As if bracing us for a trade season that sees the Cubs make very few moves, General Manager Jim Hendry is already talking about how, with just a couple more players added to the current crew, the Cubs could be right in it next year.

“That’s the way the game is now,” Hendry said. “The Pirates were [34 games] back a year ago. They did a nice job. Some of their younger players are playing well. They had a few real quality acquisitions in the winter that clicked. And you’re right back in it.

“Everybody in the preseason was ready to hand everything to the Reds or the Cardinals and all of a sudden you got a good four-team race.”

Yes, a good four-team race.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are much closer to being locked in a two-team race for the worst record in baseball. Even in trying to build hope, Hendry can’t help but remind us how brutally disappointing this season has been.

“Some of the minor-league pitching hasn’t come as fast this year as we would have liked,” Hendry continued, acknowledging how poorly some of the team’s top pitching prospects have performed this year. “But we still got a pretty good core group in the rotation coming back.

“The pen’s in good shape. You tinker with that, add a little pitching, add a player or two. [The] guys that are close come up [from the system] and play [like Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney]. All of a sudden, you got a pretty good thing for a few years.”

Sadly, it sounds like Hendry continues to peddle hope as a strategy.

But, even as hopeful as he may be for 2012, it remains highly unlikely that Hendry will be the one doing the strategizing.

  • Michigan Goat

    Ah, it’s his job (for a couple more months) to talk like this… He’s not going to be honest.

  • DaveB23

    Haha, I literally laughed out loud when I saw this pop up on my facebook feed. Hendry talking about the 2012 Cubs, trying to play it off as if he’s actually going to be here. What a joke. Just shut your pie hole already

  • Fishin Phil

    I’ll have some of whatever Jim is smoking!

  • Ron

    Not to poo poo on everyone’s parade but if your goal is only to win the division he is probably right. The division leader is only 5 games over. I am by no means advocating for this, I think they should blow it up, but a case can be made. Let me restate before I suffer a cyber lynching, I think they should clean house
    starting with management, but he is probably right.

    • Brett

      Very good point, Ron.

      Lynch him.

      • MichiganGoat

        I’ve got some cyber-pitchforks

    • pfk

      Villagers with torches are coming after you Ron.

  • Brian

    It’s amazing just how delusional Hendry is, looking at the Pirates and thinking, “Hey, I can do that here!” The Pirates are a young ballclub, with a lot of players who are still developing and they have a manager in Clint Hurdle who is helping those players develop good habits. The Cubs are a bunch of aging has-beens who are lazy and have no desire to try at all, along with a small core of younger players who were brought up too soon or have bad habits not being addressed. And they’re led by an inexperienced manager who is as incompetent as he is gutless. Okay Hendry, let’s see what your plan is to turn them into the Pirates. I dare to try and spend as little as they do.

  • The Magicman

    When do some trades start happening?

  • Jody

    JH is also trying to get top dollar for his players before the deadline right now so this all sounds like posturing to me.

    • EQ

      This may not be agreed on by many, but he’s absolutely right it can turn around somewhat if Big Z, Demp, and Wells all lower their ERA’s by a point or two, and Soriano gets traded, and Fukudome is gone, and Marmol gets his slider back.. we really could be a .500 team again!

      • awesome

        if this, if that, if, if ,if.

        • Michigan Goat

          Yup sometimes I think “CUBS” is spelled with “IF” it’s a mantra we say at the beginning and end of every season.

  • Ryno

    We’re doomed.

  • willis

    It isn’t impossible, but a ton would have to bounce his way. And lately, that hasn’t been the case. He’s full of crap. This division sucks and the Cubs are 18 games under. Even the ever opitmistic Hendry can’t believe there are not major issues.

  • Cheryl

    He’s offering a bandage when a tourniquet is needed. At this rate the patient will succumb to malpractice. There”s no way the team as it is can compete unless there’s major changes.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been saying this all along, but Brett kind of quelled my fury with his sources about Ricketts looking for a baseball guy to run things. Hendry fully thinks he has a job next year and beyond, he fully thinks that this team will compete, and he is going to get more money spend this offseason to do it. Any moron with a brain can tell you that a team that is a combined 30 games under .500 in the last year and a half, isn’t close to contending. The Pirates turned things around because they traded their older, higher paid players for young, good ones, when their team was crappy, and built for the future(a statement not in Jim’s vocabulary). Jim Hendry has a crappy team and he thinks he can turn it around in one offseason. I wonder who he thinks is going to come in and transform this team? This guy is a delusional idiot, and he’s going to continue to drag the Cubs down. It’s now less than 4 days until the trade deadline, and the guy that put together the second worst team in baseball thinks his team is good enough to win now and in the future, so he’s holding onto every thing he can in hopes of his pipe dreams coming true. I really hate that man.

    • Ron

      It is not good to hold things in, let us know how you feel.

  • auggie1955

    Yeah, I can remember back in 2006 when the Cubs finished in last place in the NL Central with a 66-96 record. That year Hendry was saying there’s no reason the Cubs couldn’t be like 2005 Astros. The Astros started out slow with losing records in both April and May only to win the division and go on to the WS. Now all of a sudden it’s the Pirates we need to be more like. One thing Hendry is good at is throwing the fans a lot of BS.

    I am getting sick and tired of Hendry’s wishing and hoping what the Cubs could be. We need a GM that will actually make the Cubs a winner.

  • awesome

    i have always believed a team can go from last to first in one year, still believe that. but not with Hendry and especially not with Quade, then add Soriano, Fukudome, etc.

  • TSB

    Prediction: Hendry will trade for some more aging players, and give away more of the Cubs’ promising minor leaguers in the process.

  • philoe beddoe

    I still wouldn’t get my hopes up…if he should be fired..he needs to fired now…if it gets to the end of the season..I say he stays with a new “baseball” president….why start over in October….rebuilding has started now…

  • RoughRiider

    There is every reason to think the Cubs won’t be very good next year. Although they appear to have good prospects in the minor leagues, it doesn’t look as if they have any impact players that are ready to be brought up and contribute in 2012. Maybe, Cashner can contribute next year. However, it was much the same in 2002. The Cubs didn’t look as if they had a good team going into 2003. Yet the Cubs got soooooo close to the WS. Hendry was the GM then. He made some trades, brought in a new manager, brought up some players and you know what happened. Don’t say it’s not within the realm of possibility. I don’t think it will happen. I didn’t in the spring of 2003 either, but it’s possible. With the right additions and players having “career” years anything can happen. Especially the way free agency is now. Every other team in the division could conceivably lose star players and probably will. You may not like Hendry and yes he’s made mistakes but he’s been the best GM the Cubs have had in the last 60+ years.

    • Jeff

      Hendry took over just prior to the 2002 season, and he’s only responsible for acquiring a couple of players for that team. Alou was signed before he took over, Wood, Zambrano, and Prior were all part of the organization already, his big contribution to the pitching staff was Shawn Estes, Matt Clement, and Antonio Alfonseca, and Clement cost the Cubs the good Dontrelle Willis years. I see people giving Hendry credit for that season all the time, and while ARam and Lofton put the team over the top, he didn’t have a hand in building most of the team. Then he turned around and made a bunch of trades that lead to the awful 2004 collapse. It took him three years to re-build that team into a postseason team, and then both of those teams promptly collapsed and now we are stuck with another garbage Hendry team going on two years of crap. Why does this guy continue to get a pass?

      • RoughRiider

        He was the director of scouting and player development before becoming GM. So he did have a hand in building most of the team. Such as Wood, Prior, Zambrano and Dontrelle Willis and all the players used in the trade for Ramirez, Lofton, Clement and Lee the next year. I wasn’t giving him credit just for 2003 either.

  • philoe beddoe

    ah…one of the very few(like me) who don’t think its all Hendys fault…I would still say Dallas Green was the best GM in my lifetime…1984 was first time in play-offs since 1945…he did it in 2 plus years….started that season(84) with Sanderson as number one then had Sutcliffe and Eck by mid season…he should have had a job for life after ending a 39 year drought…and drafting Maddux, Moyer, Palmeiro, Grace…not to mention getting Ryno and Bowa for DeJesus …

    back from la-la land, present day, they will contend next year…book it…Ricketts will not put up with empty seats…money will be spent, trades will be made…

    • RoughRiider

      I liked Green too but some say that the players didn’t like him and that could have kept free agents from being signed that’s why I’ll stick with Hendry as the best. As for developing major league players, for the brief time he was with the Cubs, Green was very good. I’m not saying we couldn’t do better, but to people who think Hendry should go – be carefull what you wish for.

      • Toosh

        Wow! To even remotely compare Hendry to Green.

  • http://None Blinda

    Jim Hendry has high expectations for 2012 because he will be gone

  • Dick

    Hendry is delusional. He is still dreaming about 24-13 last fall. I think the 24-13 record was a worse curse than the billy goat curse. Without that, we would have had Ryno as manager and probably had Hendry fired before he depleted the farm system for a No. 3 starting pitcher. They were a 5th place team last year, they’ll be a 5th place team team this year, and a 6th place team next year if he runs them…….unless they shift the pathetic Astros to the AL. The worst part is that Ricketts believes the illusion. Truth is, even replacing Hendry with a good GM, it will take several years until the Cubs are close to being World Series contenders again.

  • Toosh

    “again”? I’ve been a fan since ’69. When have the Cubs EVER been World Series contenders since then?

    • RoughRiider

      Newcomer !!!

  • ME1963

    As for the Pirates comparison…there is only one problem…Mike Quade is no Clint Hurdle!

  • die hard

    ok….glass half full…..keep everyone but find two starting pitchers from minors…and we lose only 90 games next yr