Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cubs Are Interesting Again... At Least For A Day

In a move that was only unforeseen by people who fail to see winter coming every year, Lou Piniella announced that he will not return to the Cubs as their manager next year.

A few words about Lou. He was exactly what this organization needed in 2007. When Carlos Zambrano lit into Michael Barrett back on June 1st of that year, it was Lou that made sure that it was Barrett who was traded and not Zambrano. That event started the most successful season and a half the Cubs have had since the 1906 to 1908 seasons. He set a tone for a moribund franchise.

Granted, this current season, Lou has seemed asleep at the switch. The view here is that is largely due to Lou knowing what most of us knew: This year was going to be a washout. The roster was loaded with overpriced, aging talent and new ownership was locked into hundreds of millions in debt that would eliminate Jim Hendry's most consistent way of improving a team - massive spending.

As Andy Dolan wrote today, Lou's successor will probably be worse at the job than Lou was. But the 2010 Lou is not the 2007 Lou. This team needs the original Lou and not the one that's here today.

Thanks for the effort Lou, but it's time to go. Thanks again, and see 'ya.

What was very interesting was the varied reactions to Tom Ricketts words:

"Jim is our general manager full stop," said Ricketts, whose ambiguous statements on the last road trip led to speculation about Hendry's future. "He will be leading the effort to find our new manager and will be our general manager going into next year, yes."
What does this mean? Dave Kaplan, Bruce Miles, ESPN and Comcast took that to mean that Jim Hendry is back for 2011. Phil Rogers, Terry Boers and Dan Burnstein saw plenty of wiggle room in that.

Miles does have a point on his blog that it would be a bad idea to have Jim Hendry help hire the new manager only to replace Hendry as GM soon after. A GM should pick his manager and they work together over the next several years to build and maintain a major league roster.

What's confusing is that a new manager is going to expect a contract of three to five years. Jim Hendry only has a two year contract.

If Tom Ricketts and his siblings have decided to retain Hendry for 2011, doesn't it make sense that they would also have decided to extend Jim Hendry's contract to match that of a new manager? If so, why the phrasing "going into next year"? Why not announce today that Jim has a new, 3 year extension. Lou's leaving isn't a surprise and the Ricketts have had plenty of time to discuss an extension with Hendry if they desired to keep him. That this hasn't happened just suggests more and more ambiguity where there should be none.

The more and more you hear from the Ricketts, the more and more you fear that these kids don't know what they are doing. The fear of the Ricketts coming in as owners always was that they didn't have a record to review as owners (which is why Don Levin was always the preferred choice of this page).

Hope is held out that Tom was just parsing his words carefully and that Hendry will indeed be gone before the new manager comes in. Because if Tom and his family really think that Jim Hendry is good at his job, then these people are really idiots when it comes to running a professional sports franchise.

This has all the feel of the McCaskey's and the hiring of Jerry Angelo when they told him that he had to retain Dick Jauron.


"(which is why Don Levin was always the preferred choice of this page)."

Write any more horsecrap and you will have to be pulling up your pants because it's getting too deep.
"This has all the feel of the McCaskey's and the hiring of Jerry Angelo when they told him that he had to retain Dick Jauron."

Or the same feel of having Mark Hatley conduct the draft knowing he was out when his contract expired May 31.
Hey, Anonymous. Welcome! Internet bluster is so easy when you don't have the guts to say who you are.
What was he supposed to say? "Jim Hendry will be unemployed just like Lou in October."

Nothing to report on this. My gut is that 80/20 Hendry is a goner.

Chuck, I read your thoughts often but rarely comment. I completely agree with your take. As a daily season ticket holder, I don't think he gets it.
You seem to be the most lucid of all the blogs. Could you see yourself teaming with Andy and reaching out to all the others (even Al) to create a brief alliance to call for HENDRY NO GO WE NO SHOW on some date in late Aug or Sept? Rally a meager shot or something that catches on? 15K don't show and media coverage? Just a thought...
chuck, reach out to al and see if he wants to be part of the fan boycott! lmao.
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