Will Cubs GM Jim Hendry Survive Another Year? Should He?

Usually, when a team wins 97 games -- regardless of whether it succeeds in the playoffs -- the general manager is regarded as successful himself, and given the sort of money requisite with said success. That general manager then goes and spends his money on a boat to dock at Burnham Harbor, and everyone is happy. Theoretically, anyway.

But because the Cubs are in the middle of a sale that, thanks to the horrible economy, will probably never happen, Hendry has no idea what his future will be. Will Crane Kenney, he of the silly pregame dugout holy water blessing, similarly bless Hendry with a fat new contract? Or will Hendry get left out in the cold?

No one knows, though Phil Rogers is tracking the likelihood today. Kenney is non-committal. So the better question is, should he? Does Jim Hendry deserve the seller's blind faith?

That answer seems an obvious yes now, but it was not always that way. Hendry was with the team in its post-2003 collapse, made a trade for Nomar Garciaparra that never panned out, threw expensive contracts at guys like Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis (one of whom has vindicated himself well; the other has been, well, Jason Marquis), and who has failed miserably in building a competent farm system or utilizing homegrown talent.

Of course, Hendry's also not been the best in utilizing advanced analysis, and the Cubs occasionally squander their ability -- Alfonso Soriano somehow surviving as the leadoff hitter being their most egregious example -- by not efficiently managing resources. If you're looking for black marks on Hendry's record, there are a few.

At the same time, most of his decisions have paid off, and perhaps most importantly, given the Cubs' lack of minor-league talent, he has proven to have an uncanny knack for making timely midseason trades. It would have been less of a shock if he would have completed a Brian Roberts trade this year.

So anyway, yes, Hendry deserves at least a couple more years to see his vision through. It will be a shame if the Cubs "sale" doesn't allow it.

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