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   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 03, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#2196467)
I don't have a problem with MacDonough's lack of baseball experience beyond marketing. As you said, that's the norm. In fact, I think MacPhail's baseball credentials were more of a problem than a strong point. He may not have been calling the shots, but Hendry had to be guessing what MacPhail would think every time he made a major move. Not that I have any faith in Hendry's ability to turn things around with or without MacPhail as his boss, the next guy won't be encumbered with the MacPhail Way.

“Realistically, you want to go into every season thinking you’re going to win the World Series. Our goal is to win the World Series next year and the year after that. You have to be careful and realistic, but with the resources we’re given and the decisions that need to be made, I think the Cubs will win the World Series and I think the Cubs will win the World Series soon.”

He might be blowing smoke up our asses, but this is what I want to hear. No more "solid, slow and unspectacular".
   2. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 03, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#2196478)
It's hard to know what Hendry would do without MacPhail unless we give him a year. I'm generally in favor of it, especially since I doubt any GM could turn the Cubs into contenders in 2007. The problem is that McDonough (or his replacement) might not evaluate him after 2007 to see how well he did with MacPhail gone. In other words, I'm ambivalent towards Hendry staying.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 04, 2006 at 02:07 PM (#2197128)
Following up, Barry Rozner writes that it's McDonough job, and we should forget the interim label.

If that's the case, I'm still concerned we're going to see a lot more of the veteran stiffs of the past, but that fear is because of my disdain for Hendry more than the situation with McDonough. For him, my real question is how long he'll continue to have faith in a GM who has done very little right in over two seasons. If McDonough gives him 2007, I'd understand and maybe even support it given the exigencies of the situation. If he allows Hendry to finish his contract in 2008, I'd understand but not support the decision.

If the Cubs don't see the playoffs in the next two years and McDonough extends Hendry beyond 2008, I (like many others in Cub Nation) will lose faith in Tribune ownership altogether, and who knows when I'll ever regain my full support of the team.
   4. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 04, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#2198169)
Over in the Showalter thread, I opined that to the extent Hendry wants a taskmaster/control freak (and I'm not at all convinced he does), they might as well go with the best -- Showalter. Not that I think it will happen, though. In fact, it leads indirectly to one of my biggest concerns about how the franchise has been run. In the last two off-seasons in particular, Hendry has created a list of priorities based largely on what the media has been saying -- i.e., get rid of Sosa, trade Patterson, etc.

To some extent, I've viewed this as one of Hendry's weaknesses -- an inability to plan as well as a desire to make the popular choice rather than the correct one. The more I think about it, though, there may be another issue at play here -- the Cubs tend to follow the media's choice because doing so aids in PR/marketing and keeps fans interested. This is probably true with most teams, but I believe that the Cubs have been especially weak in this regard.

What this means to me is this: In the Showalter thread, I opined that I'd like to see the Cubs forget about Girardi or Piniella and show some independent thought. I'd like them to pick a manager who doesn't necessarily have "managerial experience in MLB, but someone who comes from a respected system, who can transition players from prospect to major leaguers, and who can put his foot down when necessary." Specifically, I mentioned Ron Washington.

At his press conference, Hendry claimed to be willing to consider someone without experience, but he wasn't at all convincing about this -- largely because, IMO, he correctly perceives that hiring someone like Washington would cause the media to go "who???" Just as significantly, if an unknown name like Washington fails, the media then asks why he was hired in the first place. Going with a Piniella or Girardi is a far safer and defensible choice.

Not only that, but I also believe that it will fit in with McDonough, who said yesterday on WGN Radio:

"I think you have to bring in a winner who respects this franchise, this brand, the fans, the ballpark and everything that is the Chicago Cubs. Someone who 'gets it.' But it has to be somebody who's a winner, somebody whose only mission, whose only goal is to win the World Series. That's a strong statement to make."

See Tribune article here. Is McDonough going to find this in a candidate like Ron Washington or the recently hired Fredi Gonzalez? I seriously doubt it, which is one reason why I don't believe they are serious candidates.
   5. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 04, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2198186)
If the Cubs don't see the playoffs in the next two years and McDonough extends Hendry beyond 2008, I (like many others in Cub Nation) will lose faith in Tribune ownership altogether

Wait - you still have faith in the Tribune ownership? Good God man, why?

In the last two off-seasons in particular, Hendry has created a list of priorities based largely on what the media has been saying -- i.e., get rid of Sosa, trade Patterson, etc.

The Sosa thing wasn't media driven. That was the Cubs using the media to create a fan backlash against Sosa. The press didn't find out about Sosa leaving early or a smashed boom box due to divine intervention.
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: October 04, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#2198417)
All I wanna do is have some fun. It remains to be seen, however, whether I'm strong enough. If Cub fandom makes me happy, then why the hell am I so sad?
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: October 04, 2006 at 11:27 PM (#2198422)
I should add-=God, I feel like hell tonight.
   8. TerpNats Posted: October 04, 2006 at 11:44 PM (#2198442)
"I think you have to bring in a winner who respects this franchise, this brand, the fans, the ballpark and everything that is the Chicago Cubs. Someone who 'gets it.' But it has to be somebody who's a winner, somebody whose only mission, whose only goal is to win the World Series. That's a strong statement to make."

Not that strong a statement, really. If the Cubs' problem is institutional, as it most likely is, perhaps they need someone who doesn't respect the franchise, "this brand." Someone who will rock the organizational boat, say and do unconventional things. And if that means telling Cub fandom they're not sacred, so be it. Of course, Lee Elia was the last guy to try that, and we know what happened to him.
   9. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 05, 2006 at 02:05 AM (#2198577)
Wait - you still have faith in the Tribune ownership? Good God man, why?

Two reasons:

(1) I'm willing to give McDonough a fighting chance; and

(2) I still fondly remember Dallas Green, which makes me think that it's at least possible that the problems are MacPhail rather than ownership.

Then again, Green left because of Tribune Company meddling, so perhaps I'm overly optimistic. I am a Cub fan, though, so it's in my blood.


The Sosa thing wasn't media driven. That was the Cubs using the media to create a fan backlash against Sosa. The press didn't find out about Sosa leaving early or a smashed boom box due to divine intervention.

Yeah, but . . .

The media has been against Sosa for years, even while he was hitting 60 HRs. Every spring training, all we'd read about is Sosa's boombox, how selfish he is, how he's a fraud who poops his pants, and whatever other tidbits and gossip that Mark Grace wanted to feed to his media buddies.

By the end of 2004, it wasn't like Hendry didn't have a captive audience. Instead, as I see it, the media asked why Sosa wasn't around and, for once, the Cubs were tired of covering up for him. Once that got out, the media backlash fully justified Hendry's urge to trade him.

It may be possible that Hendry wanted to get rid of Sosa due to declining performance -- if so, Hendry should have indicated this. Instead, Hendry made it seem that the reason they had to deal Sosa was because of his divisiveness and selfishness -- the stuff the Cubs covered up for years.
   10. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 05, 2006 at 02:10 AM (#2198580)
If the Cubs' problem is institutional, as it most likely is, perhaps they need someone who doesn't respect the franchise, "this brand." Someone who will rock the organizational boat, say and do unconventional things. And if that means telling Cub fandom they're not sacred, so be it. Of course, Lee Elia was the last guy to try that, and we know what happened to him.

I agree. I should note, though, that Lee Elia was dismissed at least a month after his rant, when the Cubs had a 54-69 record. To some extent, his dismissal was also media-driven, at least in the sense that he didn't know he was being recorded when he went on his rant. After the media published his rant, he was on a deathwatch for months before he was eventually canned.

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