I wanted to address the managerial/general managerial issues that have arisen in the past week. Yes, I realize that it’s already old news, and that good bloggers had this stuff covered two days ago. I have to think about things before I write about them, you see. Here are my (thoroughly and carefully considered) thoughts.
On Jim Hendry: So our GM gets to keep his job (for now.) I am fine with this. I might be the only one, but I do not believe that Mr. Hendry is a terrible GM (or a kitten-eater.) He’s made his mistakes, of course (coughMiltonBradleycough) but has balanced them out with plenty of good deals and decisions (Rami, Lilly, Dempster, etc.,) It is likely that, had Mr. Hendry been relieved of his duties, a host of other team employees would have been gone as well. I’m perfectly happy that the Cubs will retain the likes of Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita.
For the record, if Mr. Hendry had been let go I wouldn’t have felt all that strongly about it. I’m not a rabid supporter of the man, but I have no bones to pick with him, either. He has done nothing to offend me. He has done nothing to win my unflinching favor.
If the Cubs chronic loseriness continues much into next year, you can be sure that Mr. Hendry will soon find himself without a job. And all of you doubters and pessimists will be able to rejoice and say “I told you so.” So be it. I’m just not going to work myself into a tizzy over something of this kind. We, as fans, have no control over it. You can fight it (and most likely be miserable,) or you can just roll with the punches. I’m a roller.
On Sweet Lou (really more on Ryne Sandberg): Now for the million dollar question: Who will replace Lou Piniella now that his retirement has been confirmed? I guess there aren’t all that many intriguing options, so it’s really more like an eight thousand dollar question. The names I’ve heard circulating include Bob Brenly, Alan Trammell, Joe Girardi and Joe Torre. All signs, though, seem to point to Ryne Sandberg. I’m not going to lie. This scares me. It scares me a lot. My doubts have little to do with Ryno himself. It isn’t that I think he’d be a bad manager, or that he “isn’t ready” (what do I know about that?)
I obviously like Ryno and I fear what effect a bad season or so would have on his popularity. This is not a man I want to hear people dumping on. As a Cubs legend, he ought never to be anything but adored by the masses. There’s the potential for a high-reward return in this scenario (what would be sweeter than winning a championship with a legend at the helm?) but the risk, in my opinion, is also alarmingly high.
Again, though… I don’t have a strong opinion on who should be the next manager and am content to wait and see what happens. If it did, in fact, turn out to be Ryne Sandberg, I’d not complain. I would worry.
Just a bit on the Rickets: I’ve been hearing a ton of smack talked about the new owners. I realize that people are frustrated, and frustrated people sometimes say stupid things. But it bugs me. You really think the Rickets family want the Cubs to fail? To be bad? To go another 102 years without a world series title? Be serious.
These people are trying to build a successful franchise. They are new to the whole owning-a-major-league-club thing, and they’re taking it slow, being cautious and careful. What’s wrong with that? I much prefer this approach, in fact. I’d be far more concerned if they were immediately jumping in, making splashy moves and throwing boatloads of money at every problem. I’m not saying you have to love the Rickets family, but at least give them a chance before jumping to conclusions.