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Top Cubs GM Candidates IF Cubs don't retain Jim Hendry

There's been some speculation about Jim Hendry's job security ever since the Cubs changed ownership.  None of this has actually been fueled by  the team's new owner Tom Ricketts who, if anything, has done his best to squelch such talk.  Nevertheless, the whispers continue that if the Cubs can't finish .500 or at least show some sort of progress by season's end, Hendry will be fired.

The much-maligned Hendry has been blamed for every Cubs shortcoming -- this despite the fact that the Cubs have been more successful during his tenure than any GM in recent memory, including fan favorite Dallas Green.  Still, no fans need a scapegoat more than Cub fans, from billy goats to Bartman, we've turned blame into an art form.  One hundred years of frustration will do that to you.

Still, ownership can handle frustration and heartache, they inherently imply there is some hope to begin with.  What they can't handle is complete fan apathy.  If Ricketts thinks they're headed in that direction, a change will have to be made.  So with that being said, here are some candidates to keep an eye on...

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  • Fair or unfair, with coaches & GMs, sometimes you just need a change. You see this a lot in the NBA with coaches, and personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. With executives and coaches, I believe there are a handful who are truly great, a couple that don't deserve there jobs, and everyone else in between. That's where Hendry falls. It might just be time for a change.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agreed. Well put. I also believe Hendry is somewhere in between and that in the end, that just isn't good enough. If it does happen, I think he'll find a job quickly -- maybe not as a GM, but he'll get hired in some capacity. He's well-liked and has made lots of connections around the league -- and that's the one thing that gives me pause. He may be our best shot to land a big fish. I'm not sure a young GM with little experience will be able to pull it off.

  • In reply to walrus:

    agree completely

  • Cherington's got my vote. I've always favored the moneyball approach. Being a major maarket team, the Cubs can put their own unique twist on it, as you wrote about organization models like the Indians etc. , and Chicago having the ability to kind of blend several together to craete the best possible. Ben sounds like the guy most capable of leading that.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He would be one of the odds-on favorites. I like him too. Nice, balanced approach.

    It's one of the things to watch this offseason. If the Cubs keep Hendry, I think they'll be a big player in the FA market. If they go with someone like Cherington, then I think it will mean they'll continue to take a step back -- maybe sign a couple of undervalued players and try to build from the ground up. I don't think you change gears and go with an untested GM like Cherington if you're planning on going all-in this offseason on Pujols or Fielder.

    There's a third, albeit unlikely, possibility that Hendry could get a McPhail-like promotion upstairs and help ease the transition for a new GM. Most of the time, a new GM means a new philosophy and a clean break from the past.

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