Maybe Jim Hendry just came to Des Moines to escape the heat of the Chicago media. Maybe he dropped in to chat behind closed doors with the trim and ambitious Ryne Sandberg, though if/when Chicago comes calling Ryno back, the call probably won't come in the person of Hendry. In any case, big Jim's reason for being here almost certainly isn't to get a closer look at Sam Fuld, the scrappy leadoff hitter and center fielder. Hendry's mind is made up about Fuld, I imagine, which is tough luck for Sam.
He'd run into, if not through, a brick wall for the chance to stick in the big leagues. The problem is he's about the same height as Hack Wilson [listed at 5' 10" which means Eddie Gaedel wasn't a dwarf after all] without the pipes and the power.
Two nights ago he ended consecutive innings by throwing a tagging runner out at the plate and making a circus catch. Both times he trotted in to standing ovations.
Last night he went 4-4. Did you see that, Jim?
Plus he's smart. The guy holds an economics degree from Stanford. Maybe he could help the front office out with some payroll reduction strategies and cost-benefit analyses.
I want there to be a spot for players like Fuld. He plays at full tilt, like a winner. He's Fukudome without the bloated contract and personal hitting coach in many respects, except that he would have been hustling on the bobbled grounder that Kosuke trotted out yesterday.
Any team can use what Fuld supplies. Especially the one that flew over Des Moines on its way from Seattle to Chicago last night.