I’ve been saying for years that Jim Hendry was not the right person to be making decisions for the Chicago Cubs. Three division titles notwithstanding, the bar has been raised higher than that, and Jim Hendry’s handiwork seems as far away from clearing that bar as it ever has been. I’m practically giddy at the news that he’s out as the Cubs’ GM. And one unsourced tweet does count as news, when it’s the news that you’ve been waiting for.
Besides all of the Milton Bradley and Kosuke Fukudome moves, and the Jim Thome non-move I wrote about this morning, there were two things that sealed Jim Hendry’s fate, in my mind. The first is that the 100-year mark in the championship drought was reached. That’s why dollar stores exist, or gas that’s $3.49 a gallon is more popular than gas that’s $3.50 a gallon. Once that threshhold is crossed, people start thinking in different ways. Winning in year 99 or even year 100 would have been OK, but the difference between 103 years and 135 years is actually less than the difference between 103 years and 99 years. It’s all in people’s heads, mine included.
And secondly, 2005 changed everything on both sides of town. As long as the White Sox didn’t have a World Series title in anyone’s memory, the Cubs’ lack of one was more tolerable. The Red Sox were the same, but on a different level, since I don’t have to see “Red Sox World Champions” gear as I walk around town. I don’t have Red Sox fans living in my neighborhood, so far as I know. And every season that has passed since then, my own sense of coveting the goofy-looking trophy above, and the bragging rights that go with it, has gotten stronger and stronger. And today those feelings swept Jim Hendry away.
I have no personal ill feelings toward the man, and I hope he’s happy with whatever comes next in life. But I’m absolutely glad that this era is behind us Cubs fans now.