when another team is giving that player away. If no team is willing to give anything of value away then Hendry is a lost little puppy in the window holding onto his prospects that wont help the team that year anyways. You can look at the 2005 off-season to see that about Hendry.

The other thing that annoys me about Hendry is he will put blinders on to the world. He can't multi-task unless he has an assorted collection of donuts. We have all seen this, he will get so focused on getting a player that he will ignore everyone else. Since he can never seal the deal most times, unless he is throwing money at marginal players, he tends to lose out on alot of the more talented ones. This leaves him with choices like Burnitz.

I have been holding Hendry's feet to the fire since he has been GM. I never liked the Maddux signing because it didn't make our team better. It was just a shiny un-needed expense to make you the fan forget he didn't fix the offense. It is a shell game guys. Distract you with one hand to make you forget about the crap they are sweeping under the rug with the other. They did the same thing with Sosa and the "addition by subtraction plan." Didn't make our team better in the slightest bit, but most fans bought that line of bullshit. Talk about Sosa and how he is holding back the franchise on one hand while with the other hand trying to make you the fan forget they didn't do shit to improve the team.

That is the Jim Hendry legacy to date. Hold the line, distract the fan from their failures, rake in the cash.

What was the famous defense of Hendry in his first year on the job? Give him time? It has been 3+ years and what does he have to show for it? A team with a 100 mil in payroll finishing under .500 and getting crushed by 30+ games in the division over the last 2 years. I guess that is worth a contract extension for that level of performance.

I want to see results on the field before either one of those two idiots (Hendry and Baker) even begin discussing their jobs.

MARKK:

You think one game by Sergio Mitre makes him an All Star at the beginning of the season? As with many jobs, one tends to look at entire career numbers when they can be made. Sergio Mitre pitched ONE gem last year - I was there - against Roy Halliday of the Jays. That was it for '05! 2004, same thing - one or two games were gems - the rest were no better than Rusch or JWilliams.

Juan Pierre has solid career numbers and HAS DEMONSTRATED over a period of time, a modicum of consistency. He wears a World Series ring that he indeed did not ride the bench to get, also. Look at all of this again in the middle of June, and then see where things are.

rather have the 1998 53million payroll?

1998 53 million payroll.... W 90 L 78
2005 80-100 million payroll... W 78 L 84

You see how this club is wasting money. Mike C's post 102 is spot on 100% accurate. I can't find one word in post 102 I disagree with.

Honestly i like most every move that's been made by Hendry and i really like his baseball knowledge. As for the Mitre/Nolasco/Pinto for Pierre, i was just being sarcastic b/c i thought a few of you would have brought it up later...i have always liked what Mitre can do, just don't think that he really can keep it up over 30 starts, but time will tell. However, i also like the trade to pick up Pierre, b/c we really HAD to pick him up after losing out on Furcal. With Cubs fans still bitching about the Willis trade, i can only imagine what's going to happen when Mitre becomes servicable and Nolasco becomes a fine #2-3 guys for 5 years with the Marlins...Maybe i'm on my own here, but my old man played 6 years in the organization (5 1/2) in the minors, and i really like to follow ex-cubs and honestly cheer for them to do well where ever they are, so i may be alone, but i was very happy to see Mitre and Wellemeyer do well tonight and wish them all the success...

When you think it through, there are really only two options for Hendry: (1) fire him (or lame duck him) now or (2) re-sign him now. Why? Because of the power of the open market and the leverage it gives Hendry.

As several of us have pointed out, there is very limited GM talent out there. As much as some of you hate to admit it, Hendry would be an upgrade over at least 20 or so of the existing GM's in MLB (probably more). Hendry would be gobbled up in a second on the open market, and get a nice fat raise to boot. Hendry knows it, every owner in baseball knows it and the Cubs know it. Don't think for a second that it was Hendry's idea to sit down and bang out an extension right now. This isn't a gift to Hendry from the Cubs; it's something the Cubs want to talk Hendry into.

The longer the Cubs wait to re-sign Hendry, the greater the chance he's going to just opt to test the market as a free agent. If McPhail asks him to talk extension in late May, it might be too late. Feelings get hurt and human beings start to question whether they are really valued when they feel like they are being dicked around by their boss. Most of us have had thoughts at one job or another like "F this place. They are screwing around with my salary/bonus/whatever. They aren't sure if they want me? Screw this." Those feelings are powerful -- and when you have great options on the open market, they can be overwhelming. He and his agent would start to hear whispers about what Hendry might be worth to the Nats, the Royals, etc. etc... even the Yankees. If the Cubs wait too long, Hendry very well could be content to play out his options after the season.

You think it was an issue when we were scrambling during the offseason to find a closer last year? Imagine how it would feel to be scrambling to find a GM.

You may not like Hendry. You may hate his mistakes, you may blame him for the Cubs failing to win it all for the last 98 years. But don't forget to ask yourself who is a "gettable" GM that would be an improvement. And most important, don't underestimate his value on the open market. The Cubs don't control this timetable; Hendry does.

Bitch about Hendry all you want but let's face it, only a couple of free agents were worth going after. After say, Tejada or maybe IRod, there weren't that many game changing players for Hendry to get. What should he have done? Baseball is in bad shape. Too many teams and too little talent. Winning appears to be a crapshoot at this point.

Looks like the Trib summarized our conversation.

Click here

I like the idea of extending Hendry now, at the start of the season, because it prevents perverse incentives caused by having Hendry and Baker with contracts that expire at the same time. Now the two are no longer joined at the hip, Hendry can make the best moves for the franchise in June if we are out of contention (trade Rusch, Maddux and even Pierre for youth, for example). And it sends a clear signal to Baker that he will be judged on results this year, and that it is McPhail and Hendry's team.

Hendry has many blind spots (a prediliction to overpay for a bullpen being my pet peeve, as is his apparent refusal to make plate discipline an organizational philosophy) but he is above-average as a GM. Put Davey Johnson in as manager, and who knows...

"and the bullpen improved dramatically with the addition of Dave Veres."

...this is when I stopped reading MikeC's tribute to walt jocketty.

I did, however, enjoy the "what has he done for us in 3 years?!?" hysteria. Conveniently forgetting 2003, apparently...when hendry's moves for kenny lofton (mikec hates old players bad trade fire hendry!) and randall simon (mikec hates free swingers fire hendry!) helped bring the cubs within a game of the world series. hell, even waiver-wire pickup doug glanville won a game in that LCS.

but yeah, hendry has "nothing to show" for his time as cubs GM. whatever. go back to playing dynasty mode on your video game.

Well, I was just making a casual joke - didn't expect to get piled on quite so much. (Note the smiley face and lighten up!)

Of course, nothing wrong with Cubs fans defending their turf. I guess I would have been disappointed at anything less.

Jocketty got robbed in the Mulder deal, hands down. And the Cardinals will likely regret it for the next few years, unless they manage to win the World Series with Mulder in 2006. (Haren by himself is already worth more than Mulder, let alone Barton and Calero.) Not that Jim Hendry has ever traded away too much for a player. (The Matt Clement trade never came back to haunt the Cubs, did it?) ;)

With that being said - Jocketty has traded crap players for the likes of Mark McGwire, Darryl Kile, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, Edgar Renteria, and a few other B-level players that excelled in limited time in St. Louis (Woody Williams, Fernando Tatis, Steve Kline, etc.) Edmonds did not agree to an extention until he had played in St. Louis for 3 months, by the way.

He acquired all of those players while consitently being harped on for having the worst farm system in baseball - which has been so bad that the Cardinals have been on death's door since the 2000 season according to some. (Of course, the farm system has come up with a few players along the way, most notably a certain MVP.)

The end result? 6 playoff appearances in 10 years, 2 100 win seasons, 1 pennant - despite playing in a market 5 times smaller than Chicago to draw revenue from.

Keep Hendry if you want to. In my personal opinion, just the simple fact that he's stuck with Dusty Baker is enough for me to hope the Cubs keep him.

There is no reason to give Hendry a contract extension right now. The firing doesn't have to come now because the season still has 161 games to go. As for 'feelings get hurt' and people walk talk ... money talks louder. If the Cubs somehow miracously get to the world series, whatever money they throw at Hendry will be worth it. But until that point, he deserves no such extension. The organization has regressed as a whole since he assumed his role. The big league club has had a worse record than the previous year for the past two years. The farm system has gotten progressively worse each of these years. And throw in the fact that Hendry has misinterpretted the free agent market (figuring the free agent market isn't just a one year shortsight, it's a 3 yr pipeline system) and left the Cubs stuck w/ guys like Burnitz, Jones, Nomar, etc. His drafting of players has been noticeably bad. The part that bothers me most is that he doesn't seem to have a plan or a direction. He plugs holes but doesn't seem to have an idea of what this team is going to be two years from now. That is a HUGE negative for a GM to have. That is the whole point of the job. To identify and acquire talent necessary to build a system that achieve continued success. This is where he fails. Of course, if the Cubs somehow miracously reach the world series this year ... I take it all back.

Curb -- so you are in the "Dump Hendry" camp. That's fine. But as I mentioned above, it's risky to wait to offer the extension -- as you say, money talks, and there will be a lot of teams offering him a lot of money.

We will just be one team in the mix for his services if we wait until after 2006. And if we do have a great playoff run this year, his price tag will skyrocket.

Again, if you aren't a Hendry fan I am sure you are comfortable with the risk. My point is that by not acting now, the Cubs would be essentially deciding to let him test the free agent waters.

By the way, it's troubling (and amusing) that Cubs fans say that Hendry hasn't done what it takes to get the team to the WS. Look at 2003 with an objective eye -- that team was right there, up 3-1 in the NLCS, and Hendry was the driving force behind it. Actual results matter, but in my mind he did what it took to get us there.

To point to a team that got 5 outs from a WS as an example of Hendry's underachievement is mindboggling. But that's what people are doing when they say that Hendry hasn't gotten us anywhere during his tenure.

I'm in the dump hendry 'after the season' category. Very rarely do GM's get canned midseason. I'm actually in the 'hendry doesn't deserve an extension yet' camp.

I will be the first to point out that Hendry was a driving force behind that 2003 season, mainly the midseason pickups. But the problem I've noticed is the regression of the organization. That reflects purely on the GM. Whether it is Dusty (which I'm firmly entrenched in the Fire Dusty camp), of which some of it is, or the players or whatever, it is the sole responsibility of the GM to address those issues and problems.

As for the prospective GM's out there. There are some quality names out there, most being assistant GM's. You won't find an a good ex-GM out there (maybe Hunsicker) because if a guy is a good GM ... he won't be an ex. I don't remember the names of these guys but I know of Atlanta's, Cleveland's and yes Kim Ng out of LA.

Curb -- I just don't see the regression that others do. The team won more games (89) in 2004 than in 2003 (88). 2005 was a disaster for many reasons, and Hendry deserves his share of the blame. But a regression? I don't see it -- I see a bad year.

That one win more doesn't necessarily imply an improvement. But the regression does apply to a team that is built to hover around .500. The minor leagues have also taken a hit in the past few years. Baseball America has ranked the Cubs system 15th this year, and the prior years from 2004 back are 10th, 7th, 3rd, 1st. Granted, Baseball America is not the end all be all but we all agree that the farm is devoid of impact players.

Robb I totally agree with you on all acounts. It is funny that a Cards fan can see our Chicago Cubs weaknesses better than many of us. Well not so funny. I don't know what it says about Hendry that he feels Baker is doing a good job - but it ain't good.

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