According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is rather fond of General Manager Jim Hendry.
‘‘Over the past year, I’ve had growing confidence in Jim, to be honest,’’ said Ricketts, who spent much of that year evaluating the organization top to bottom. ‘‘He has a good team of people he’s put together. I’m not going to hold [the losses in the playoffs] against him. What I am going to judge him by is how many players we’re consistently bringing up to the major leagues, and are the dollars we’re spending on the big-league team being spent well? . . . I think Jim’s doing a good job. I think we’re starting to see some of the fruits of his labor.’’Are we talking about the same Cubs GM? This is the same one that signed Alfonso Soriano, then 32, to a 7 year $136M wheelchair contract. We are talking about the same guy, right? Maybe it's the one that signed Milton Bradley to a three year $30M disaster contract, and then spun it to Seattle for the nearly as toxic Carlos Silva contract? Or perhaps its the man that signed Carlos Zambrano to a five year $91.5M contract to provide the same quality of performance that most teams expect out of their number three starter? Or Kosuke Fukodome? Or Ryan Dempster? Or Jeff Samardizja? Or how about the fact that the team is old, while the farm system is completely barren?
By every one of Rickett's measures (the quality of the farm system and the quality of players money is being spent on), Hendry has been absolute disaster. Oddly enough, Ricketts likes him. He even thinks he's starting to see the "fruits of his labor!" What fruits exactly? A consistent string of disappointing 75-85 win seasons, while maintaining a bloated payroll? The Cubs only remedy is to fire the man who created the disaster, blow up the team, and start from scratch. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, the owner would rather tread water.
My condolences to Cubs fans everywhere.