The Cubs open a three-game series against the Cardinals in St. Louis today. That’s the kind of sentence that used to bring so much excitement. Now it just brings dread.

  • Bruce Miles does the unthinkable for a beat reporter: he out-and-out states his belief that it’s time to make a change in the Cubs’ front office. And he makes a very interesting (and sobering) point in the process:
  • Now comes the hard part. Who is your new GM, and do you trust this organization to pick the right guy if and when it determines a change has to be made?

    Ricketts is not a baseball guy. Neither is team president Crane Kenney, a holdover from the Tribune Co., the previous owners.

    Before Ricketts took over, I suggested several times the Cubs hire a “baseball man” as president, someone to oversee and advise Hendry. (They could have given Kenney a different title.) Pat Gillick, who built the great Blue Jays teams of the past, would have been my first choice. I also mentioned John Schuerholz of Atlanta Braves fame.

    If the Cubs keep Hendry, I’d still love to see them bring in a guy like Gillick or Schuerholz.

    The bottom line is that if ownership wants to make a change at GM, it’s going to have to get some expert consultation before making a hire.

  • More anger from the local writers about the state of the organization.
  • The Cubs are one of nine teams in violation of MLB’s debt service rules (generally prohibiting a team’s debt from exceeding 10 times its annual earnings), but that’s almost certainly simply because of the debt-financed Ricketts family purchase of the Cubs in 2009, rather than an abundance of debt tied to ongoing obligations (like the Dodgers and Mets, for example). I doubt much comes of this.
  • Darwin Barney comes in for some fluff, as Gordon Wittenmyer calls him the Cubs’ best player so far this year. Barney’s been much better than expected, and I love watching him play, but his numbers have been in free fall since mid-May. His slash line has gone from an excellent .345/.370/.432 on May 16 to a meager .303/.325/.383 today.
  • For his part, Cubs play-by-play man, Len Kasper isn’t burying the Cubs just yet. He does admit that it can be kind of a grind calling all the game:

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Move “Kenny Crane” out. Consider making Hendry team President. Offer Maddux the GM position.

    • Michigan Goat

      Moving Hendry to prez concerns me but I’d understand the move if it’s mid-season and Jimbo is gone by next season. Its a typical business move with top executives, promote them out, I’m not a fan of the move but I’d understand if it’s done as long as Hendry is stripped of his influence and it’s simply a “saving face” move. As for Maddog as a GM I’m concerned that he may lack the experience and I’d hate to see him thrown into a role that he may be unprepared for. With all the money that will be spent in the next two years we need to make sure we have a GM and Prez that is experienced. I’ve also always seen Maddux has our next pitching coach. Does anyone know who much experience his current role has given him? I thought it was more like an honorary type job but please correct me if he is truly involved in day to day baseball operations.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        All good points.

  • al

    I just dont know where to begin…this is a huge mess and it will only take alot of time to fix!! woooof!!

    • EQ

      I believe it could be an easy fix if the right person comes in to the GM spot. There’s a strong young core here and tons of money off the books in the next 2 off seasons.. Young core + tons of payroll room could be a great situation, we just need Hendry gone and a smart GM in.

      • Raymond Robert Koenig

        I agree. I believe Ricketts thinks Hendry’s doing an acceptable job and will let him keep it. I hope Ricketts is considering hiring a “baseball man” for President and giving him authority over Hendry.

  • Ian Afterbirth

    This is starting to remind me of the film Casino with all the talk of just switching guys’ position titles and nothing really changing and a guy named Ace. With us, the fans, as the “greaseball” (Pesci’s word not mine) sitting back home wondering why the payments keep getting smaller and smaller….

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Thought I’d throw it out there. I’d like to know what Ricketts is really thinking. Does he think Hendry’s doing an acceptable job? Is he being diplomatic while quietly looking for a successor ? Does he really believe the team on the field will be “fine”? Or is he oblivious to everything but the bottom line?

    • Ace

      You’ve got to believe he’s at least AWARE of the sentiment out there, right?

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Right! That’s why when he claims to be a Cub fan, I wonder how what I’m seeing most days on the field doesn’t seem to bother him. If it is bothering him, he has the ability to act.

  • TWC

    Man, Rosenbloom’s a real sourdick, isn’t he? Jeez… he must be a gas at parties. Are ALL sports columnists bitter assholes? Who was that guy at the Sun Times a few years back… Jay Mariani? Something? He got drubbed out/quit, had a heart attack, beat up his wife, all in the span of a year or so?

    Makes me doubly glad for BN here. We may get crabby and sour about our team, but at least we’re not being paid to be “professional” assholes. It’s more honest that way. Or something.

    • Jeff

      Jay Marriotti is the guy you are thinking of and he is about as close to professional douche bag as you can get outside of Skip Bayless and Chris Berman. He is a guy that only speaks to hear his own voice and see what kind of reactions others will give. I think there was a city wide party the day he left the Sun Times.

      I would poop my pants with glee if Ricketts hired John Schuerholz. I can’t think of anyone better to put in charge of the Cubs, it’s about as close to the perfect guy that I can think of. So of course, there’s no way he gets hired.

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