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  • Time For A Critical Assessment of Jim Hendry!

    In my lifetime, I've seen some terrible Cub GM's: John Holland, Salty Saltwell, Bob Kennedy, Jim Frey, Larry Himes, Ed Lynch, Andy MacPhail, and now Jim Hendry. The only exception was Dallas Greene, who I thought did a great job.

    I think the time has come to take a critical look at the job Jim Hendry has done. I admit he has made some good moves, but overall, his trades and his judgment of player personnel have been disasterous. Here are a few questionable moves, right off the top of my head:

    1. Trading away Dontrelle Willis, last year's Cy Young Award winner. How could any GM worth his salt trade away a big, young, hard-throwing lefty with a funky motion? Any good baseball fan could take one look at Willis and would know he was going to be good. What was Hendry and his staff thinking! I know we got Matt Clement in the deal (along with Alfonseca). But then, last year, when we needed an extra starting pitcher due to the injury proneness of Kerry Wood, he lets Clement leave for free agency! So we basically got nothing for Dontrelle Willis, a guy who could be a 20-game winner for the next decade. Before too much longer, this trade might rival the Lou Brock trade for the worst Cub deal of all time.

    2. Letting Moises Alou leave after 2004 and not replacing his production. He was content to start the year with unproven, unproductive journeyman, Todd Hollingsworth, as the left fielder. The power outage from left field basically cooked the season. While other Natinal League teams get about 25-35 home runs, 90-110 RBI's from left field, Hollingsworth was on a pace to get about 6 HR's and maybe 40 RBI's before he was mercifully released. You're not going to get too far in the National League with nothing from your left fielder.

    3. Starting last year trying again to force-feed us Corey Patterson - a chronic strike-out guy and low OBP guy - as the lead-off man, after he had failed miserably in repeated attempts in the same role before. How many teams are going to have success when their lead-off guy strikes out all the time and never gets on base? Again, any good Cub fan I know could see this coming - but not our GM!

    4. Starting 2005 with LaTroy Hawkins as the closer when he had failed miserably in previous attempts with the Twins, and the previous year with the Cubs. This was probably the biggest disaster of all. How many teams are going to succeed when your closer can't get anybody out?

    5. Investing $9 million in an injury-prone, over-the-hill Nomar Garrciaparra in 2005 and counting on him being the starting shortstop. He was injured when they got him in 2004 (remember the wrist?), and then injured himself again in April of 2005, by doing - of all things! - swinging the bat in the batter's box! When I asked a good friend of mine who follows the American League closer than I do what he thought when the Cubs signed Nomar in July of 2004, his exact words to me at the time were: "Who would want him?" How come my friend could see this but our GM couldn't?

    6. Counting on an injury-prone Kerry Wood year-after-year as the staff Ace. Look at it this way: since his rookie year, the most games Wood has ever won for the Cubs is 14, which he did once. He usually gets about 4 - 7 wins. The least amount of games Mark Buehrle has won for the White Sox in the same period is 14, and he usually wins about 18 - 19. How many teams are going to succeed if the staff Ace gets about 4 wins?

    7. Giving up on Tony Womack after the 2003 season, even though the team was desperate for a lead-off man and a second baseman, only to see him sign with the Cardinals as their lead-off man for 2004, have a .350 OPS season, and go with the Cardinal to the World Series. This is what I mean about terrible personnel judgement. Isn't this what he's paid to be good at?

    8. Not taking action to end the Steve Stone fiasco immediately in 2004. He allowed it to fester the entire second half of the year. With any good GM, this would have been a one week story at most. Instead it basically ruined the season for the Cubs and left a bad taste in eveyone's mouth. Can anyone imagine a GM like John Scherholtz allowing a situation like this to develop and not taking action to end it immediately?

    9. Sticking with the manager and the entire coaching staff after the disasterous season they had last year. Instead of firing people, they're all coming back, and he's talking about extensions! Now we're stuck with a manager, who, in my opinion, doesn't even want to be here. Does anybody really think Baker would not have loved to get the Dodger job?

    10. He should be fired for even thinking about trading Mark Prior this winter. Apparently this deal came very close to coming off. Who did he think was going to be pitching for the Cubs? Hasn't he learned anything from the Braves all these years or the White Sox last year, that starting pitching is the key to success and the hardest commodity to replace? This was a disaster-in-the-making that luckily didn't come off.

    And I don't have a good feeling for the coming year. I expect a marginal improvement over last year - which isn't saying much. I predict the Cubs will be fighting it out with Pittsbugh (who will be improved this year) for fourth place, behind the Cardinals, Astros, and Brewers (another team that has improved). It just seems to me that Hendry has gotten a free pass the last couple years after making some terrible decisions. I know most Cub fans are rightfully down on Dusty Baker. But, to me, the problem is with Jim Hendry.
    Last edited by GaryL; 02-21-2006, 07:46 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GaryL
    In my lifetime, I've seen some terrible Cub GM's: John Holland, Salty Saltwell, Bob Kennedy, Jim Frey, Larry Himes, Ed Lynch, Andy MacPhail, and now Jim Hendry. The only exception was Dallas Greene, who I thought did a great job.

    I think the time has come to take a critical look at the job Jim Hendry has done. I admit he has made some good moves, but overall, his trades and his judgment of player personnel have been disasterous. Here are a few questionable moves, right off the top of my head:

    1. Trading away Dontrelle Willis, last year's Cy Young Award winner. How could any GM worth his salt trade away a big, young, hard-throwing lefty with a funky motion? Any good baseball fan could take one look at Willis and would know he was going to be good. What was Hendry and his staff thinking! I know we got Matt Clement in the deal (along with Alfonseca). But then, last year, when we needed an extra starting pitcher due to the injury proneness of Kerry Wood, he lets Clement leave for free agency! So we basically got nothing for Dontrelle Willis, a guy who could be a 20-game winner for the next decade. Before too much longer, this trade might rival the Lou Brock trade for the worst Cub deal of all time.

    2. Letting Moises Alou leave after 2004 and not replacing his production. He was content to start the year with unproven, unproductive journeyman, Todd Hollingsworth, as the left fielder. The power outage from left field basically cooked the season. While other Natinal League teams get about 25-35 home runs, 90-110 RBI's from left field, Hollingsworth was on a pace to get about 6 HR's and maybe 40 RBI's before he was mercifully released. You're not going to get too far in the National League with nothing from your left fielder.

    3. Starting last year trying again to force-feed us Corey Patterson - a chronic strike-out guy and low OBP guy - as the lead-off man, after he had failed miserably in repeated attempts in the same role before. How many teams are going to have success when their lead-off guy strikes out all the time and never gets on base? Again, any good Cub fan I know could see this coming - but not our GM!

    4. Starting 2005 with LaTroy Hawkins as the closer when he had failed miserably in previous attempts with the Twins, and the previous year with the Cubs. This was probably the biggest disaster of all. How many teams are going to succeed when your closer can't get anybody out?

    5. Investing $9 million in an injury-prone, over-the-hill Nomar Garrciaparra in 2005 and counting on him being the starting shortstop. He was injured when they got him in 2004 (remember the wrist?), and then injured himself again in April of 2005, by doing - of all things! - swinging the bat in the batter's box! When I asked a good friend of mine who follows the American League closer than I do what he thought when the Cubs signed Nomar in July of 2004, his exact words to me at the time were: "Who would want him?" How come my friend could see this but our GM couldn't?

    6. Counting on an injury-prone Kerry Wood year-after-year as the staff Ace. Look at it this way: since his rookie year, the most games Wood has ever won for the Cubs is 14, which he did once. He usually gets about 4 - 7 wins. The least amount of games Mark Buehrle has won for the White Sox in the same period is 14, and he usually wins about 18 - 19. How many teams are going to succeed if the staff Ace gets about 4 wins?

    7. Giving up on Tony Womack after the 2003 season, even though the team was desperate for a lead-off man and a second baseman, only to see him sign with the Cardinals as their lead-off man for 2004, have a .350 OPS season, and go with the Cardinal to the World Series. This is what I mean about terrible personnel judgement. Isn't this what he's paid to be good at?

    8. Not taking action to end the Steve Stone fiasco immediately in 2004. He allowed it to fester the entire second half of the year. With any good GM, this would have been a one week story at most. Instead it basically ruined the season for the Cubs and left a bad taste in eveyone's mouth. Can anyone imagine a GM like John Scherholtz allowing a situation like this to develop and not taking action to end it immediately?

    9. Sticking with the manager and the entire coaching staff after the disasterous season they had last year. Instead of firing people, they're all coming back, and he's talking about extensions! Now we're stuck with a manager, who, in my opinion, doesn't even want to be here. Does anybody really think Baker would not have loved to get the Dodger job?

    10. He should be fired for even thinking about trading Mark Prior this winter. Apparently this deal came very close to coming off. Who did he think was going to be pitching for the Cubs? Hasn't he learned anything from the Braves all these years or the White Sox last year, that starting pitching is the key to success and the hardest commodity to replace? This was a disaster-in-the-making that luckily didn't come off.

    And I don't have a good feeling for the coming year. I expect a marginal improvement over last year - which isn't saying much. I predict the Cubs will be fighting it out with Pittsbugh (who will be improved this year) for fourth place, behind the Cardinals, Astros, and Brewers (another team that has improved). It just seems to me that Hendry has gotten a free pass the last couple years after making some terrible decisions. I know most Cub fans are rightfully down on Dusty Baker. But, to me, the problem is with Jim Hendry.
    1-pitcher in single-A ball w/ funky mechanics usually=arm problems, especially in the cubs organization, did you even know who dontrelle willis was when we traded him away?...doubt it
    2-probably the only one i agree with, but he couldn't do much, he was hoping dubois would turn into the stud many expected him to(i never really liked him and am glad he's gone)
    3-corey patterson's avg/obp before the 2005 season-though not highly impressive, were fair enough to keep him and his defense in CF, it wasn't until 2005 that his bombing offense factored into mental mistakes in the OF
    4-and who was available that offseason?...i believe it was percival, benitez and dempster, people bashed hendry for missing out on percival and benitez and i believe dempster trumped them both majorly in saves in '05 as well as being off the DL unlike the other two, not to mention you forget he swung hawkins for a decent reliever aardsma and our current 5th starter williams, a 24 yr old with huge promise
    5-nomar's only 'injury-prone' year was 2004 when we got him, before that he was a batting champ and MVP, don't tell me you didn't like it when we got him...btw, i believe when he came back last year after his injury he hit .318 for us...nomar is a great player who had unfortunate luck the last few years and is a great person on top of it, if anything i wish they would've brought him back one more year to see if he could stay healthy and produce like he did the whole second half last year
    6-hendry became GM in what...'01, '02?...since then he's brought up mark prior, carlos zambrano, both of whom have IMO passed kerry as the staff ace, then brought in maddux who's ahead of wood if wood's not healthy-i don't see him as counting on kerry as the ace, but as a valuable pitcher like he was in '03, or do you forget he practically single-handedly won us our only playoff series in YEARS!!
    7-and he brought in todd walker and grudz, who MORE than replaced womack's bat, if you're talking about losing a leadoff guy, then i was upset he let lofton go, but womack i had no problem seeing going, he was a weak bat at best
    8-what's he going to do?-can he tell stone to stop talking-or the players to stop getting upset, i'm sure he didn't sit back and watch it happen-you have no idea what he said/did to try and stop it all, so don't judge until you have your facts
    9-baker has said before he was in SF for 15 years and doesn't plan on jumping job to job much, so i think he is a little happy with the offseason we just had, baker got this team winning seasons back to back, i know-he was given the talent, but we've given the talent to other managers just to watch them fall flat on their faces(baylor most noticably IMO)
    10-your upset bc he 'almost' did something, you don't know how close it was to going down, no one does except hendry and the phil's GM, from everything i've heard they asked for Z and he said no way, they then asked for prior and he thought for a day or so, then said no way, you have to consider things and his judgment not to do it should be a postive not a negative


    stop w/ the JH bashing, especially if your arguments make no sense, i think the two most noticable mistakes by JH were letting lofton go and not getting a better LF for '05, but look how it worked out, we now have murton looking very positive there...while i can see a few negatives i see MANY more positives and i think your nit-picking is ridiculous

    Comment


    • #3
      These are bonehead moves. Let's examine 2006.

      Originally posted by GaryL
      I think the time has come to take a critical look at the job Jim Hendry has done.
      And the list could go on, such as bringing in Jeromy Burnitz, who hadn't done anything for years. A move like this you would expect from the Rockies, or any other team that knows it cannot contend, has thrown in the towel, has no ready talent on the farm, and just needs to assemble a competitive major league roster.

      Also, what exactly has occurred that anointed Ryan Demster the closer? Old Style is affecting my memory more and more each year, but I do remember "bull-dog Dempster" walking the bases full, and then walking in the winning run.

      Why not bash the GM? These are all boneheaded moves and the 2005 team was lousy. It's not like this is speculation that the moves for 2006 will fail just as badly as 2004, and 2005.

      Best wishes to the Cubs and their outfield of Matt Murton, Juan Pierre, and Jaque Jones. Why can't they be more effective than, say, Larry Bigbie, Jim Edmonds, and Juan Encarnacion? I think they can, and on paper the 2006 Cards are no better than the Cubs.

      Rolen/Albert vs. A-Ram/Big-D: As close as it gets.
      Eckstein/Spivey vs. Cedeno/Walker: Possible advantage to the Cubs. Eckstein is an offensive and defensive liability but plays hard. Spivey is worse than Grudz.
      Barrett/Molina: Certainly not an advantage to the Cardinals. If Molina can manage games and pitchers, why can't Barrett, or let Blanco play.
      Howry/Eyre/Williamson/bullpen vs. Ruined Cards bullpen: Cubs.
      Isringhausen vs. Dempster: Big + for the Cards.
      Zambrano/Prior vs. Carpenter/Mulder: A wash.
      #3/#4/#5 Starters: Possible big Cubs advantage.

      Mabry/Hairston/Perez vs. Taguchi/Luna/Miles: Having Mabry could give an assist against the Cards and he can play multiple positions.

      There are a lot of reasons to like the Cubs chances compared to the team assembled in St. Louis. There are a lot of reasons to like all the players on this team.

      With the exception of 2nd base, the manager seems to know what he has to deal with this year, and seems to know people are expecting to see Cedeno and Murton playing, and the Cubs playing the kind of baseball that fits the strengths of these guys, and that they will be given the opportunities to succeed.

      Good strong pitchers like Williams and Rusch will need to given opportunities to succeed. Together with a terrific deep bullpen, this would enable Zambrano/Prior/Maddux to thrive all year. In May or June, Wood and Miller could combine to form a juggernaut. I thought Miller would bounce back last year, so it must be this year.

      With this team's pitching staff, there would be absolutely no reason for any of the pitchers to throw 230 pitches, no matter how well the game was going. If that happens, you won't be able to print anything I have to say about the manager, but more importantly, it would be a clear indication that the manager is just not paying attention to the big picture, doesn't have a clue, and so on.

      Is it more critical to the success of the team that journeymen utility players get the regular nod over talented homegrown rookies? Probably not. Is there a way to use utility players to help take the pressure off your young guys so they fit in and succeed, increasing your chances of having a well-oiled machine going in September? Absolutely! Just ask Bobby Cox, whose team never has any trouble inserting rookies without missing a beat.

      Enough said. Go Cubs!

      Comment


      • #4
        but I do remember "bull-dog Dempster" walking the bases full, and then walking in the winning run.
        No you don't.
        beware of the censorship police

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by burger eater
          No you don't.
          Musta been the Old Style . . . Who was it?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Uncle Dak
            Musta been the Old Style . . . Who was it?
            as a closer dempster was 33/35...his two blown saves occurred in games that he recorded the win, so either that wasn't a save opportunity or you should lay of the alcohol for a while

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe Remlinger did it in 2004. I think he walked in the go ahead run in the 8th at an away game and the Cubs failed to score in the 9th.
              The Offerman incident?... maybe that's what you remember. I can understand the mix-up, the bullpen the past couple years have provided so many of those moments that it's hard to seperate them. It's mostly been a melting pot of ****. Dempster did walk in a run in a Phillies game but still maintained the save. That was fun.
              beware of the censorship police

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by redwhitenblue
                as a closer dempster was 33/35...his two blown saves occurred in games that he recorded the win, so either that wasn't a save opportunity or you should lay of the alcohol for a while
                It was a save opportunity, Dempster just didn't blow the game. On Aug 2nd against the Phils on the road, the Cubs were leading 2-0 going into the ninth, Dempster got Lofton out then preceded to walk the next 3 batters (Utley, Abreu, and Burrell) then he walked Howard to walk in a run. Dempster then got Bell and Timo Perez to strike out swinging with the bases loaded. Dempster had quite a few games where he put men on only finish out the game. Hopefully he's as luck this season as he was last year.
                What a Batted Ball is Worth (in terms of a run):
                Line Drive: .356
                HBP: .342
                Non-Intentional Walk: .315
                Intentional Walk: .176
                Outfield Fly: .035
                Groundball: -.101
                Bunts: -.103
                Infield Fly: -.243
                Strikeout: -.287
                It's now officially Doctor Bob Sacamento, D.C., C.S.C.S., and working on my D.A.B.C.O. (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Sacamento
                  It was a save opportunity, Dempster just didn't blow the game. On Aug 2nd against the Phils on the road, the Cubs were leading 2-0 going into the ninth, Dempster got Lofton out then preceded to walk the next 3 batters (Utley, Abreu, and Burrell) then he walked Howard to walk in a run. Dempster then got Bell and Timo Perez to strike out swinging with the bases loaded. Dempster had quite a few games where he put men on only finish out the game. Hopefully he's as luck this season as he was last year.
                  THANK YOU! BREAK OUT THE OLD STYLE THEN! Just trying to have some fun. He's the guy and like you say we hope.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, Hendry sucks. I'll trade you Allard Baird even up.
                    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                    Comment

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