Got to be honest. I had my doubts Tom Ricketts had it in him to fire Jim Hendry.
But it’s the bold move I talked about yesterday, sending the message all Cubs fans want to hear–losing is no longer acceptable.
Ricketts has done well spreading the good cheer, which is commendable for any owner, but losing can never be overlooked.
Firing Hendry let’s us know the ownership is listening, they’re committed, they’re keeping their word about bringing winning baseball, in particular a World Championship, back to Chicago.
Handing out coffee, meeting with fans and offering encouraging words for his players is all a nice gesture, but it doesn’t win games.
If the Ricketts family wants to be loved, the way Yankees fans loved George, winning comes first above all else.
In this case that means starting over with a new GM, and likely, a new manager.
Hendry and Mike Quade are two of baseball’s good guys. I’m certain both will land on their feet with another big league organization.
The direction of the Cubs under Hendry is of much debate. But I suspect Jim will not be viewed in the same light years from now that he is today.
It wasn’t always this bad on the North Side, and Hendry deserves some credit. But with Cubs fans frustrated to no end, in part by some of Hendry’s questionable moves, he’s being run out of town on a rail.
Quade might still be a good big league manager. Chicago, however, hasn’t been a good fit for him. The mish-mash of overpaid veterans and budding youngsters has been an unsolvable puzzle for Quade all year.
Building a winning team takes time, a good plan and patience. Quade didn’t have the privilege of any of those things–only the support of his boss Hendry, who of course, is no longer his boss.
This moment, however, is not one of celebration. In fact, it’s a reminder just how far the Cubs are from any celebration at all.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, starting with the hiring of a new GM, and soon to be, his new manager. The offseason will be the Cubs most important one in years, setting the foundation for what we hope to be a championship caliber team–sooner rather than later.
If winning starts at the top down, it’s a relief knowing the Cubs finally have an ownership that gives a damn. For that we can all agree on.