Friday, July 15, 2011

Too Late

Man, Carlos Marmol blows a 2 run lead recording only 7 strikes in the 25 pitches he throws and Cub Nation has finally seen enough. Not that the 37-55 record going into last night was enough. Not that ownership has been silent other than platitudes was enough. Nope. What did it was Marmol blowing a save. And Mike Quade's comment after the game didn't help:

"Now is not the time or place to be making bold statements about changes." - Mike Quade, Cubs Manager Pro Tempore

The Cubs hashtag in Twitter is alight with people upset and referencing the 2003 NLCS Game 6 similarities and calling for massive change. Even the sycophants at the "Cubs Internet Community" were upset by Quade's comments with the ringleader going so far to say, "Quade and his minor-league coaching staff" are "managing to be liked, not to win."

Dan Bernstein, who was snookered by Tom Ricketts two years ago into believing that the new owners knew Jim Hendry was a problem, is now saying that Hendry will be gone at the end of the season. Internal sources from the Cubs front office tell him that Ricketts will be making a change and simply to discount what Ricketts says publicly.

The problem here is that a change at the end of the season is far too late. Barry Rozner correctly notes today:

(Ricketts allowing Hendry to determine the shape of the 2012 roster with moves that Hendry will make before July 31 — or moves that he’ll choose not to make.

Either way, Hendry is putting in place the pieces or removing those he doesn’t believe are necessary.

He’s also holding on to players who might have great market value because he believes they will be a big part of 2012 and beyond. He may be right or he may be wrong with those choices, but whatever the choices are, they’ll be Hendry’s.

So if Ricketts really has it in mind to make major front-office changes at the end of the season, the changes should have been made already.

Not in October, not in September and not even 15 minutes from now. Those changes should be made immediately.

So speak now, Mr. Ricketts, or forever hold your GM’s hand through another winter, spring and summer.

If changes are made after this season, and if Ricketts fires Hendry then after letting him shape the team now, he’s going to look really foolish and will have some serious explaining to do about why the changes weren’t made in June when the season was obviously over.

Barry's close to being exactly right. Yes, Hendry should not be the GM today and certainly not be allowed to make an roster changes that affect the 2012 rosters at any level of the Cubs organization.

But, if Ricketts has decided to make a change, the time to do so was last month after the draft was complete. A change at that point gives a new GM the maximum amount of time to build a scouting staff for next year's draft as well as give the new GM as big a lead time as possible on the trade deadline to evaluate what talent exists within the system.

It's already past the time to make a change. It should have been done two years ago when the team transferred ownership. The opinion here was that Jim Hendry should have been fired in October 2009 or had his contract extended to really show the Ricketts' confidence in him. Since then, with no extension, Jim Hendry has simply been a lame duck.

Cleaning out the Cubs management team from stem to stern wouldn't be "knee herk," it would be well deserved. And already far too late.

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