The Brooklyn Dodgers had a saying, which was later adopted by the Chicago Cubs which said “wait till next year”. For years Cub fans have been using this phrase as a way to ease the pain that they have suffered through the years. However, I am here to start a new saying which I feel suit’s the current situation our beloved boys in blue are in much better. Wait till the year after next. Allow me to explain.
Let’s start at the very top, with Cubs General Manager, Jim Hendry. Currently, the Cubs embattled GM is signed through the 2012 season. As far as I can tell, there is little chance that he will be fired before his contract is up, nor do I think that firing him before the end of 2012 is absolutely the right thing to do, though there are those who obviously disagree. Before you call me a Hendry apologist, allow me to explain my reasoning on this.
If Hendry is fired today, or at the end of the season, whichever General Manager takes over the ball club will be stuck in the very same situation, with slightly less of a mess, that Hendry is in. Why on earth would you replace on general manager with another when there is likely very little the new guy can do at the time? I believe that you must allow Hendry to sift through the remaining years of garbage that the Cubs are currently sifting though. The new GM will be grouped in with Hendry as a fool or a jackass who has no idea what he is doing, when there is a great chance that his hands will be tied until this ball club is able to once again clearly see the light of day and begin to make at least some progress.
That is all well and good, but how about Mike Quade? Why shouldn’t he be fired for the bungling job he has been doing this year? Well, the reasons I will give you are basically the very same ones that I just gave you for why Henry probably should not be fired until his contract his up at the end of the 2012 season. For one, if he is fired, Hendry must also be fired on the very same day. As I pointed out a few moments ago, not really the smartest thing in the world to do, because who ever the new man is, will not make much of a difference at all with this pile of garbage smell like a rose garden. Furthermore, if Quade is fired, Hendry would be the man in charge to hire a replacement for him for the remainder of the 2011 season and for 2012. No manager will sign on for a team knowing his GM only has one year remaining, and that means that Hendry will need to get an extension in order to get any manager worth a damn to sign here. And you can not fire Hendry and hire a new GM only for him to be stuck with Quade. So we may be forced to wait through another year and a half of Quade, sorry to disappoint you.
I do not find it a coincidence at all that both Hendry’s and Quade’s contracts run through 2012 either, with the lone exception of Quade who has a team option for 2013 which likely will not be picked up unless a miracle occurs. They are both on the same time frame, which lines up perfectly for when the Cubs will be in their best financial situation, which sets up perfectly for a new regime to take over and do a complete overhaul.
Financially speaking, the Cubs will have over $50 Million coming off the books at the end of the year, but they are still financially burdened with the contracts of Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and now Carlos Marmol, unless one or all of them are traded before the start of next year. However, once the 2012 season has come to an end, only Soriano and Marmol will be left on the roster with contracts which are likely going be worth more than the play they give us. That is $38.5 more Million coming off the books. Whichever General Manager takes control of this team will be in a great position to start building a championship contender, with a new manager who is perfectly suited to lead this team into the future! A manager who they may have liked to have hired before this season, but did not want to stick him with the crapfest that the Cubs have become, someone like Ryne Sandberg who most fans are wishing was managing the team this year.
Before anyone takes that last comment too far, allow me to be perfectly clear. No manager, no matter who they are, could have been able to take this garbage dump of a team and make them smell like a bed or roses. That is just simply not possible. I am also not saying that Sandberg will be a great manager, we just simply do not know what he will be at this point in his managerial career. Which brings me to a topic I brought up on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/worldseriesdreaming).
For everyone who wanted Sandberg, or another manager with potential, to take over this years team, tell me why? Why would you want to set up a manager, you feel has potential to be great, to fail? Two bad years in a row, and your great managerial prospect is being called out, and fans are demanding for his head. Why not wait until the mess is cleaned up before bringing in someone who has a chance to actually make something happen? Not hiring Sandberg was likely the best thing that has ever happened to the guy, and he should be kissing Hendry’s feet for passing him over for Quade. Otherwise he would be the one standing in front of the fan’s figurative firing squad.
I am sorry my friends, but wanting or demanding immediate change, is just wasting your time. Forecasting what is likely to come the way contracts are laid out, I can not see the sun rising for our beloved Cubbies until at least 2013.
Embrace the wait, and wait till the year after next!