I remember not too long ago that the Chicago Cubs were brightly looking toward a very promising future. In this future, they were competitive, well-managed, and brimming with expensive talent. The only problem is that "not too long ago" was the winter of 2006 and the "very promising future" was the 2008 baseball season. Here we are in 2011 with the same basic management structure and, more concerning, the same expensive talent.
But unlike Rob, who seems some what outraged at the current sad state of affairs, I posit a different perspective: who didn't see this coming? Surely we all must have. The 2011 season (and by default 2012) is the culmination of Jim Hendry doing everything short of Satanic Ritual to keep his job. He's done everything imaginable to keep his job to this point, save the one thing that would make his position as GM justified: build a winning organization.
Didn't we know, back when he signed a 60-something manager, that he wasn't thinking long-term? When he threw an 8-year-contract at an over-30 player with no real natural position, didn't we figure out that he was trading the 2010-2012 seasons for a competitive 2007-2009? And it's worked - he put the Cubs in competition for a few years, cementing his job while making him virtually "unfireable" during the transition from the Cubs being Tribune-owned to Ricketts-run.
Therefore, it's not outrageous, at least not to me, to discover that this season is just miserable. It's sad. The Cubs are old, they are without many talented young players, and they are poorly run. Not a big surprise.
What would be a huge surprise - but a good one - would be a Hendry resignation. What more does he have to work for? He's not going to get a third chance. He's already wrecked what should be one of the premier organizations in professional sports. What's more, we saw him coming. So, perhaps it's time to see him go.