Cubs Chairman Gives GM Hendry Vote Of Confidence

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts told reporters in Anaheim that he has "the highest level of confidence" in his GM Jim Hendry, writes MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.  However, Ricketts stopped sort of guaranteeing Hendry's job security:

"The fact is right now, Jim is our general manager, I support him, I think he does a great job, and after that we'll just take it one day at a time," the chairman said.

The Cubs have the highest payroll in the National League and are nine-and-a-half games back in the Central division.  Hendry has received quite a bit of heat from Cubs fans and the critics haven't gotten any quieter as they're on pace for their second consecutive season without a playoff berth.  Even though he wouldn't guarantee Hendry's job beyond 2010, Ricketts declined to point the finger at anyone in particular.

"I'm not going to assign blame to anyone or anything," said Ricketts. "The fact is we came into the season, we had what appeared to be a pretty strong lineup. It hasn't worked out for whatever reason and it seems like the guys are putting it together now and let's just keep winning."

Meanwhile, the club is reportedly looking to shed some cumbersome contracts as they head into the Trade Deadline.  There are several deals that go beyond 2010 that the Cubs would like to move, but their most tradeable big salary player is likely Kosuke Fukudome.


Leave a Reply

35 Comments on "Cubs Chairman Gives GM Hendry Vote Of Confidence"


5 years 1 month ago

I didn’t know cubs had the highest payroll in the NL. Sucks to be a cub fan

the_show
5 years 1 month ago

The Cubs have the 3rd highest payroll in baseball, further proof of Jim Hendry’s incompetence.

j6takish
5 years 1 month ago

It only takes 90 wins to win the NL central in a good year, and you get to play 54 games against the Pirates/Brewers/Astros

04Forever
5 years 1 month ago

sorry cub fans, but the owner is the only one that doesnt hate him

melonis_rex
5 years 1 month ago

Any other NL Central team? White Sox?

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
5 years 1 month ago

Oh, the dreaded vote of confidence. The Cubs need a major overhaul,on and off the field. The sooner, the better.

Smileybush
5 years 1 month ago

It is never anyone’s fault . . . 102 years and counting. Maybe if the team could (a) admit their mistakes and (b) address them, things would change. But until then, why should anyone expect anything different than an underachieving dysfunctional organization.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Next he’ll be getting a kiss from Al Pacino.

jeffmaz
5 years 1 month ago

As a Padre fan – I want to thank Hendry for overpaying for Fukudome. He isn’t worth half what the Padres were willing to pay him

5 years 1 month ago

Again, us fans are not soothsayers, but some of this did predict this. A virtually all right handed lineup and no speed leads to a lot of 1 run losses. You cannot rely on power alone, even in Wrigley Field.

That’s why many of us, including myself, wanted Jim to go after guys like Chone Figgins, Brian Roberts, and others who could have provided us with a bit more balance and speed.

Look at the Phillies. Look at the Yankees. Look at the Rays. They know about balance. The Cubs don’t.

aap212
5 years 1 month ago

Isn’t the much bigger problem that two of the power guys aren’t hitting for any power? They need less suck more than they need more speed.

quintjs
5 years 1 month ago

true but you need balance to win. The Rays and Yankees steal bases, hit for power and have great pitching. If the Cubs play at their peak, they still only achieve one of those.

Look back at playoff teams, they are balanced.

The cubs is just a poorly put together team.

mattmosher
5 years 1 month ago

I always think Mets fans have it hard until I think of the Cubs fans. That organization is clueless and yet their fans drink the Kool-Aid every year despite the fact that the White Sox are twice as good.

Sniderlover
5 years 1 month ago

Cubs are the perfect example of bad spending. At least when the Yanks and Sox spend money, they do it wisely.

Didn’t realize it takes skill to spend 150+ mill but apparently it does…

quintjs
5 years 1 month ago

You really want to put your name up for the Cubs GM job don’t you? I could build a cubs team spending 150million that is terrible, and I would do it for less than they are paying Hendry.

quintjs
5 years 1 month ago

The line “their most tradeable big salary player is likely Kosuke Fukudome” nearly made me cry with pain, and I don’t even like the Cubs.

cubnation
5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, this was a good article until the fukudome part. Anybody that has remotely followed this team knows that ted lilly is our best trade piece along with some middle infielders and dlee (after seeing his second half last year). Ramirez may even turn out to be a big trade piece with the way he’s been turning it on. However, his player option next year may be a turn off. I just KNOW that fukudome is not our best trade piece

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

Mr. Ricketts will tell the public he has confidence in Hendry for now. Too close to the trade deadline for those kind of changes. The big question is will the Ricketts family keep Hendry around after the season. Hendry has two more years left. The sad part is if Hendry stays or is fired at season’s end, several big contracts he signed are still going to be here for some time.

Thank you sir, may I have another…

rm85
5 years 1 month ago

Ovepaying for Figgins and Roberts would have made us worse in the short and long term. I’m not saying speed isn’t important, but it’s more of an intrinsic value more than anything else. The problem with the team is that Lee and Ramirez have been MIA for much of the season. Ramirez has gotten hot which is a good thing for next year. Getting little production from the corners was holding the team back.

It’s not as if we haven’t had players in the lineup perform. Soto, Byrd, Soriano, Colvin to an extent have performed. Lee and Ramirez sucking is the main reason they are losing and that’s not the fault of the front office. Theriot batting anywhere in the first 8 spots of the lineup doesn’t help either. The pitching staff is there, but the offense has held the team back. Lineup construction might have a lot to do with it.

Wrek305
5 years 1 month ago

Brian Roberts sucks it was way better getting DeRosa then Roberts.. And Figgins clearly washed up

Ramirez is hitting .210 in July.. he won’t be back… he better not be back…

rm85
5 years 1 month ago

I’m not saying Hendry is great, but he’s probably in the average area. This team has had success with him so it’s not like he’s Dayton Moore, Ruben Amaro, Omar Minaya bad where you have to force him out. We have a better farm system now then when he was spending money so I think the big deals would be limited to an extent.

As far as the free agent GMs I don’t know if there is anyone out there that you can say for sure is better than Hendry at the moment. Not saying Hendry is the best guy out there, but he’s not the worst. His moves last off-season have worked out okay with the exception of the Grabow deal. With the hire of Ari Kaplan deals like that won’t happen anymore most likely. He’s a better talent evaluator than most people give him credit for as well. He’s not Theo or anyone like that, but I think you can have success with him.

johnsilver
5 years 1 month ago

Kevin Towers might be coaxed to come onboard and is available would think, he is far, far superior to Hendry, then about anyone is.

As for that 1st part.. he is a Drayton more with salary to spend IMO. Give Moore the ability to spend 150M and imagine he could average 81 wins a season.

Not knocking on you, just Hendry in general.

aaron b
5 years 1 month ago

Agreed,

He’s been .500 with far and away the highest payroll in the division. He’s been here since 2002. For all the “Farm System” talk that gets bandied. We still don’t have a certifiable Big Bat in the whole ML system.

Bottom line is that the whole organizational philosophy needs to be overhauled. Absolutely no reason whatsoever that the cubs shouldn’t be competitive every single season.

rm85
5 years 1 month ago

Brett Jackson isn’t too far away and he should be a good bat. Josh Vitters isn’t doing too bad for his age in double A. Yeah we don’t have Ryan Howard type power bat, but it’s not completely empty either.

aaron b
5 years 1 month ago

They do have some decent pieces in the minors. Just nothing in the way of an impact bat.

That seems to be the problem with Wilkens drafts everywhere he has been. He loves tools and guys who look good in a baseball uni. Middle of the diamond athletes and pitchers with fastballs.

While the theory is that these guys can move to different defensive postions. You aren’t going to have a strong hitting team if you are moving minor league SS’s to corner infield and outfield postions in the majors.

He also tends to disregard strike-zone judgement in prospects. But Hendry usually disregards strike zone judgement as well.

Basically this is an organization that has been stuck in the stone age. Trusting scouts is all well and good. You just need a sabre voice to balance it all out.

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

“Basically this is an organization that has been stuck in the stone age. Trusting scouts is all well and good. You just need a sabre voice to balance it all out.

Like rm85 pointed out above, the The Ricketts family did hire a sabre guy to the Cubs a few months back. If Hendry stays or not, there will be another voice on moves.

rm85
5 years 1 month ago

If you read some of Dayton Moore’s comments on statistics I think you would disagree. I get that Hendry isn’t the most saber inclined GM out there, but he gets the importance of OBP and that’s something Moore has yet to grasp.

Hendry gets a lot to spend so he does have more room for error than most. He has put good teams on the field, but its the players job to perform and they haven’t done it for the most part. IIRC the Cubs were the favorite to win the division in 2009 so he obviously most have done something right. My gripe is that people put him in the Moore, Sabean, Minaya, Amaro category and I don’t think that’s right or fair.

aaron b
5 years 1 month ago

A big part of Hendry’s downfall is going to be that he defers roster decisions to his managers too much. He doesn’t seem to have the stones to “Be the boss”.

-Dusty Baker always wanted speed, aggressive hitters and proven vets. So we end up with Juan Pierre, Tony Womack twice, Jack Jones, Burnitz and players of that ilk

-Lou has been obsessed with Left-Handedness over actual on field production since he got here. In particular a “Left handed hitting Right Fielder that can bat 5th” as Lou begged for from 2007-Milton Bradley. So we saw a stream of Cliff Floyd, Fukudome, Bradley in successive years.

Lou also hasn’t done Hendry any favors in the way he doghouses guys, seemingly at random.

Jack Jones
Scott Eyre
Matt Murton
Felix Pie
Rich Hill
Cesar Izturis
Ronny Cedeno

Are all guys who found Lou’s doghouse and were shipped out for pennies on the dollar.

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

Lou also rode Michael Barrett and Michael Wuertz out of town. Barrett needed to go. Wuertz was a good pick up for Oakland. Eyre had some success with Philly before he was done. Other than that, the other names on that list have not turned out to be so much. Some of those names rode themselves out of town for reasons.

It took Lou a long time to move Soriano when he got here. Lou sits guys like Colvin because he has to play Fukudome…Mr. Invisible after May. Lee is his favorite, yet stinks it up all year and refuses to move him and Ramierez from the 3 & 4 spots in the order. Lou looks tired and his team is reflecting it, too. Likewise, Lou can only do so much. Players need to play. I’m not saying Lou is all to blame or blameless though.

aaron b
5 years 1 month ago

None of those guys are stars. However each of them has had some level of major league success.

At minimum each and every one of those guys had some trade value at some point. Except Lou banishing them ensured that we got pennies on that dollar value.

Ultimately its Hendry’s fault for not managing the situations. And that is one more reason why both he and Lou are goners after this season.

Wrek305
5 years 1 month ago

Michael Wuertz was crap anyway… and Micheal Barrett ran himself out by fighting with Zambrano.. but now Z needs to go more then anything.. they could easily trade all the bad apples and contract and just pay 85% of each contract and just get one or two rookie A players for each

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

“they could easily trade all the bad apples and contract and just pay 85% of each contract and just get one or two rookie A players for each”

Forget Lilly and Lee’s contracts as they are up this year. If you take Soriano, Zambrano, Ramirez and Fukudome’s contracts after 2010, add it up and eat the 85% as you say, it is still over 145MM. Forget lesser dog contracts like Grabow and don’t even count if they buy out Hendry’s two years. That is not reasonable business to eat that much money. Plus, that is not including next year’s payroll on top of that! Not even the Yankees do it and it only happens in fantasy ball.

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

“they could easily trade all the bad apples and contract and just pay 85% of each contract and just get one or two rookie A players for each”

Forget Lilly and Lee’s contracts as they are up this year. If you take Soriano, Zambrano, Ramirez and Fukudome’s contracts after 2010, add it up and eat the 85% as you say, it is still over 145MM. Forget lesser dog contracts like Grabow and don’t even count if they buy out Hendry’s two years. That is not reasonable business to eat that much money. Plus, that is not including next year’s payroll on top of that! Not even the Yankees do it and it only happens in fantasy ball.

studio179
5 years 1 month ago

Well, many are venting and you can’t blame them. I toss in cracks as well. This team the last couple years has under performed and looked so bad many times. Hendry does deserve his share of the blame. Some of those previous big signings were not all Hendry’s fault. Some moves came above him. Other moves you can place right at Hendry’s doorstep. I try to be fair for his good moves and the bad ones.

This team continues to fail and play bad ball. It is because of all but a few players. Also, I’m not just looking at Hendry. Pinella is getting paid big money to get/keep these guys mentally ready. Other than his usual ‘what can we do’ or defeated responses, the team (other than a few players) sleepwalks most of the time. But Hendry is the GM. All fingers point to the GM when things go sour. All we can hope for is a better system wide plan with the new ownership and better moves ahead trying to rebuild from the current situation.

wheresthehawk
5 years 1 month ago

Highest team salary in the NL, and 10+ below .500? Not good…Bad signings, Bad Team Chemistry, Tired Manager waiting to pull the pin. This is NOT the makings for a successful franchise. Time to blow it up.