Sunday, August 2, 2009

An open letter to Jim Hendry

Dr: Mr. Hendry,

I cannot believe I am saying this. I know you are in an unenviable situation. The sale of the club is hanging like a dark cloud over the Cubs. The current ownership is unwilling to put money into something that they will not see a return on. Any new ownership is scared off by an apparent lack of commitment. On the field, the team is only playing well enough to be a threat in one of, if not the worst divisions in baseball. You cannot be a buyer due to ownership and you can't be a seller otherwise the fans will rebel.

That being said, for the good of the team, you need to either lead the charge or step down. Be aggressive as a buyer or a seller or resign. The drifting nature of the club right now is not doing anyone any good. Yes, injuries have happened, but it seems to be the same few key pieces who are injured. It's time to either make that one big push towards a World Series title or tear down and rebuild. I have been a Cubs fan for over 20 years, so I know that ups and downs are part and parcel of the Cubs. I understand and accept that fact. However, the inability of this years team to put together a consistent effort for all nine innings is not acceptable.

I know that I am not strong enough to make a difference. I don't buy a ton of tickets, merchandise, or ad space. I am just an average fan who is fed up with the current direction of the team.

Thank you very much for your time.

Honestly, I cannot believe it has come to this. In over 20 years of being a fan, I have only been this angry and upset once. The 1994 strike. For one day, I gave up all baseball. The next day I came to my senses and told myself I couldn't give up on the Cubs. This may be the final straw though. I know all of us who are big fans of anything always say it's painful to listen/watch when our teams are struggling, but for me lately it's been more than an expression. It's not that I expect all wins. The best team in MLB history still lost 46 games. I get that. It's how they are losing is what's killing me. Today's loss is the cherry on top of the crappy sundae of a season. The starting pitching is decent, but that matters not one bit because the bullpen couldn't save a game even if they were Superman. A bullpen who blows 16 save chances by August 2nd will not get the job done. I suppose that's understandable with the number of youngsters they have in the pen. The offense is just that, offensive. Consistency is not one of their strong points. I suppose though it's kinda hard to be constant if your injured. As I write this, we have no way of telling if Aramis Ramirez will be out again for an extended period of time. Derek Lee's neck was giving him trouble again recently and there's no way of telling if that is going to come back at a bad time. Not to be outdone, Carlos Zambrano's back is acting up as well.

Not that there haven't been bright spots. In limited time this season, Sam Fuld has shown that he has the skills to be a regular on a MLB roster. Ryan Theriot is showing again that he is one of the Cubs most consistent hitters. Jake Fox is making the best of a bad situation. Reduced to reserve status, he has shown that he deserves a starting spot. However, those few bright spots cannot begin to outshine the darkness that surrounds the Cubs right now. I have a feeling that Lou Piniella is holding this team together with duct tape and baling wire. The rumbles have already started in some circles that Piniella should be fired. I believe that he will walk out on this team before he would be fired.

This all starts at the top, however. That is the reason for the above note. Believe me Mr. Hendry, I understand the tough position you are in. I wouldn't want your job even if they gave me the same amount that Zambrano is making. It cannot be easy to be in a job where every move you make is wrong in someone's eyes. Still, something needs to be done. If you were to ask me, I would blow it up and start over. With over $76 million in just 5 players, the team is very top heavy for what they are getting on the field. It's time to see what the prospects down on the farm can do.

Will I still listen, sure. I am still a Cub fan. I will dust off my not quite so bright blue hat and cheer them on. I cannot say for how much longer, however.

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