Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time to start the list...preliminary list of reasons to fire Jim Hendry

I'm not entirely saying the Cubs need to fire Jim Hendry yet...but with loss number 7 in the last 8 games, even my magic can't help this team any more.  Yes, last night was my first live loss of the year.

So now the time has come to start assembling a list of reasons to fire this man who has been GM of the Cubs for almost 8 years.

  1. Back-weighted contracts:  This, unfortunately, has become a way of life in baseball...back-weighted contracts to veteran players that end up paying a majority of the money when the player is past his prime is part of the business now.  I'm not saying this behavior is Jim Hendry's fault, but he has used this policy quite frequently and the Cubs have had to suffer the last two seasons because of it.
  2. Jeff Samardzija's contract:  A lot of people will disagree with me on this.  Fine, I don't care.  I didn't like this contract.  I like Jeff Samardzija...and I love Notre Dame (so shoot me!)...but this contract was a poor move for a team who, looking at the contracts it had, was going to have payroll problems in the future.
  3. Jeff Samardzija's development:  Is he a starter?  Is he a reliever?  I don't know...and it appears the Cubs don't either.  In their rush to make their poor investment choice pay off, the Cubs brought Samardzija up to the big leagues way way too early and while all of his time in the minor leagues (until this year) has been spent trying to develop Spellcheck into a starting pitcher, almost every time he is brought up to the Cubs, he is used as a reliever.  No wonder this hasn't worked out.  Keep he down in the minors and let the kid learn how to pitch.  Geez.
  4. Felix Pie:  Another mishandling of a young player.  Pie was never used as a lead-off hitter in the minor leagues.  The Cubs brought him up and told him that he will suddenly become a lead-off hitter.  Then he failed...and the Cubs basically ran him out of town.  Boo!
  5. Rudy Jaramillo:  He'll solve all our offensive woes!  WRONG!  Hitting coaches don't make that much of a difference.  It's the talent, stupid!
  6. John Grabow:  Inexplicable.  Positively inexplicable.
  7. The Alfonso Soriano contract:  I never liked it, and I never will.  The Cubs were bidding against themselves when Fonzi was a free agent.  Here is a free piece of advice...if most other teams are shying away from signing a player...find out why!  The Rangers didn't want him.  The Nationals didn't want to re-sign him.  Why? 
  8. Starlin Castro:  I'm going to write up more about this later tonight when I get home from work...but he doesn't belong here right now.
  9. Aaron Miles replaces Mark DeRosa:  What can I say here?
  10. Kevin Gregg replaces Kerry Wood:  Yes, the team was strapped for cash.  But Kevin Gregg was removed as a closer in Florida in 2008.  Why?  Because he wasn't very good at that roll.  Kerry Wood would have given the Cubs a discount for keeping him.  Yes, he was injury prone.  Yes, he's been less than successful in Cleveland.  But this still was a bad trade-off.
  11. Milton Bradley:  Blame the media for driving Bradley out of town...fine!  But Hendry said that no one could have predicted that the media would do this to him.  WRONG!  I, and many others, predicted, almost exactly, the course of events that happened during Bradley's one year stay in Chicago.  The media is what it is, like it or not.  While we should trying to work to get the media to behave better, that process isn't going to fix itself overnight.  But back to the point, Jim Hendry had once again bid against himself to get Milton in a market with a large number of other free agent outfielders were available, and available for a low price...and Jim Hendry picked the one that no one else wanted, paid him more than any other player, and gave him more years than any of those other players. 
There are more reasons than this, this is just a preliminary list.  I have a longer list...but that will have to wait until my deadline for this team to turn it around at the end of the month.  Add more reasons in the commentes if you want.