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WIll Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry be fired? Fan’s take
Despite the fact that Chicago Cubs find themselves more than 15 games out of first place and sport the major league's second worst record, they were mysteriously quiet at the trade deadline. Yes, they moved outfielder Kosuke Fukudome(notes), but that was the extent of the trade action to this point for the Cubs. Two potential reasons for that silence are that many of the Cubs players who might have been considered available have unattractive contracts and that Jim Hendry might be working his last few months as general manager of the Cubs.
The Ricketts family has been relatively inactive for an owner that came in and expressed a commitment to winning. Sure, you'd understand the inactivity if they had taken over a team like the New York Yankees or the Philadelphia Phillies who have few holes, but the Cubs have plenty of room for upgrades throughout. This season's 44-65 record is all the evidence you need. I don't have some unique expertise that no one else has, but to me the evidence is pointing towards Hendry being out at year's end. Even if the Cubs brought in a new general manager right now, that person wouldn't have much ability to do anything given all the contracts the Cubs are stuck under until years end. They are still stuck under others beyond this year but they will gain a lot of wiggle room after this season. I expect it will be the first time the Ricketts begin to flex their financial muscle.
As I said in a prior piece here, I still wouldn't be surprised to see a few moves in August as teams get a little more desperate for that post-season help and might be more willing to take on a less than ideal contract. But even then, I don't see anything huge happening around the Cubs. With each passing day, I begin to see Jim Hendry as just a lame duck of a general manager.
Matt Snyder's contribution to CBS Sports (found here) really hits the nail on the head. I'm not saying I agree with every opinion he expresses, but he has the right idea. Citing the disparity in club payrolls over the last decade is an important note to make, but one that has been well documented. The crux of his article is summed up nicely in his closing line: "As a lifelong Cubs fan, I have some feedback for Mr. Ricketts: Quit being so nice."
I'm not sure Mr. Ricketts is going to listen to my opinion or Snyder's, but my guess is he won't be listening to Hendry's much longer either.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, having lived in Illinois his whole life and following Chicago sports. Follow him on Twitter here
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