Jim Hendry To Be Retained


Carlos Zambrano will probably dominate the rest of the weekend, but Bob Nightengale of the USA Today may have just trumped the Zambrano news. The status of Jim Hendry has always been a popular topic among the beat reporters and bloggers such as myself. For most of the season, the belief was that chairman Tom Ricketts was leaning towards replacing Hendry as the team’s general manager. It is no secret that Ricketts has prepared himself for such a move, by doing background checks on the likes of Josh Byrnes, Rick Hahn, Pat Gillick, and putting out feelers for Brian Cashman. But with the recent finding by Nightengale, that research may not have been for the general manager position rather a different position within the Cubs’ organization.

Enough beating around the bush. Nightengale reported through twitter that barring a change of thinking by the Ricketts family, Hendry will remain the Cubs general manager and presumably finish his contract as the Cubs general manager. Take a few breathers before you continue reading this; because this news is enough to make any Cubs fan hyperventilate. But, before the Ricketts bashing begins, we should first see how the decision plays out. It should be noted that it is only August, and Ricketts could very well change his mind by the time the off-season comes and decides to replace Hendry as the Cubs’ general manager. Even if he doesn’t, albeit confusing, I don’t neccessarily think it is a bad decision. Which comes to a big surprise to me, considering my frustration with Hendry throughout the past two seasons.

The confusing part about Hendry remaining in place is that only glorifies the fact that the Cubs made no moves at the July 31 non waiver trade deadline. While it was never confirmed, most baseball reporters believe that the reason the Cubs did not make any trades at all on deadline day was because Hendry’s hands were tied as he may have been told to not trade any player that a possible new general manager would want to retain. But becomes a moot point if in fact Hendry is retained after the season.

But just because Hendry will be back, does not mean that there won’t be any changes made to the Cubs front office. In fact, I think Crane Kenney is surely to be replaced now if Hendry is indeed coming back. As I have mentioned many times before, the problem with the Cubs’ front office is that Hendry is surronded by “yes men.” There does not seem to be anybody in the Cubs’ front office that is willing to tell Hendry no. But for instance if the Cubs were to place Pat Gillick or even Brian Cashman above Hendry as the team president, then there will finally be another person in the front office that can go head to head with Hendry in regards to baseball operations. To be honest, I’m not so sure that Gregg Maddux is not that guy. If I were Ricketts, I would try and convince Maddux to take on a higher position in the Cubs’ front office as the team president. We already know that Maddux and Hendry work well together, but with Maddux having final authority.

Even if Hendry is indeed retained, there is still a strong chance that he will improve as a general manager if a new team president is hired.