DE Sports Blog: Jim Hendry’s Ineptitude Will Doom The Cubs

By Gus Bode

The Chicago Cubs are 9-8, but have a slew of problems.

Their bench depth is weaker than Neifi Perez (with performance enhancing drugs, mind you).’ Their bullpen is just that … bull.’ And if I’ say one disparaging thing about Milton Bradley, he might combust and never say anything to the media again.

But the Cubs’ biggest problem doesn’t even put on the uniform.’ He’s got a deluxe luxury suite in the sky.’ Or, at Wrigley Field, at least.

Advertisement

It is because of General Manager Jim Hendry the Cubs are here and it will be because of Hendry whether or not the Cubs sink or swim from this point forward.

Hendry signed an extension in the offseason, and in turn, he put forth quite a lackluster offseason. Not something you want out of a team that didn’t win a playoff game despite winning 97 during the regular season.

The Cubs cut ties with Kerry Wood, who solidified the back-end of the Cubs’ bullpen while being the face of the franchise. Hendry should have given Woody every opportunity to finish his career in Cubbie blue pinstripes. Instead, not only did they get nothing for losing Wood in free agency, they traded for one-year of Kevin Gregg’ for the once untouchable Jose Ceda.

Gregg is a lot like another guy the Cubs let go in free agency without getting any compensatory picks: Bobby Howry. Both of whom throw flat fastballs that usually end up as a keepsake for some kid sitting in the bleachers.

Hendry also traded Mark DeRosa, who was the only Cub who seemingly produced at the plate. His failures in the field *cough*game 2*cough* are well documented. The Cubs got some pitching depth for DeRosa, but none of it is sniffing the major league level. And his versaitility is already being missed as not only is Mike Fontenot being exposed on an everyday basis for not being an everyday player, but also as Aramis Ramirez, Milton Bradley (and potentially Derrek Lee) miss time.

And while Aaron Miles is a nice guy, who can switch hit and play a bunch of positions … he hasn’t proved to me that he can do it on an everyday basis.

Oh, and about Milton Bradley.’ Some people actually thought he was a good pick up because he would bring a fire and feistiness to the Cubs clubhouse that has never been seen.’ (Even though the Cubs have that guy in Carlos Zambrano).’ All Bradley has brought to the North Side is an injured groin and a mini-war against the media … all while manager Lou Piniella has to deal with the side circus commonly known as the Crazy Uncle Milton Chronicles.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, all free-agent outfielders such as Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu have done is hit the cover off the ball.’ Dunn’s prodigious power would have been welcomed with open arms in Wrigley, despite the heap of strikeouts that would pile up over time.

Hendry’s offseason efforts have failed and the Cubs need a spark. However, I’m not sure where it will come from. You can’t build a bullpen over night, and so far, the Cubs have not been able to successfully clone Carlos Marmol.

Micah Hoffpauir if finally coming into his own … at the ripe ol’ age of 29 … and at this point, he’s just Daryle Ward on a diet.

Neal Cotts, Angel Guzman and David Patton join Gregg on the B.S. bullpen list. Patton is proof the Cubs sure do know how to choose its Rule V talent.’ Josh Hamilton, no.’ Patton, resounding yes.

The thing about Hendry is that prior to this year, every move he made panned out.

The Rich Harden risk has succeeded with flying colors. So has signing Alfonso Soriano and Ted Lilly. Kosuke Fukudome has gone from Cubs’ fans’ homie to the guy those same fans want to send home and back again to being Fukudome My Homie.

But in 2009, it looks as if Hendry forgot how to judge talent.

For the Cubs to win a third consecutive NL’ Central title, they’re going to need a lot of help. That is where the DE’ Sports Blog would like Hendry to get a clue and patch up some of the team’s gaping holes.

However, we wait with baited breath. We know better than to trust someone with Creighton ties.

Advertisement