On July 22, the Chicago Cubs informed Jim Hendry that he would not return as the general manager of the team.
This news breaks today... August 19...
Hendry, in an emotional press conference in which he answered all questions, gave his two cents on why he stayed around, how he handled the trade deadline, how he impacted the draft, and the future of the team now that he won't be part of it.
As always, Hendry handled the presser with class. And that is how he handled his entire tenure with the team: class.
If only we could use other adjectives, like "effective" or "creative" or "successful."
I know already that my painting Hendry as not being successful will get me blasted, and that's fine. I realize that the Cubs won more division titles under his watch than any other GM in team history.
But the team also wasted more money on older, bad players during Hendry's tenure than just about any other GM in baseball history. I can't think of of many contracts worse than paper Hendry handed to Milton Bradley, Kosuke Fukudome or Alfonso Soriano in the past decade, and Hendry's signature is on all three deals.
Where the raging questions will come from the fans - and already have on Twitter - is with regard to the timing.
Why fire the guy and still let him manage deals through the trade deadline? Would someone else have moved more than Fukudome?
Why let him go, and then allow him to manage the team's draft? Most analysts have graded the Cubs' draft well this year, and the number of players signed was remarkable. Did Hendry's presence play a significant role in the players signed, or picked?
Tom Ricketts explanation of Hendry's leaving: "We didn't win enough games." He also stressed that he wants a different perspective driving the organization moving forward if the team wants to win a World Series.
If Ricketts is going to stress the future as a reason to move Hendry... why let him manage a draft class?
Clearly it makes sense that Hendry is gone, but the timing doesn't add up. Randy Bush will serve as interim general manager. However, Ricketts was strong in stating that he will reach out to industry veterans and that the search will be for someone outside the organization.
The next GM of the Chicago Cubs will, as many national analysts have already pointed out, will enter a better situation than Hendry is leaving.
Ricketts maintains his focus on winning a World Series. Maybe he should hire Dale Tallon...