Open Thread: Fire Hendry

For all the Fire Hendry-ers
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Hendry is the ultimate Teflon man in Chicago. Guy gets away with zero accountability for the mess that is the Cubs. He has failed on all cylinders. Watch him eventually bring in a new manager, then adopt his umpeenth change in strategy for building a winning franchise. The man is in woefully over his head. Too bad he has 100% job security granted by his partner in crime Andy McFail.

Hendry should go. However, he won't. The Trib just signed him a a long contract. So we are stuck with him. But, yes, he should go.

Hendry is just McFails errand boy. He makes no decisions, so firing him is of no benefit.

Hendry failed miserably this offseason, and to a lesser extent last offseason as well...but I actually trust him...I trust that he has the right ideas, and he certainly deserves kudos for the Lee and Ramirez trades...and I think the Nomar signing was a good signing that resulted in really bad luck.

But not shoring up the starting pitching and giving a 3 year deal to Jones, bad, bad, moves.

With Baker and McFail.

I'll always have a special place in my heart for that most glorious moment of the Hendry era: the Hundley trade. I remember pondering whether Hendry was some kind of coolly evil modern-day pirate, or whether the Dodgers were just colossally stupid...but I wound up not caring, just awed.

But so many things since have tended to undermine the sweetness of that move, and my estimation of Hendry has shrunk. I'll even give him a semi-pass on Jones, as he was probably over a barrel on that one (though the situation was somewhat of his own making). But the low points were Rusch and Neifi this past offseason. Those were chump moves in excelsis, maybe not the equal of the Dodgers taking Hundley, but up there nonetheless. They were at the very least explicit admissions that we're still mired, over here on the North Side, in blind loyalty. Over and over we give big paydays to "our guys," whether they can, y'know, play or not. I mean, Cincinnati sent *Sean Casey* packing, for the love of God, and he was the face of their miserable franchise for years! Why do we have to lament the quality of our GM's moves as compared to those of Cincinnati?!?

Rant over (it's all been said before anyway, I guess). Despite posting in this thread I still hesitate to call for Hendry's firing, because a) it won't happen and b) I had such high hopes. He did, after all, insist on Murton in the Nomar deal and that still promises to work out well. But he just doesn't seem to have the right strategic concept, and that's what he's paid to have, right?

Hendry went out and got D.Lee, A-Ram, and Nomar. Kudos to him. He got Latroy as a "set-up guy". He dumped Hundley on the Dodgers in a steal. I don't see him as a problem except for his allowing Dusty(aka dumbass) Baker's handling of the roster, and lineup. At some point he should have let Dusty go last year IMHO.

scooter

The best move the Cubs could make for teh furture of this organization is to fire this overrated piece of shit. Of course they won't and thus they will continue to lose...

I am so sick of people giving Hendry kudos for getting individual stars like Lee, Aram, etc. That is the quintessential Cubs perspective- "Our team sucks, but look at the stars on this team!" We've done the whole thing with Banks, Williams, Santo, Fergie, Ryno, Dawson, Sosa, etc. But where has it gotten us? 8 winning seasons over the last 26 years.

I understand that those were good moves. But a good GM puts together a winning team, period. Are you telling me that if we had Joe Shmo at first but we won the World Series you'd rather have a few stars? No way. Give me a bunch of above average players and depth and a World Series and the stars can go somewhere else. I understand it helps to have stars on your team to win, but compare any one of the Yankees teams over the last 5 years to the 2005 White Sox. Derrek Lee is my favorite player, but I'd trade him in a heartbeat if it meant getting closer to a World Series.

Nazey,
We do have average players but they can't duplicate the play of average players on the southside...SS, 3B, 2B, LF...why do our suck so much? The really sad part is the same guys we boo might just move on to other teams and win. Why is that ?

I just can't agree with all this "fire Hendry" nonsense. He hasn't exactly been Theo Epstein the last two years, but the Cubs do have a .527 win% in the 3 full seasons since he took over. Which is a damn sight better than they were in the previous, say, 30 years. The skid this season has been caused by an unlikely concurrence of unforeseeable events, namely:
1. Lee getting hurt (never happened before).
2. Ramirez hitting and slugging 60 pts below his career avgs.
3. Pierre hitting 75 pts below his career avg.
4. Zambrano pitching poorly enough to win only 1 game in his first 8 starts.
5. Rusch and Williams pitching like garbage after successful '05 campaigns.
6. Rich Hill pitching like garbage even though he is apparently unhittable at the AAA level.

This is, of course, leaving out the injuries to Prior and Wood, which can be categorized as "foreseeable". Who has played up to their career expectations so far this year? How about recent Hendry acquisistions Scott Eyre (1.89 ERA), Bobby Howry (2.49), and Jacque Jones (after a rough start, he's 10 pts. below his carreer avg. and 20 pts above his career slg.). The problem isn't Hendry's moves. It's players not playing as well as history says they should.

The Great Jim Hendry if fondly adorned by some chuckleheads for the following three moves.

1. Trading Todd Hundley to the Dodgers in a MOVE THAT WAS A COMPLETE SALARY WASH to acquire Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek. Karros was a fading former star who contributed litted in Los Angeles while Grudz was in manager Jim Tracy's doghouse and the Dodgers coulndn't wait to dump him. A good move for the Cubs, but my goodness lets remember the FACTS of the case boys and girls.

2. Acquiring Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi. The Florida Marlins were in a mode of aggressively dumping salary and Choi still was considered a good prospect. A great move for the Cubs, but my goodness my mother could have made this trade.

3. Acquiring Aramis Ramirez from Pittsburgh in another move that was a complete salary dump. Again, my mother could have made this trade. And last time I checked, Aramis plays hard only when interested. Otherwise he plays like a dog.

Mike,

While it is true that those teams were looking to dump salary, you have to give Hendry credit for making the trades. Any other team could have also aquired those players, but it was Hendry who brought them here.

The only way to judge a GM is to look at the ball club before and and since. We are a better team on paper than we were before Hendry got the job. It is up to the manager and players to do their job.

Herad Hendry on WGN last night. Sad to say, he restated his philosophy that hitting early in the count is good. "Sometimes you get the best pitches early on". This helps explain the type of player he pursues, & why we struggle with poor starters. Most of them lack control so hitting early in the count actually helps them.

Hendry has had his chance...He should resign. Hendry is UNABLE to attract, motivate and retain the talent necessary to create a team that can contend for the World Series. Unfortunately, I don't think Hendry will be replaced until Tribune makes some major changes or sells the Cubs.

My opinion of Hendry has certainly dropped since a year ago, though it has changed little since the losing streak started. I think Hendry is a fairly competent GM that has no ability to control his manager and effect a system-wide change in philosophy. Hendry's biggest failing has been his continuous investing of money and talent in washed-up veterans and overrated toolsy players. I'd bet that is precisely because the manager he hired won't feel comfortable with any other players. I continue to think that Dusty is the biggest managerial problem (maybe McPhail, I don't know much about him), but I won't be shedding tears if Hendry is fired, if for no other reason than that he has no control over, or apparent desire to relieve, Dusty.

I just can't agree with all this "fire Hendry" nonsense. He hasn't exactly been Theo Epstein the last two years, but the Cubs do have a .527 win% in the 3 full seasons since he took over. Which is a damn sight better than they were in the previous, say, 30 years.

Unfortunately, the Cubs don't play against the 1972-2002 Cubs: they play against the other 29 MLB teams. Frankly, their record across 2003-2005 compared to the other teams isn't anything special at all: their 256-win total is good enough for 13th overall, and the second-lowest total of teams to finish over .500 (Dodgers).

Yay. "We're number (middle-of-the-pack)!" is definitely something to write home (and overrate its architect) over.

Why does this scream "accomplishment!" to so many Cubs fans? Two reasons: one, displayed above, is the low expectations fans had for 2003. The other is the only playoff appearance by an 88-win team over 2003-2005 bar last year's Padres.

How would we evaluate Hendry had we not experienced the "magical" 2003 postseason? It seems like a fair question, in that in most other years and most other divisions it's exactly the one we'd be asking. Those in the media, who are ever-so-slightly more influential than us, love to use the 2003 postseason and the 67-to-88 turnaround as an excuse miss the bigger picture: this team hasn't been anything special over the 2003-2005 period, and it won't be anything special in 2006, barring the Astros miracle Hendry half-expects to happen, given his interview in the Trib today.

It's time to start evaluating Jim Hendry relative to his peers, not his predecessors. It's time to use facts from the present instead of myths from the past. It's time to say "What should we have accomplished in the years following 2004?" and not "What were we expecting going into 2003?"

Some will no doubt be able to spin and wish their way to positive outcomes on these questions. An at-best-.500ish-over-05&06 record speaks otherwise.

I tend to agree with ron on this. Its not overly impressive to be 13th in wins over the past 3+ years. Especially when you consider that we have been top 5 in payroll every year. Say what you will about the trib, the resources are there to spend. The question is, are they being used properly?

"Hendry should go. However, he won't. The Trib just signed him a a long contract. So we are stuck with him. But, yes, he should go."

Wasn't it a 2 yr extention? That's not exactly long term but he won't get fired...though he should.

Hendry has definately trended downward the last couple of years. Not signing Tejada. Not making any moves in after 2004. Addition by subtraction. Not receiving any draft pick compensation for Nomar,burnitz,Alou. Giving up draft picks for guys like jack jones and henry blanco. Hendry definately doesnt use the system to his advantage the way a billy beane or theo epstein does. It may sound like an opinion, but in truth its a fact.

Bogey, two years seems long term to me at the moment. And doesn't it really amount to more like three, ie, this year and two more years?

Just long enough to get us to 100 years.

"It's time to start evaluating Jim Hendry relative to his peers, not his predecessors."

Perhaps the best argument made on any thread regarding Jim Hendry. Yes, he has done a bit better than previous Cubs GMs, but his "success" is all based on our expectations as Cubs fans.

I say we evaluate him on his success relative to the payroll he has to work with compared to his peers.

Some of you defend Jim Hendry as though he was GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Kansas City Royals and had little payroll to operate with. The Cub payroll has exploded since the year 2000. Today the Cub payrolls ranks 5th or 6th among all MLB teams. In 2006 the Cubs have a payroll that hovers around $95 million. AND THIS IS THE ROSTER JIM HENDRY GIVES US?!?!? C'mon. Also, the Cubs rate within the top 10 of teams in terms of player development and minor league system investment. WHERE IS THE RETURN ON ALL THESE DOLLARS JIM !?!?! You're not the GM in Pittsburgh !!!!

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