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Cubs Mon Aug 22 2011

Jim Hendry: Someone Had to Take the Fall

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for cubs.gifThe firing of Jim Hendry became a matter of not if, but when. Friday morning Hendry informed the local media that he had been relieved of his position. Whether it is baseball or any other line of work, producing positive results is the nature of the business. Hendry was one of the most successful GMs in Cubs history. However, he ultimately failed to achieve the final goal of ending the Cubs' World Series drought.

While he'll be judged mainly on wins and losses, his tenure on the North Side produced a mixed bag of results. As GM he maintained a winning record of 749-748. He is the only Cubs GM to win three division championships (2003, 2007 and 2008). (He also had the benefit of running the team during the wild card era, with six divisions to win.)

On the flip side of things no one is perfect and Hendry has a number of blemishes on his record. Citing a need to get more left-handed after being swept from the playoffs in 2008 for the second year in a row, Hendry brought in Milton Bradley to shake up the team. For all the good Hendry has done in his tenure signing Bradley was the absolute worst idea he had ever conceived. It was clearly a more-harm-than-good situation from the get-go.

Many Cubs fans have been clamoring for someone to take the fall for the past few lackluster seasons and Hendry became the fall guy. Some of the blame belongs to players as they are the ones playing the game, not Hendry. By the same token the blame goes back to Hendry as he assembled the team.

Before this all went down the writing was seemingly on the wall. It was another lost season and as this team underperformed to the maximum, it was only a matter of time before someone was fired for it. While the timing of this was a bit odd, as there is only less than a month and a half left to the 2011 season, it almost became inevitable.

So who's next? Tom Ricketts stated that they will go outside of the organization for their new GM. This to me makes the most sense. A fresh set of thinking needs to be brought in to make the necessary changes. Changes are long overdue in some cases.

Whoever is brought in as the new Cubs general manager needs to know that this is unlike any other job they've had. If they don't grasp that concept earlier and often they will fail just like everyone else before them. If they are successful in ending the Cubs championship drought it'll certainly be a different feather in their cap.

 
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Courtney / August 23, 2011 2:57 PM

I really like the way he transitions out. He's truly a class act...

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