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Jim Hendry is officially out as Chicago Cubs GM. Assistant GM Randy Bush will take over as interim GM, and Tom Ricketts will speak to the media soon.

It’s been a long road, but as you all should know, this was the right move. I will have more on this later today (I’m remote right now (of freaking course)), but, for now, use the comments to share your thoughts/celebrate. Please also feel free to share news updates.

I will do my best to keep this post updated.

Update: Jim Hendry is addressing the media. Paraphrase: love the Cubs, love the city, we just didn’t win enough games. No hard feelings. Wants to continue to have a good relationship with Ricketts. Hendry is getting emotional. He’s a good guy, just not a good GM.

Update II: A search process for the next GM will commence now.

Update III: Hendry says he was told a month ago, but stayed on to complete the draft (hey, that’s what I said!).

Update IV: Hendry didn’t make deals at the deadline because he’d already been fired. Not to pat my back again, but, I totally called that as the only explanation. Hendry done speaking, Ricketts on around 12:15.

Update V: Ricketts says Hendry is a great guy, but a change was needed. He’s reaching out to industry vets to help him with the GM search. Says new GM will report directly to Ricketts (which suggests no new Director of Baseball Ops). Ricketts is going to try and keep the search quiet.

Update VI: Ricketts wants a GM who is good at development and statistical analysis (but that’s just a part). Very much wants Scouting Director Tim Wilken and Farm Director Oneri Fleita to stay. Will recommend them to new GM.

Update VII: New GM will decide on Quade. My gut translation: he gone.

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    Omg!…iam going to celebrate tonight with a cold Budweiser and a steak!
    Oh by the way…Aramis is still raking! Avg.293.22hrs!

    • spear

      I’d join you if I didn’t have to work!

    • STG3

      I think the change of GM has killing any chance of A Rams return.

      • MichiganGoat

        That would be great news

  • Jamesjones

    Is this the part where they play the ewoks music from the end of Return of the Jedi?

    • Jeff

      No, this is the part where Princess Leia strangles Jabba the Hutt while she’s wearing the slave outfit..

      • Jamesjones

        HOT.

  • Brian

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best news ever to wake up to!!!!!

  • MichiganGoat

    The fact that Ricketts is recommending Wilkens and Fleita and not Quade absolutely means Q is gone after the season. However let’s not get batshit crazy about Ryno coming back, let the new GM make his/her decision.

    • Fishin Phil

      Yup, one step at a time.

    • marc

      her decision? Has there ever been a female gm in baseball?

      • marc

        leave it to the cubs to get the first

        • http://Bleachernation Bric

          I bet it will be Hendry in drag.

      • Jeff

        Ed Lynch?

        • Fishin Phil

          Ed Lynch was a woman?? I always thought his hands looked a little feminine.

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

      • wax_eagle

        There has not been a female GM. But there is at least one woman who should be a top candidate for a couple of jobs this season (if things are done fairly). That would be Kim Ng. She is currently the Senior VP of baseball operations for MLB. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Ng

        • Andrew

          I like how we all 3 had essentially the same comment at the same time…

          • MichiganGoat

            That’s cause WE ROCK

        • marc

          how do you pernounce that last name?

          • MichiganGoat

            Ang

            • Joe Cartwright

              No, see you added a vowel. I don’t see any vowels in that name.

      • MichiganGoat

        Not yet but there is a strong candidate that has been discussed, Kim Ng is the Dodger Assistant GM. See: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-femalegm070308

        She should be discussed and even interviewed.

        • Andrew

          jinx, buy me a coke

        • MichiganGoat

          Thanks wax_eagle the the article I linked is from 2008, your info is correct and current.

      • Andrew

        There hasn’t been a female GM yet, but don’t forget the name Kim Ng – she’s the assistant GM for the Dodgers. I think the Cubs will go with a name we’re familiar with, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see her get a legit shot somewhere down the road.

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          While I don’t know much about her from a baseball standpoint, if Ricketts hears the marketing bells ringing, I’d expect that she’d (publicly) be given an opportunity to interview.

          And, yeah, that might be cynical. She might very well be the best candidate. But the Cubs is a business, and businesses are often cynical.

          • MichiganGoat

            Cynical Hippie

    • Jeff

      Agreed. I also like his requirements for a new GM. The way he outlined it, it looks like he’s going to be looking at a lot of the candidates we’ve been clamoring for. Cherington, Avilla, Byrnes, etc.

  • Andrew

    “Update VII: New GM will decide on Quade. My gut translation: he gone.”

    Yep – the first litmus test of the new GM is his (used in the general, non-gender-implied… whatever, it’ll probably be a dude) handling of Quade. “Oh, really? You want to keep Quade? You’re fired.”

  • Brian Myers

    FYI: There was a great article on ESPN about the move and reasons behind it.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/15148/it-was-time-for-jim-hendry-to-go

    • MichiganGoat

      That article sums it up perfectly… Dare I say it was “short and informative”

    • Jeff

      Not sure it was a great article, pretty much what we’ve been kicking around here since last year. He also lays a lot of blame on the Alfonso Soriano deal, and while that was a bad contract, it isn’t the reason that Hendry failed as a gm.

      • MichiganGoat

        Agreed but I love this statement:

        Although you can give him credit for building the 2008 team that won the most games in the National League, it was his failure to understand how that team was a house of cards ready to collapse and how that led to the current situation

        It’s the lack of vision or planning that was his greatest fault.

        • Toosh

          Eggs Ackley.

          • marc

            A bun Dance

            Egg Act Lee

        • Sam

          Not to mention that apart from a few players we have almost the same team now as we did in 07 and 08

  • MichiganGoat

    Hey Brett, you’ve been awfully quite, hopefully your working on another short but informative article:)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sort of. I was on the road today, so I couldn’t keep up with the comments. Of course, today of all days…

      I’ll have a big ‘ole post on Hendry and Ricketts some time next week. Want to let the dust settle and want to get it right.

  • David

    My guess is that Ricketts will not hire a young GM with no experience since there will be no director of baseball ops. I hope it’s not true as it’ll take guys like Hahn and Cherrington out of the mix.

    • Jeff

      Experience as a gm and experience in the front office are two different things. If he was saying he would only talk to former gm’s, it would limit the search greatly and we may as well have stuck with Hendry. I don’t think that’s the case, he wants someone who has been in a winning organization. With his and Kenney’s obsession with Boston, I can’t see him not at least interviewing Ben Cherington.

  • Matt Murton

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. FINALLY. Turns out this who would’ve thought that a guy with a last name that reminds me of a squeaking door would be the guy to turn around this franchise… RICKETTS FOR PRESIDENT

  • Sam

    What are the chances that Greg Maddux will be the next GM?

    • Jeff

      Rickett’s said he will not look at internal candidates. 0% chance on Maddux.

      • Sam

        Thats a shame i felt like he would have made a good GM

        • MichiganGoat

          I understand the fandom aspect of Maddux as coach or GM, but he hasn’t had any true experience in the front office. His current position is more honorary he’s really just an evaluator that doesn’t have direct day-to-day responsibilities. Hopefully he stays on and can grow within but as of now he just isn’t prepared or ready. I also remember reading that he didn’t want any major responsibilities until after his children were in college.

          • Jeff

            Plus he trumpeted Blake DeWitt in the Ted Lilly deal, I’d call that a pretty big miss. I’d much rather have Lilly this year.

  • Dick

    I would like to sit down with Hendry over a beer or two and ask him about the rationale behind signing Soriano, Z, etc to these big back-loaded contracts. My guess is that Hendry and the powers that be thought the salaries would continue to escalate at a ridiculous rate, and that $20 million would be the normal salary for an above average ball player. Never happened.

    • KB

      To me, those are both easily explainable (at least if you’re JH):
      1. Alf- While the Trib owned the team, the Cubs were never allowed to play the big-time free-agent game. Never. The GM’s were handcuffed. (you could say the Alou was an exception, but a past-his-prime, non A-list FA signed to a $27M deal is not exactly like signing a young A-Rod, correct?)
      That winter, the Cubs got new ownership, said “sign whoever you want, spend money.” Hendry had a mission. Cub fans had their usual bad luck: A) It was a particularly lousy year for free agents, especially top-tier ones. B) Soriano, the top FA, was EXACTLY the kind of player that a non-stat guy like JH salivates over: low OBP, but speedy! Terrible glove, but a veteran! Already in his thirties! Hell yes!

      2. Z- Again, anyone who studies intricate stats would’ve said “Do NOT make this deal. No!” But Hendry doesn’t do that stuff. it’s plebian for him, I guess.

      • EQ

        the rumors are that Hendry was pushed by higher ups to make the Soriano deal. not sure what the truth is but, he sure as heck didn’t deserve an 8 year contract, even if he was a 40-40 guy at the time.. i don’t think anyone deserves that long of a contract..

        I think part of Hendry’s downfall was bad luck.. I mean, we all thought Soriano for 8 years was too long, but his production immediately dropped?? I didn’t expect that.. I also think we all really thought big Z would have produced much better the past few years than he did.. and Milton Bradley, although I hated the signing, was a productive hitter until the Cubs got him..

        we could go on and on with players that seemed worth getting at the time who drastically under-performed.. sure Hendry gave out some bad contracts, but the players didn’t do him any favors by immediately sucking after they signed..

  • David Lefever

    Love the Cubs…love BN…not sorry to hear this. BUT, don’t ever use “he gone” again. Ever.

    • Jeff

      he gone

      • DL

        Thanks Hawk

    • http://www.weareworkers.com Skooter

      +1

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      +2

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Sorry, David. It wasn’t a “Hawk-ism.” Promise.

  • http://bleachernation.com ricosanto

    Josh Byrnes a top candidate. Rick Hahn possibly,. people asking for Maddux do not know anything he has no experience.

    • EQ

      isn’t the Rays guy available at the end of the season?

      • Jeff

        Andrew Friedman, yes is available after the year. I’m not sure about it, but I think they can hire anyone as long as they receive permission to interview them first if they are under contract.

        • EQ

          of course, but I’m assuming we won’t hire anyone until season’s end anyways.. If we’re really gonna interview everyone we can and truly want to find the best person out there, they need to do this hire in the off-season.

        • Drake

          Usually when teams are in contact with GMs under contract, they are at times treated like players and will require something in return. Whether that be cash or a player. The prime example is the Red Sox nearly sent Kevin Youkilis (a minor leaguer at the time) for Billy Beane, which would have made him the highest paid GM in baseball after the 2002 season.

          If I had my choice, it would easily be Friedman. I know a lot of you want an up-and-comer, but why not get a proven GM who will be in high-demand as it is?

          • Toosh

            Rick Hahn.

          • bacboris

            A good point, I feel exactly the same way, My only question is, why is there a resigned acceptance of Kenney staying in his job? If ricketts has proven anything, is that he doesnt like deadweight but is willing to remain mum until right before the axe falls.

            If president of operations opens up, I don’t see why we cant infuse a lot of new talent into the front office. Have an experienced: Friedman in there with a Cherington or Forst in the wings so that they can take over down the road. I know its greedy, but that why they they call it wishing right? Not fortune telling.

            • Toosh

              Agreed. Hopefully Kenney goes too.

  • Tim

    Greg Maddux as the GM for the Cubs. That makes too much sense. Maybe we should keep dreaming and visualize Ryne Sandberg as the Cubs skipper. Then we can make Rick Sutcliffe the pitching coach and hire Mark Grace as the hitting coach. Oh stop teasing me. It’s just not fair!

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      Hiring Mark Grace as batting coach would be awesome because then I wouldn’t have to listen to his asinine frat-boy commentary.

      • MichiganGoat

        Not to mention the Wrigleyville bars would have a 20% revenue increase.

  • marc

    Deadspins headline for the firing …..
    “Cubs Fire GM Jim Hendry, Retroactively Win 2003 NLCS”

  • greg b

    This is great news as much as I respect hendry as a person and feel he tryed to do the best he could and no matter what anyone elses opinion he did do some good things but in the end sometimes you need change and hopefully we get someone who knows how to put a championship team on the field and I wish nothing but the best for hendry cause at least he did seem to care even though he didn’t get the results we all had hoped for here’s to a new begining!

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    I’m too excited to read any of this.
    THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!
    I believe in you for the good things, too, now….

  • Lou

    By the way, Steve Stone has emphatically stated he doesn’t want a GM position anywhere while on WSCR this afternoon. Not that I wanted him for that role anyway.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Now IS the time for bold changes.

    I think this will increase Cubs fans confidence in Ricketts by tenfold. This not only shows that Ricketts isn’t just trying to sit back and collect money, but also that he is not just going to panic and make hasty decisions without really thinking things through and making educated decisions. It also makes you believe that there is, and has been, much going on behind the scenes with the Cubs. They’re not just sitting back and watching the Cubs self-destruct like many of us have feared.

    Hendry, y u no take Zambrano with u?

  • RY

    cant see it cuz at work, but how the hell does compana get doubled off first on a fly ball out to centerfield from castro??????????? freakin fundamentals again!

    • Cardfan

      Let’s put it this way – he had to pick up his jock strap on the way back to the dougout.

      I am curious to see if they give AP a leadoff IBB at the top of the 11th (if we get there)

  • Cardfan

    and congrats to all on the ouster.

  • RY

    did he trip or just lose sight of the ball?

  • RY

    we need to win here or it is over because dumbass quade will pitch to pujols who will hit a bomb onto waveland and we will get a shutdown in the 11th.

  • RY

    CUBS WIN CUBS WIN CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A PERFECT DAY INDEED, KICK HENDRYS ASS OUT AND WE BEAT THE CARDINALS; WOO HOO!!!!!!!

    • Cardfan

      This is your day…enjoy

  • RY

    Thanks Cardfan!

  • Ron

    And so begins the obsessive new GM watch. And correct me if I’m wrong but we are Q-minus 39.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s exactly what the Obsessive Watch is going to be called. You know me too well. Nicely done on the Q-minus.

      I’m not even going to pretend to be able to respond to all these comments. I love you all…

  • EQ

    I think we can go on a 39 game win streak and Q should still go… well, maybe.

  • KB

    ACE! More updates! You’re my pipeline for this stuff. This has got to be the most important day in the history of your website, right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s a huge day – for which I was on the road all day. The timing was just perfect. I just got home. And, not that I want to stop anyone from obsessively checking the site this evening, there isn’t going to be anything new to report today. Every site in the world is putting out a generic, carbon-copied “GM candidates for the Cubs” list because they’re rushing to be “the first.” I’d like to take a little more time with it, myself.

      But don’t worry – this will remain the place for every GM-related (or other) rumor.

      • KB

        As a friend, may I suggest taking a different track than the one you’re thinking of following? Why on earth would you “take the night off” on a day when you’re assured of getting more traffic than any other day?

        Sure, you’re just guessing at the next GM, but guys like me can’t stop thinking about it, and would love to read an expert’s take. Throw some stuff out there.

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          Ah, but the reasoning behind his hesitation is what makes BN the best, rather than just another Cubs blog.

        • Brett

          Friday nights – even on those of days that featured big news – are a traffic dead zone. So, even from a business standpoint (which isn’t dictating the time table – temperance is), I wouldn’t want to bury the sexiest content on a Friday night.

          • MichiganGoat

            And that’s why Ricketts did it today

            • ron

              That is what politicians do, dump it on a friday. I actually think he chose this day for the exact opposite reason. Cubs Cards everyone is watching put it out there when things are still relavent. It will be talked about on 3 nationally televised games. If he wanted to bury it, it would have been during the Astro’s series.

  • Deez

    Hey, to quote “The Wolf” from Pulp Fiction, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dick just yet.”
    Although we got rid of Hendry, we need to see what direction the organization is headed w/ the GM Search.
    Personally, I’m all for the youth movement. I don’t care about losing (see 2011), but it’s all about building the organization from w/in.

    • MichiganGoat

      Awesome movie reference

  • Joe Cartwright

    Since you seem to be psychic Brett, when are the Cubs going to win the World Series?

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