The Chicago Cubs, Friday, fired General Manager and Vice President Jim Hendry after 15 years with the organization.
"The search for a new GM begins today," said owner Tom Ricketts in announcing the news. "The search will be focused on candidates outside the organization."
Ricketts said the search would be a private and personal process.
His decision to part ways with Hendry came down to accountability.
"The reasons are two-fold," he said. "First, we just didn't win enough games. ... Secondarily, our goal is to win the World Series and I firmly believe that bringing in new leadership was the right move."
Ricketts said the move should not tarnish Hendry's great legacy with the team, which includes three division championships since 2003. He said he respects Hendry and considers him a friend.
Hendry offered similar statements during an earlier meeting with reporters.
"I will leave here with nothing but gratefulness," Hendry said at a tear-filled morning press conference. The long time GM broke down when a reporter asked if he had informed his team about the move.
"Yeah, I told 'em last night," he said fighting back emotions. "I called my children last night, and called a number of people this morning."
Hendry said Ricketts informed him about the move on July 22, but kept him on board through a number of player signings, and the trade of Kosuke Fukudome in one of the best kept secrets in Cubs history.
"We didn't win enough games," Hendry said. "You get to the point where this is a business."
"I'm trying to reflect on a lot of the good things that happened here over the years," Hendry said.
Hendry, 56, has been with the team since 1996 when he was hired as the director of player development. He rose up the ranks and guided the team through a number of makeovers, and multiple playoff berths.
Since taking over as GM in 2002, he hired two marquee managers, in Lou Piniella and Dusty Baker, watched as superstar slugger Sammy Sosa fizzled, signed Alfonso Soriano for $136 Million and 8 years.
He also helped land Kerry Wood, Mark Pryor and Carlos Zambrano and nearly took the team to the World Series. His club fell five outs short of the World Series in 2003.
Hendry leaves with a 749-748 record during his time as GM. He signed a five-year contract extension in 2008.
Assistant GM Randy Bush will take over in the interim. Ricketts said the future is bright for the North Side team.
"We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "I'm going to look for someone with roots in a winning culture who can bring that over."
|Chicago Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts discusses the departure of Jim Hendry and the search for a new general manager. "We just didn't win enough games," he said.|