Walking Contradiction

Things & Opinions Change As Time Passes!

an archive by: Davood Dehnavifar (Denavi)

Play Ball: Zambrano and Hendry

A lot has happened over the last ten days with the Cubs. First, Zambrano left the team after giving up five homeruns, hitting Atlanta Braves third-baseman Chipper Jones, and saying he was going to retire. He was then placed on the disqualified list for thirty days as a result of his actions. No more than one week later Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry was FINALLY shown the door. Was this as a result of the Zambrano blow up? Was it simply because he didn’t do his job? Was it this… that.. or the other? Chances are we will never know the real reason Tom Ricketts & Company made the decision to let Hendry go but does it really matter?

Here is my take on the Zambrano situation and for those of you who know me this should not come as a surprise….. but it is time he is shown the door. I said that after the issues last season, I even said it earlier this season when he went off on his team for sucking. This guys is a nut case and he needs to go. He might be sincere with all of apologies and all but as a fan I am just done with this dude. He is not even that great of a pitcher any more. Since opening day 2009 he has been on-and-off of the Disabled list, on-and-off the Disqualified/Suspended List, and only won 29 games. In the best case scenario the Cubs will be able to get out of the contract by Zambrano retiring. The problem with that is if he decides to retire and then in the middle next season comes back…. the Cubs hold the rights to his services. This means they two sides have to go to the bargaining table and meet somewhere in the middle on a number between $0 and $24.5 million or whatever Big Z is owed and then part ways.

I have been a believer that Hendry had to go since we signed Soriano to an 8-year deal back in the 06/07 offseason. Don’t get be wrong. I think Soriano is the type of guy you want on your team but he was never a solid hitter and his defense has been below average for most of the last decade. My problem with that contract is the years and money involved. Lets start with the years. 8 years? Really? The only guy who is deserving of an 8-year deal is someone who is drafted out of high school, possibly even college, and ready to start at the major league level immediately. Of course Hendry was obviously given a mulligan or two over the last five years because he was responsible for bringing the organization within 5-outs of getting to the World Series in his first full season at the helm, 2003. But his the clock finally stuck midnight on his dance, no matter who he knows or doesn’t know a change had to be made and he understands that as he reiterated multiple times in the press conference last Friday.

On a side note, there are three players left in the organization that I am going to refer to as “Hendry” players for the rest of their stay in Chicago. First and foremost, Kerry Wood. Kerry Wood was drafted out of high school back in the mid-to-late 90’s by a team of scouts that included Jim Hendry. The next player that is a “Hendry” player is someone who probably cause Hendry to lose his job and is probably on his way out too. Do I even need to say his name? I think not, just look at the third word of the title of this post if you do not get where I am going with this. The reason Zambrano is a “Hendry” player is simple. Zambrano made his debut shortly before Hendry was given the GM job. Finally, there is Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez was brought here during the 2003 season when the team was doing its best under Hendry’s watch.