Jim Hendry is out as Cubs general manager. On Friday, August 19, 2011, Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts fired Hendry as general manager and replaced him with Hendry’s assistant Randy Bush as interim GM for the remainder of the season.
During Hendry’s term from 2002-2011, the Cubs have won three division titles and came within five outs of reaching the 2003 World Series. He hired the reigning National League Champion manager Dusty Baker for the 200 season. He then made the moves later that year that brought Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, and Randall Simon to the Cubs at the trade deadline, and all three players turned a potential playoff miss into a division title. Hendry later hired Lou Piniella as manager before the 2007 season, and the Cubs won two more division titles in 2007 and 2008.
Since 2008, though, the Cubs have faltered. They finished second in 2009 – 7.5 games behind the rivaled St. Louis Cardinals and missed the post season. They had a dismal 2010, going only 75-87 with aging veterans. Hendry even traded away fan favorite first-baseman Derek Lee, who had begun to show signs of decline before he became a free agent after the 2010 season.
Among the biggest criticisms about Hendry are the signings of two huge contracts to outfielders Alfonso Soriano in 2007 and Milton Bradley in 2009. Soriano still plays for the Cubs, but he has failed to play up to standard for his eight-year, $138 million contract. The Bradley signing was a bust. A controversial player everywhere he has gone, Bradley signed a three-year, $30 million deal but lasted only one season before teammates, management, and fans grew weary of his ways. Hendry then traded Bradley and his contract for another troubled high-salary player in pitcher Carlos Silva, who also lasted only one season (2010) with the Cubs. Both are currently out of Major League Baseball.
The most recent controversy about Hendry is the hiring of current manager Mike Quade over Ryne Sandberg. “Ryno” was the favorite for the job after Piniella retired in mid-season 2010, but Quade led the Cubs to a 24-13 record at the end of the season, so he got the job over Sandberg. The Cubs’ very poor 2011 season has left many fans wishing for both a new field manager and general manager, myself included.
Maybe the time has come to make this move. Perhaps Randy Bush or a new general manager can make the moves necessary to lead the Cubs back into contention next season or soon afterward.
Carrie Muskat, “GM Hendry Dismissed by Cubs after Nine Years,” cubs.com.
Baseball Reference.com, “Mike Quade,” baseball-reference.com.
Baseball Reference.com, “Milton Bradley, baseball-reference.com.
Baseball Reference.com, “Carlos Silva,” baseball-reference.com
Baseball Reference.com, “Alfonso Soriano,” baseball-reference.com
Raymond grew up in Florida and began watching the Cubs on WGN in 1982. He became a fan in 1984 when Ryne Sandberg hit the two famous game-tying home runs off Cardinals closer and former Cub Bruce Sutter. Raymond then solidified his team loyalty when the Cubs won the division later that season and has been a fan ever since.
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Why am I Still a Cub Fan?
All-Cubs Team of My Baseball Life
Coaching Kids’ Baseball
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