hendry and zambranoReason number one I’m glad the Super Bowl is over? Writers can stop declaring that Colin Kaepernick was almost a Cub like they were the first person in the world to look at his draft history. Mooney wrote it first. Respect.

Reason number two I’m glad the Super Bowl is over? Pitchers and catchers report in less than a week.

  • There were a couple profiles on former Cubs GM Jim Hendry recently. The first, from Ken Rosenthal, is a modestly interesting look at his early days scouting in the Marlins’ system. The second, an article from Gordon Wittenmyer, includes a relatively candid admission from Hendry that confirms much of what we believed about the final years of the Tribune Company’s ownership: “We had some huge contracts and we tried to win in a hurry when Tribune was going to sell the club, and when you don’t finish it off with a ring, it’s easy to say, ‘Well, you neglected this or that.’ If it would have worked, it would have been great. But that’s not the way we ran things for years …. In a perfect world, especially when you have good finances behind it, you can take a long time and steadily keep building it and pick and choose your ways to go about it in free agency. That’s the ideal way to do it, and it looks like that’s the way Tom and Theo are going about it.” In other words, the spending binges of the 2006/2007/2008 era were driven by a top-down policy from the TribCo in an effort to prop up the value of the Cubs before a sale. We’ve all long suspected this, but it’s surprising to hear Hendry confirm it. Making money available to be spent by your GM is one thing (a very good thing), but mandating that large sums be spent (on backloaded deals) isn’t always a good thing.
  • Here’s the thing, and I hate saying it because I really do believe Hendry is probably a very nice guy and a very smart baseball man: if Hendry doesn’t want the blame of having buried the Cubs beneath the weight of some awful contracts in the late-2000s, he also doesn’t get the credit for those 2007 and 2008 playoff teams. Because, without the big money deals to Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Derrek Lee, Jason Marquis and others, the Cubs probably don’t make the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. Either you took the shot in 2007/2008 and missed, while accepting the pain that comes with taking that shot; or you were forced to do things that you didn’t think were in the best long-term interests of the organization, and they almost worked. We can’t have it both ways when we remember the Hendry era.
  • Baseball America offers a very early Draft preview, discussing the generalities of what’s to come. Remember: there’s an entire season of amateur ball to be played before the Draft in June. So very, very much can change.
  • Bill Simmons wrote a long piece about PEDs, and about the things we think but do not say. In short, Simmons says it’s ok for us to be suspicious of virtually every professional athlete, and to discuss that suspicion openly without fear that we’re going to be ripped apart for doing it without any hard evidence. Agree? Disagree? If Alfonso Soriano has another great year in 2013, are you going to be OK with people openly discussing whether he’s clean simply because he had a good year at 37?
  • BT

    That’s the thing Brett, Hendry never does get credit for those teams. Basically people say he “bought” those division titles. Which isn’t entirely fair. You can be given a ton of money to spend. The GM’s job is to spend it on the right people. A huge checkbook makes things easier, but it doesn’t make the GM job push button. And it also doesn’t account for the trades he was able to make, which is the one thing Hendry generally DOES get credit for.

    • hansman1982

      Get into an argument about how bad it was before Theo came to town and the “Hendry got us 3 playoff appearances” argument will come up quick.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t really give him credit for those (2007/2008) teams, no – and even less so after he admits that he was mandated to spend, not just permitted to spend. I’m not trying to rip on him, because I recognize he did some good things (as you note). I just cringe a little when, in the past, I’ve heard him say – or others say about him – that he took the Cubs to playoffs three times. Eh. Not really. With the money they spent those two years, virtually any GM in baseball could have done the job.

      • hansman1982

        Therein lies another question. If he was being forced to spend, how much was payroll artificially inflated?

      • yield51

        If he was mandated to spend an average of $130 million over those 4 years or so, then he must have expected to lose his job regardless if the Cubs won a ring or not. He knew, or I hope he knew, that neglecting to spend money in the draft, and internationally for youth would come back to bite this team quickly. If he expected to be around past 2010, this would be his mess to clean up, and I would be in panic mode suspecting that the Cubs were really in danger of becoming Pittsburgh, or K.C.

      • Edwin

        You could make similar arguements about the Yankees and Red Sox as well. Hendry is the one who put the 2007 and 2008 teams together. It helps that he had a lot of money to spend, but to his credit, he spent it wisely. It’s not always so easy. Just look at what the Marlins did this past season when they opened up the pocket books. There have been plenty of teams that spent like the Cubs and have even less to show for it.

        Hendry signed the obvious superstar in Soriano, but he also signed guys like Lilly, re-signed guys like Lee and Ramirez who he had aquired earlier, made a great trade for Harden, picked up Jim Edmonds for nothing, signed Derosa, was able to convert Dempster to a starter after picking him up off the bargin bin years earlier. He got great value out of Theriot, Soto, Marmol, Wood, Marshall, and Rich Hill.

        His moves turned sour after 2008, and the farm system fell to shambles, but he did what a GM of team with great resources is supposed to do: wisely put those resources to work. I give him credit for 2007-2008, and I give him credit for doing a terrible job afterwards.

        • hansman1982

          Haven’t you heard? Theo doesn’t get any credit for either of his WS rings. Just that the 2012 Red Sox and Padres sucked.

      • TonyP

        So Cashman doesn’t deserve any credit for anything done in New York because he has a lot of money to spend. Boston spent a lot of money also I believe so does Epstein get credit for his time there?

        • TonyP

          Damn I should have refreshed before I posted. Edwin beat me to it…

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That’s not what I said. As I said in the post, there’s a difference between having money available to spend, and being mandated to spend huge amounts of money.

          And, absolutely, you have to consider “credit” in the context of the amount of money a guy has to work with. Is Cashman’s success more impressive or Friedman’s?

          • TonyP

            point taken.

      • D.G.Lang

        I’ve felt for some years that Hendry was compelled to soend money for players by the Trib because they were trying to build up the near term value of the club without caring about the long term effects. If Hendry didn’t sign those contracts, he would have been fired.

        I can’t say anything about his frame of mind and why he let himself be forced into some of what he did other than to hope that he thought that they could build on what they started and he would be around to finish the job after the sale.

        On thing recently mentioned is that sometimes one has to sign the player WHEN they are available even though it might not be the best time to do that. That brings up two other points obviously one is that they might not be available when you do need to sign them and the other is that when you are compelled into signing someone right now, they might not be the very best solution in regards to long term effect.

        Those fans who want toe club to spend big on free agents TODAY are repeating the same disasterous mistakes the Trib did.

        The previous owners forced the bad contracts to try for short term gains from the sale of the club, they were not interested in the long term future of the club. I believe that Hendry WAS interested in the long term future and hoped to be here for it but was forced into doing what he did to try to keep his job and the possible future he dreamed of.

        Obviously, the club has been under funded and short staffed for quite some time and I blamr that on the trib and it’s owner(s) rather than on Hendry who was simply an employee who like other employees everywhere else had to follow his boss’ or owners orders or lose his job.

        Obviously since the team wasn’t properly supported financially it should seem apparant that the front office was also not suppported properly and that seems to have been proven to be true since we now see exactly how undermanned they were.

        I don’t blame Hendry but I do fully blame the Trib and it’s owner(s). I felt that Hendry did the best he could with what he was given to work with and I do have high regard for him.

        I do wonder how many of the ‘bad deals’ he made were forced by the ownership, I suspect that in their effort to secure the highest sales price the Trib pushed for those deals even though they knew that they weren’t the best players to get. To the Troib, it didn’t matter since they weren’t going to get stuck with them.

        We really should applaud the current owners since it is very obvious that they do care and are working for the best long term future results rather than sacrificing the future for short term gain. They are truly putting their money where their mouth is and doing ti wisely. They are investing in all the not so glamoroue but necessary front office and infrastructure.

        I am glad that they are not wasting money on short term assets but wisely spending to ensure a good long term supply ou high quality players.

        I suppose that if all the necessary highly skilled players were available today at a good price and affordable the owners would be glad to sign them. BUT since that is not apparent them I believe that what is available is noy what is needed to ensure the long term success and most likely can’t even guarantee much if any short term success.

        To repeat what I said earlier, the players that are needed aren’t always available when one needs them and one needs to sign the good players when they are available IF they will still be good when they are truly needed to produce.

        To spend excessive funds now on short term ‘fillers’ who most likely will be inadiquite when the club is ready to compete just extends the time need to reach that desired competititive state.

      • Dave

        Yes, buy the trades he made for Lee and Aram were big reasons for them making the playoffs.

      • MightyBear

        Brett I respectfully disagree. Look at the money the Marlins spent last year and they didn’t make the playoffs. Look at the Red Sox payroll two years ago and the Mets. Money doesn’t necessarily equate playoffs for a team although it does increase its chances. If you blame Hendry for the mess the Cubs were in when the new regime took over, you have to give him credit for the playoff teams. Hendry was in a unique situation as he is the only GM in Cubs history to work for 3 owners and each had its own mandate. Tribune – win as many games as you can while making a profit. Zell – spend money and win games and build up the value of the franchise so I can sell it. Ricketts family – build a winning tradition not just a winning baseball team for the long haul. The latter certainly conflicts with the former.

      • True(ly) Blue

        Brett, For the first time I disagree with you and particularly your assessment of Hendrey. If you can blame him for letting the farm system fall apart then you also have to give him credit for winning in 2007-8. Having money to spend is not always the answer many teams have spent foolishly and not won.

        • Jimmy James

          I think Brett is saying you can’t credit him with one without laying blame for the other….you judge his total job as gm. That being said, lots of money spent in the nl central should get you a lot closer to the playoffs than spending in the al east

  • Paul Popovich rules!

    How many times have you heard some “journalist” say something like ” I know of some players (or politicians) that are cheating on their wives, drunk all the time, (etc.) but I won’t name any names.” Thus they put every member of the group being discussed under suspecion, warranted or not. Same goes to rumors of PEDS; come on, news people, do your job and investigate. If you don’t have, or aren’t willing to put your money where your mouth is, shut up.

    • cjdubbya

      Not sure I’d call Bill Simmons a journalist so much as a columnist. I get your point, but I don’t know that Simmons’ primary role is to investigate so much as to entertain with his writing.

      • BluBlud

        Yeah, he a columnists, and from a broad perspective, I don’t I don’t think he really needs to investigate. But is anyone is addressing specifics, their needs to be something. We know about you Sammy’s, Barry’s, Mark’s and Roger’s. But we can’t assume everybody is using because of them, but we can wonder.

  • BluBlud

    I don’t blame Hendry as much as others. I think he was put in a tough situation and did the most with it that he could. His contracts weren’t all that bad when they were signed. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    However, I completely agree, either take the credit and the blame or take neither.

    As for Sori, I don’t think he using, but I honestly just never thought about it. It does make you wonder though. I hope not.

    • itzscott

      Hendry was the good soldier/corporate yes-man who followed orders from above that he maybe in retrospect felt weren’t in the team’s best interest and was rewarded with a contract extension of his own by his Tribune handlers …. which many forget. The contracts he handed out were absurd and tied the Cubs hands for years…. which he had to have known going in.

      He basically sold Ricketts and the rest of us out for personal gain.

      I have no sympathies for what happened to him.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I couldn’t care less about PED talk any more. People will pick and choose what drugs they deem worse than others, without any evidence to back it up. HGH bad, even though It’s OK for Kirk Gibson to inject cortisone (a steroid!) so he can get out there and hit that home in the WS. Nobody cares about the greenies that Hank Aaron and Willie Mays and Bob Gibson all took, but when a guy people don’t like takes something? CRUCIFY HIM!

  • RoughRider

    I liked Hendry and have defended him. However, I was always a little critical of the Cubs farm system since Dallas Green left. They weren’t producing enough. The “bluechip prospects” the Cubs supposidly had, hardly ever lived up to expectations and I suspected it was the quality of the minor league coaching staffs and their ability to teach not just the draft picks. I feel a little betrayed when I hear that they drafted on a very limited draft budget picking players they knew they could sign cheaply and not neccesarily the best player available. It now appears that they drafted poorly and trained with no real plan on how to do it. I now have mixed emotions on Hendry.

    My respect for Dallas Green has greatly increased. He left over “phillisophical differences”. I take that to mean that the Tribune was cheap when it came to development and Green wouldn’t have any of it. Mcfailure and Hendry both followed the company line and the team suffered in many ways because of it. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the division titles and the winning seasons.

    • cheryl

      The year that Hendry left the draft was extremely good with Baez and V to name a few. They had money thanks to the new owners and Hendry did fairly well. Can that be weighed against the times when the cubs were on the cheap? But even with less money there should have been an improvement in the minors.

    • MichCubFan

      This is what i think of with hendry. this lack of organization throughout the organization. There was almost an arrogance that they didn’t need to use some of the modern resources that almost every other team used because they were too smart for that. hendry was a scout, damn it.

      They were terrible at developing players. Even though we didn’t spend a ton on the draft…presumably by rule of the tribune co., we did have a lot of good prospects that petered out, if not crashed, because they were lacking some of the skills that they should have been taught…plate discipline, defense, throwing strikes, etc… or they were mis-managed… jeff samardzija being a good example.

      We all enjoyed the 2007/08 teams, but if they would have done even a decent job at running the farm system, we could have been better in 07/08 for less money and we could have been better in 09 to the present. He put the organization in a hole… even though he was responsible for the 2011 draft… which he should get credit for. But it is a small positive when you look at the over health of the organization he handed over.

  • Jeff R

    Hendry’s teams got to the playoffs 3 times. That’s more than exactly 50% of the times the cubs made the playoffs

    • Cubbie Blues

      I’m sure you mean other than: 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945, 1984, 1989, 1998, ? Other then that? Yes.

  • terencemann

    I don’t think Hendry could have become the Cubs GM (and landed a job with the Yankees the season after being fired) if he wasn’t a guy people in the business valued and liked to work with. I also don’t question the Soriano signing because he was the best free agent available at the time he was signed.

    What I do question are the questionable decisions that the team got lucky with, like trading Bradley for Silva and acquiring Garza during an off-season when he should have been trying to show ownership he could build for the future for a lot of prospects who might end up being more valuable in the long run. He also gave out no-trade clauses like AOL used to give out free cds. He also signed some very questionable extensions, like Zambrano and Marmol. If he had money to spend, there were wiser ways it could have been used.

    I think it’s clear, in hindsight, that Hendry didn’t fit the profile of the GM Thom Ricketts wanted to lead the team into the future. Hendry made some good decisions and had some success but I don’t think anyone sees him as a first tier GM during his years in that position for the Cubs. I think Ricketts an Epstein/Cashman/Bean/Friedman-like mind and I don’t think that’s who Hendry is.

    If I had the chance to meet Hendry, I would certainly thank him for the good memories he gave us over the last decade and tell him I’m sorry the was the victim of horrible luck. He probably understands the plight of a Cubs fans as well or better than any of us.

    • Cedlandrum

      The Zambrano extension didn’t work out, but there was nothing questionable about it. I don’t think the Marmol deal is horrible either except it being backloaded. If Marmol was getting 6 or 7 million this year on the 20 million dollar contract, would you care. I wouldn’t. Rafel Soriano just got a 2 year 28 million dollar contract. Soriano is probably better, but I’m not sure if he is 8 million a year better. Also Marmol was 26 or 27 when he got the extension.

      • terencem

        Zambrano’s extension (eventually) made him the highest paid or one of the highest paid right-handed pitcher in baseball without ever having been one of the truly best pitchers in baseball. He was durable and struck guys out but he had questionable control the whole time. I think that’s why I question it. Zambrano has had 2 years in his career of a K/BB ratio over 2 which is the standard for TOR pitchers. He led the league in walks the season he signed the extension and had led the league the previous season. He was already starting to decline when they gave him that deal.

  • Bwa

    Having the number 2 pick is kinds of a tease. It makes us feel like we can have however we want, but then if somebody breaks out ahead of the pack, we won’t get them.

    • Cedlandrum

      To be honest I don’t think that will happen this year. I think the top 3 pitchers will be pretty tightly bunched if the Cubs want to go that way.

  • Jeff R

    Hendry’s teams got to the playoffs 3 times. That’s more than exactly 50% of the times the cubs made the playoffs since the 45 world series. Say what you will, he brought joy to millions of Cub fans starved for a winning ballclub including me.

    • hansman1982

      Just think, he is responsible for 100% of the Cubs playoff runs since the turn of the 21st century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dustin S

      It’s a little bit apples and oranges though to compare playoff appearances to prior years going back to 45 though, it’s a whole lot easier now to make the playoffs now. For the majority of those years it’s easy to forget that only 4 teams made the playoffs.

      Hendry is a nice guy who I think 100% put his heart and soul into winning. But do trip down memory lane and look at Cubs prospects in his time, and it’s a sad reality check of the failures of the Cubs farm system during his reign. There were so (so) many can’t-miss prospects that just never panned out. I’d list some of them here but it would hurt my head, which is already hurting enough today after the Super Bowl. Note to self, take next Monday after SB off…

      • Jeff

        So based on your argument, when the cubs win the ws it’ll be watered down bc it’s easier to make the playoffs? I know that’s not what you mean but making the playoffs is still making the playoffs no matter what the rules were/are at the time. Hendrys playoff teams should not contain an asterisk bc of the appreance that it used to be “harder” to make it to the playoff.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    boring boring boring maybe we should rehash the dempster trade again too!!!! brutal.

  • terencemann

    On another note, I am sick and effing tired of the Sun-Times and Tribune’s paywalls. I can never get the sign-in to work. It’s not even anything with my login, it’s just there’s always some technical issue or, after signing in, I’m redirected to the home site. Anybody else have the same issues?

  • Mr. Gonzo

    At first glance, I thought this article’s image was of Zambrano strangling Hendry, Homer Simpson-style. That would be more appropriate imagery of the Hendry era for me personally.

  • TonyP

    FYI- I keep getting notices of malware and dumped from the site… Something about Netseer…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Tony – I’ve alerted the appropriate people about the potential issue (which isn’t a BN thing, but an intermediary company thing – I’ve seen the alert on the Tribune’s site, on StatCounter, and other large, reputable sites this morning. Seems like a widespread ‘Net issue).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just to update: this really is apparently a widespread issue, but fortunately NetSeer is a legit company that is fixing the issue promptly (some reports suggest it’s already been fixed, and if you’re still seeing the warning, it’s just a cache issue (i.e., you can clear your cache and cookies and it should be gone)).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      One last update on this: The Guardian (the big paper in England) is reporting that the reason for the warnings is an old blacklisting in Chrome (NetSeer was previously blacklisted by Google for some reason), and that there is no current risk. So, a clear of the cache/cookies, should help clear up the warning but there’s nothing to fear if you’re like me, and you’re seeing this warning all over the web this morning.

      • TonyP

        thanks for the update Brett

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          No problem, and thank you for the prompt heads up.

  • cub2014

    Looking at the roster I wonder if they are going to keep
    Lake as super utility guy. He can play SS-3B-2B? and OF.
    Past Valbuena they have nothing. Watkins if he isnt starting
    at 2B then he will be in minors as will Vitters. There
    non roster invitees for utility are very week. If not Lake
    they should sign Ryan Theriot he could back up SS or 2B
    and I am sure play 3B, last I heard he was a FA?

    • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

      Please no The riot! Gotta be better backup IF around.

      • cub2014

        oh and why not theriot: career .290 with cubs .270 elsewhere for a
        .281 in majors. could the cubs use a .280 hitter? better hitter than
        barney, and pretty good infielder. Only issue is he hits right handed.

        • TWC

          Why not Theriot?

          Because he’s a donger.

    • yield51

      They don’t really need another IF on the 25 man. Barney can give Castro a rest at SS, Valbuena can spell Barney when he is at SS, or sitting, and can also give Stewart a rest. I suspect Valbuena/Navarro will also get some time at 1B this spring. The longer they give Lake at AAA the better IMO. If he mashes that league, maybe he gets a new sense of confidence and turns the corner as a prospect.

      • cub2014

        so we know: 4 outfielders, 5 infielders, 2 catchers and 12 pitchers = 23
        2 spots come down to: 2 outfielders or 1 utility guy and 1 outfielder.
        campana,sappelt and or lake,watkins,lillibridge or ? pick two!

        AAA will have: jackson,vitters,lake,watkins,clevenger and sappelt
        or campana. Pitchers: raley,rusin,berken,coleman,dolis.

        The AAA group was a big part of the team end of last year, no
        wonder they were so bad in august and september.

  • MJ

    I’ve always felt that Jim Hendry got way too much blame for the state the Cubs fell into. He had his faults, but give him credit for moves like trading for Ramirez & Lee which cost the organization the equivalent of two pairs of sanitary socks.

    Every GM/Baseball boss will make mistakes. So far, Ian Stewart and not going harder after Yoenis Cespedes is really, really bugging me about the new regime, but it’s early. The reason the Cubs were set back for decades, is and always was, the Tribune. Whenever it was the RIGHT time The Tower to open the checkbook (like not letting Greg Maddux spend his prime years in Atlanta) it resulted in….Jose Guzman.

    The supernatural force that kept the Cubs from winning was it’s previous owner.

    • yield51

      Well if the Tribune co. opened up the checkbook and said spend 140 million anyway you like, then Hendry deserves the blame for the state he left the Cubs in. If however they said spend 135 million on the MLB roster, and 5 million on organizational talent, then one can’t really blame Hendry for the weak farm, and poor drafts over the last decade or so.

      Also the Cubs offered Maddux more than the Braves did. I’m sure he would have stayed for a certain amount of $, but what is that figure, and do you really want a player on your team that would rather be someplace else?

      • frank

        As I remember it, Maddux would’ve come back to the Cubs but was disrespected by Larry Himes, who told him, after acquiring Jose Guzman, that he wasn’t needed.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Cubs went plenty hard after Cespedes. The A’s trumped their offer by 50%. That’s not going harder on the competition: that’s dropping a nuke on the competition!

      As for Hendry, he did do a great job of trading away prospects (almost none of whom amounted to anything) for good veterans. Sure, there were some duds: but the dud moves were actually good percentage moves; as with all such exercises, good odds are just that, and not guarantees.

      Unfortunately, the “almost none of whom amounted to anything” applied to the prospects the Cubs kept. Hendry’s one big flaw is that he clung to the antediluvian “five tools” paradigm long after other organizations had moved on to using larger numbers of more specific tools.

      • MJ

        On the Maddux thing: Remember who his agent was, Scott Boras. Of course he was trying to drive up the price by having the Cubs & Braves bidding against each other. The Trib/Larry Himes decided the price was wrong. Better to cut off communication, and move on with Jose Guzman. Himes said himself Boras came back and would have accepted the Cubs’ offer, but their budget was already thinned out because they’d inked The Great Guzman.

        On the Cespedes thing: The Cubs reportedly offered the same dollar amount the A’s gave him, but wanted a longer commitment, similar to Soler & (ugh) Gerardo Concepcion. The A’s offered up 4 years. I just feel they should have given him the four. All moves are a risk, but tell me that’s not a bargain right now. If they weren’t comfortable with the number of years, they’d have the ultimate flippable asset.

  • North Side Irish

    Keith Law released his organizational rankings this morning…Cubs come in at #5. Unfortunately that’s only second best in the NL Central.


    • North Side Irish

      Sorry…that should have been farm system rankings….

  • Fastball

    How did Hendry get into the conversation today? Read the post but why do we even give a care what he has to say. He was let go for a reason. He wasn’t very good. With the money he had for a payroll any GM in baseball could have put together a playoff team in those years. In all actualty if he would have left well enough alone he probably could have got another playoff year out of that team. He thought he had to get more left handed so he messed with the lineup and brought in Bradley. He thought he was smart but in reality he wasn’t smart at all. Lou Pinella directed those teams pretty darned well. All things considered Lou probably deserves a lot more credit than he ever got. Now I personally don’t care what the payroll is. If it’s at the top of the market that’s fine with me. I don’t care about Tom Ricketts financial health or what the previous owners financial health was. The Cubs will go on to new owners someday. The only thing I have to say about an owner of any team is this. If you own it than do everything you can within fiscal reason to put a winner on the field every year. If they are bad businessmen then it’s on them. As a fan all I care about is my team winning. If I worried about the owner that would be one too many things in life for me to worry about. It is inevitable that I will root for the Cubs whether they are great or they suck. I thought we had a chance to get to the WS in1984, 2003, 2007, 2008. I don’t think we have any chance of being above .500 in the next two years. Don’t think next year is going to be a magical year or even close to it. 3 years from now I have hope. In the mean time I hope my team knocks off the Cardinals and Reds and I will watch or listen to every game this year one way or another.