The subject of Jim Hendry always seems to find a way into Cubs news.
The question is why?
We all know Jim was a friend to some of the media that covered him and still cover the Cubs.
Full disclosure: I considered Jim a friend and he was always great to me personally. He was a very fun guy, candid, affable, and really seemed to enjoy what he did.
Now we can sit here all day and discuss the former GM’s ups and downs. Gordon Witenmyer’s column goes on to defend the Hendry regime, like others in town have done before. My question is why now? I doubt Hendry needs the defense or any help getting another GM job.
I’d like to put the subject to rest. We all know Hendry was a good baseball man that just came up short.
‘‘I still look at myself harshly,’’ Jim Hendry says. ‘‘I think the day I got the job, if you’d have told me six or seven years into it that we’d have won three divisions but hadn’t got to the Series, I would have thought I could have done better. I expected to be the GM when the Cubs got to the World Series . . .
Hendry made some huge mistakes and some have set the organization back to this day. However, he did have some help with some of those mistakes, although we are all tired of hearing about that fact now too.
The former Cubs GM was on fire with almost every move he made in the early part of his tenure.
From the Dusty Baker hire, to the raiding of small market teams, to the Nomar Garciaparra deal, Hendry was refreshingly aggressive. He put together a team in 2004 that had World Series written all over it. In my opinion it was the by far the best Cubs team top to bottom he put together.
The mistakes are too easy to list as well. My biggest issue with Hendry’s regime was the lack of an organizational plan for player development.
Then there was the Milton Bradley fiasco and Mike Quade.
I’ve told the story before about how Hendry wanted to acquire Bradley at the trading deadline during the ’08 season. That would have been the right move at the time. If Bradley would have proven a fit they could have re-signed him for another year or two at best.
We could go on and on, but we already have. Until Theo Epstein and his crew win a World Series we may have to hear some comparisons for a while.
I just wish we had the choice not to.