At this point in the season it becomes increasingly apparent who are the contenders, thus buyers and who are the sellers. Some teams will fade out of the race, and others will surge to a crown, but as we approach the last two months of the 2011 season, we now have a good enough sample size to judge each team.
Even in the crazy game of baseball, it is very hard to dig yourself out of the hole the Cubs find themselve in. Now more than 15 games back and counting, the question marks are beginning to fly around Wrigley like the seagals after games. What does the future hold for Jim Hendry and Mike Quade? What action will take place before the waiver deadline? Which free agent players will not return to the Friendly Confines? All of these questions and more are becoming very popular among the Cubs’ faithful.
The most important one pertains to Hendry. it is an interesting situation for General Managers on the hot seat. On one hand, their job description is to build a good team for now AND the future, yet on the other, the pressure is on them to win NOW or risk being fired. While Hendry has had success during his Chicago tenure, the last few years have been mired with large contract busts and a depleted farm system. However, a large portion of money is due to come off the books after this season with Ramirez, Silva, and Fukudome’s contracts all expiring.
Here is where the risk lies if the Cubs front office gives Hendry one more shot: In baseball more than any other sport, the ability to create a successful short term team for a GM with a large budget becomes increasingly easier, but traditionally at the expense of the team’s future. Do the Cubs give him a final shot or decide to truly rebuild themselves and turn the page to a new chapter without Hendry?
Personally, with the payroll increasing and the wins decreasing, I think it is time for a new approach for this organization. Baseball is shifting once again- the focus is now on strong young arms and solid defense, something we just don’t have. So maybe we follow the Rays or Pirates formula and build the Cubs back up from scratch, without Jim Hendry.