Jim Hendry Leaves Mixed Legacy in Chicago

Coming into today, I can’t say I had more than a surface-deep opinion on Jim Hendry. I don’t follow the Cubs as closely as I do other teams, and while  I knew that Cubs fans didn’t like him, I’d never done enough research to form an opinion more than, “Eh, he’s not the best.” And now that Hendry has been fired by the Cubs, I’ve done plenty of research and spent the day reading around…yet I still don’t know exactly what to think about him. Hendry is a tough knot to untangle.

I don’t think you’ll find any Cubs fans out there that criticize Hendry’s character. From all reports, he’s a stand-up guy that cared deeply about his players and the Cubs franchise. Heck, he stayed on for multiple weeks after he was fired, for the sole purpose of helping the Cubs sign their draft picks and transition smoothly. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.

But the Cubs are currently adrift without any real focus or direction. They are on pace for their second straight fourth place finish in the NL Central, and they haven’t had a strong, competitive team since 2008. And yet, Hendry built this team as if he intended to compete this season, signing Carlos Pena and trading for Matt Garza. Did Hendry misevaluate the Cubs’ place on the win curve? What was his plan going forward? Did he necessarily have one? With all these questions swirling around him and the Cubs, it’s about time Hendry moved on.

So what exactly was Hendry? A good GM? Bad GM? As you’d expect, the answer is somewhere in between.

Hendry was the GM was for the Cubs for a considerably long time – 9 seasons, from mid-2002 to mid-2011. And over that time period, the Cubs went through a roller coaster ride in the standings. They made it to the playoffs three times, nearly reaching the World Series in 2003 and peaking at 97 wins in 2008, but they also lost 96 games during one season and had a sub-.500 record during four seasons. The Cubs’ record from 2003-2011 was 716-702 – not horrible, but also not anything particularly amazing.

But get this: over Hendry’s tenure, the Cubs accrued the seventh-most Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of any team in the majors. Check it out:

To play with the full data set, check out the Google Docs file.

I still can’t get past that fact: the Cubs were seventh in baseball in WAR. Seventh. That’s higher than I would have ranked them off the top of my head, and it gives me pause when thinking about Jim Hendry’s legacy. The Cubs certainly spent their fair share of money – fourth most in baseball over this time period, behind only the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets – and they were one of the most inefficient teams in baseball…yet if you have money to spend, you can afford to be inefficient. Who cares how you do it, as long as you’re still bringing in talent and making your team competitive.

Yet as much as WAR loves the Hendry-era Cubs, their actual record fell in the middle of the pack. The Cubs had the 13th-most wins in the majors over this time period, while the Angels – who had nearly the exact same budget and WAR as the Cubs – had the fourth-most wins.

Why did the Angels do so much better than the Cubs? If I knew the answer to that, I’d probably be working in a front office right now. The Angels overachieved and the Cubs underachieved, but good luck figuring out exactly why. Was it the culture of the teams? Rotten luck? The curse of a goat? Damned if I know, and that’s part of what makes it so tough evaluating Jim Hendry.

Yes, Hendry is the GM that gave ouch-inducing contracts to Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley, and Carlos Zambrano. But he is also the same GM that acquired Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez for spare parts, and got great value for both those players over their tenure with the Cubs. He may have given Carlos Marmol a 3-year, $20 million contract to be a closer, yet he also signed Ryan Dempster to a 4-year, $52 million contract that has worked out quite well. He acquired Chris Archer from the Indians for an aging Mark DeRosa, and then turned the still-wild Archer into Matt Garza a few years later.

If Hendry had a fault, it’s that he was too loyal to his long-tenured players, and he had too much faith in players aging gracefully. But even then, Derrek Lee was paid $13 million for producing 2.0 WAR in the last season of his contract, and Aramis Ramirez is currently pulling in $14.5 million for 2.6 WAR. These aren’t great deals, but they’re also far from an egregious overpay. In fact, once you get beyond the Soriano contract, it’s difficult to find a player that Hendry signed that didn’t provide at least close to market value. Heck, I still don’t get the Marlon Byrd signing, but that contract has worked out much better than I ever could have imagined.

Hendry was no Theo Epstein, but he was also far from a Steve Phillips. Cubs fans should certainly be glad that their team has decided to move on – it was past time for a new direction and focus — but I think Hendry deserves more credit and praise than he is receiving. Even if for some reason the Cubs otherwise underperformed, Hendry did acquire plenty of talent. And he did lead the Cubs to the postseason in three out of his nine seasons. If for no other reason, he deserves a respectful golfclap and tip of the hat on his way out the door.




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Steve is the editor-in-chief of DRaysBay and the keeper of the FanGraphs Library. You can follow him on Twitter at @steveslow.


59 Responses to “Jim Hendry Leaves Mixed Legacy in Chicago”

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  1. thegeniusking says:

    This underachievement canl be attributed to Soriano. If he had been the player he was paid to be, and wasn’t batting leadoff , the Cubs might not have been swept in the NLDS two years straight. If Zambrano could have been Sabathia and Soriano Victorino, the Cubs could have achieved much more, and their window is long gone.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      You can play that game with every team.

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      • Adam says:

        No you can’t. Not every team paid top notch, super star money to someone who’s been “meh” and the very best. That is a lot of money and a lot of years. Most teams don’t have someone paid nearly as much.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        Any team that spends money has bad contracts. The Phillies have Ibanez and Howard. The Mets have 75% of their roster. The Yankees are overpaying Jeter, Posada, Burnett, and A-Rod. The Red Sox paid too much for Dice-K, Lackey, and J.D. Drew is dead weight. The Angels traded for Wells. The Astros have Carlos Lee and Brandon Lyon. The Whites Sox are paying Dunn and Rios a combined 25 million this year.

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    • Otter says:

      The Sun-Times reported today that the Soriano signing was more of a John McDonough than Hendry, which should change all our ‘views’ on Jim.

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        Nice, sarcasm. Did McDonough try to force him to play CF? Did McDonough give in to his childish demands to leadoff? He had several years where he knew how little he’d get out of Soriano and did nothing about it and had no plans in place to mitigate the disaster. If he had done so, they might have limited the wear on his body and preserved a few million more of his value.

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  2. Jade says:

    Think you meant NL Central in third paragraph. Enjoyed it.

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  3. Steve Bartman says:

    I think Hendry got a bit of a raw deal with all of the ownership difficulties and pressure to win immediately, whether or not he thought his team was ready to spend big. Sure ultimately the GM has the responsibility to win or lose when it comes to handing out contracts, but it was never his idea to sell off the team or have Moises Alou run into my glove.

    Here’s to wishing Mr. Hendry the best. I don’t think it’ll be too long before he resurfaces with a much less dysfunctional organization. Leading the Marlins into their new stadium perhaps?

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    • hunterfan says:

      Bwa ha ha…Bet that’s the first time the Marlins have been used as an example of a much less dysfunctional organization!

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      • Nick says:

        They demote players who miss sign-and-greets with season ticket holders. Also allot playing time to Mike Cameron instead of an ex-NL rookie of the year going through a rough patch. They suck.

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      • steve says:

        Hey Nick, it was more than missing a meet and greet. Look at LOMO’s tweet that makes fun of David Samson on Aug. 7. That would get me fired – not demoted – from my job. Morrison needs to act a little more professional.

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        The same can be said about the owner and President of the team.

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    • Otter says:

      I actually sort of agree with this… the Trib was never very good at the baseball side of everything, meanwhile the Ricketts leveraged themselves to their ears and have some how managed to be worse owners, so far, than the Trib (who just milked the Cubs for every dollar they could, and quite well imo).

      That said, there never seemed to be a blueprint with the Cubs… which always seems to be the case with the Cubs. I know it’s cliche to say that “winning doesn’t matter with the Cubs since people are going to show up for the Friday afternoon 1:20 first pitch no matter what” but I can’t help to think that’s true at some level. Since 75% of the fans at Wrigley seem to be coming in from downstate or Iowa or wasted ND kids in for the day etc the need for the team to ‘win’… of course come playoff time and actual North Siders are in Wrigley again… that’s a different story.

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      • Al Dimond says:

        Cubs attendance went way down when they dropped out of contention in 2009. If they have truly exciting or popular players (on the magnitude of Sandberg, Sosa, Prior, young Kerry Wood, etc.) and the economy is good they’ll draw even if they lose. In a down economy with expensive gas, and a team full of lackluster players without great excitement potential or fond memories, people stop making the trip from Schaumberg — let alone Iowa.

        I’d also guess that the Cubs’ national draw is declining. Fewer Cubs games are available nationally on basic cable, other teams’ games are much more available, and there are more teams between the Mississippi River and the west coast (also Florida, but that’s Yankee territory). The Cubs may not be living entirely in the real world yet, but they are closer than they used to be.

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  4. prospectslol says:

    Hendry is the scapegoat of the Tribune/Zell’s sale of the team. Last guy left takes all the blame.

    5 outs from a WS in 2003, and the best team in all of baseball in 2008; two legit windows at a championship in 9 years. That’s all I ask as a Cubs fan for 30 years… the chance to win.

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  5. Tomas says:

    Milton Bradley/Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano, to me the biggest mistakes. Signing Bradley monumental mistake, the guy had a horrible track record pretty much everywhere and he gambled 12 million per yr on him. And not for the signing of Zambrano, but for not getting rid of him after the Derek Lee incident.

    I don’t care for the fact that they are talented, the fact of the matter is, Cubs don’t need negativity, and clubhouse problems are a no-no when you haven’t won in more than 100 years.

    Signing Soriano for a long contract in his 30′s well another big mistake. Really if the Cubs get rid of Soriano and Zambrano, I like where they’re headed. Marmol may be better suited for a setup role, Wood could close games again, and the starting rotation, well they need another good one to replace Zambrano. 1B Fielder or Pujols, forget about it, maybe give Pena another shot.

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  6. Toffer Peak says:

    A big reason that WAR overrates the Cubs is for the same reason that fWAR overrates all NL teams; fWAR doesn’t adjust for league scoring nor difficulty. fWAR claims that a pitcher with 200 innings of 3.50 FIP has an equal amount of WAR regardless of whether that was achieved in the AL or NL, when it is obvious that run scoring in the NL is lower and therefore an equal FIP is less valuable in the NL than the AL. On top of that since fWAR is FIP based it might be more accurate over small samples (lets say 0-300 innings?) but over large samples (lets say 9 years of a teams total pitching) it should become quite obvious that you’re much better off using actual runs scored to account for all of the things that FIP misses (BABIP skill, baserunning skill, bunching skill, park effects, etc.).

    I imagine that there are a lot of other things to consider as well but the basic point should be to ignore team WAR (particularly fWAR) over a longer period when you have actual team wins (or even Pythag wins) to evaluate a team.

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    • IvanGrushenko says:

      I thought fWAR used different replacement levels for NL pitchers and AL pitchers

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    • Dr. Rockzo says:

      Other than home runs, runs allowed does not factor into FIP.

      I had no idea that you could judge a pitcher by the opponents baserunning skills with significant results.

      What pitcher’s BABIP are you going to look at over time? Dempster who varied from .250 – .320 at times?

      I think more interesting would be to see year by year how the team performed vs their WAR totals as opposed to total wins and WAR of an aggregate time frame.

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      • Toffer Peak says:

        “I had no idea that you could judge a pitcher by the opponents baserunning skills with significant results.” Not sure quite what you’re getting at here but I’m not suggesting that we try to quantify a pitcher’s ability to control the running game, pitch from the stretch, etc., simply pointing out that FIP ignores all of these facts while RA9 doesn’t. Every single study I’ve seen shows that RA is more accurate than FIP as you increase the sample size. Essentially I was arguing that fWAR could be overrating the Cubs since it is throwing out a lot of useful information.

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    • JDanger says:

      There are just under, maybe, 1,000 things wrong with this post. Can’t be entirely certain, I lost count after a while.

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  7. joeIQ says:

    Terrible managers the entire time!! Don Bailor was decent everyone since has been horrible as far as in game decisions.

    Someone claimed managers don’t have that much effect, because they aren’t paid much, I think Cameron. From a Cubs fan I can tell you managers can cost you big. Lou was worth easy -10 wins last year. Quade has been pretty bad this year.

    Also I’m going from memmory but I’d wager the Cubs had a pretty bad record in 1 run games over that span.

    The biggest descrepancy was probably in 2004. That team was incredible player by player but missed the post season.

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  8. JamesDaBear says:

    While Dempster and Aramis Ramirez might have had great value for their salaries, he also added ridiculous NTCs and player options to those contracts, which have made it very difficult to trade them when the proper time arose. You also didn’t mention the Kosuke Fukudome contract, which was ill-conceived from the start. They obviously had no plan with what to do with Fukudome unless he became Godzilla – The Sequel.

    He never cashed in for full value any of the players he could have traded or did trade, including Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot… He did well when trading prospects (which the Cubs have had few of anyway), but very poorly when trading veterans.

    Hendry also continued his reactionary ways when it comes to arbitration-eligible players, rarely locking up players through their arbitration-eligible and early-free agent years. With a declining payroll, he could have made the future much cheaper by not waiting until he had to give huge raises to a Carlos Marmol, for example, and should have done the same with Geovany Soto, Matt Garza and, now, Starlin Castro. Hopefully, the next GM will be more aggressive, innovative and forward thinking.

    When you look at how barren the upper-levels of the farm system is, combined with the failures at the major league level and the extravagant payroll level during his tenure, it’s really hard to be sorry to see him go or really give him credit for much with the state he leaves the franchise. For a large market team, 3 playoff appearances in 9 years, including two of those appearances resulting in zero wins, is just not acceptable in an era where 8 teams make the playoffs every year.

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  9. mister rob says:

    Hendry was horrible at getting pieces that fit together
    The 04 team had like 7 right handed hitters in a row at the end (walker, garciaparra, alou, sosa, aram, dlee, barrett). In fact other than a couple lucky months of edmonds, Hendry never had a legitimate power lefty bat
    Out of his 9 seasons, he had a real leadoff man maybe 3 times
    He never cared about defense, especially up the middle. Barrett, nomar, and todd walker? theriot and fontenot?
    OF defense was even worse. Fukudome in CF? Milton Bradley in a tough RF to play? Matt Murton? Jacque Jones and his worm burner throws? Juan Pierre and his 13 yr old girl arm? Heck, they even tried Soriano in CF one spring
    Never once gave his manager an established closer. Borowski was a journeyman middle reliever. Hawkins said himself he didnt like closing. Demp was an injury rehab. Wood too. And then Marmol, a wild ex-catcher turned setup man

    good riddance

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    • Bip says:

      Never buying a closer is a good thing. Most overpaid position ever.

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        Except Hendry did “buy” a closer, when they let Kerry Wood walk, when he was willing to work for less, and traded for Marlins “closer” Kevin Gregg. Hendry paid quite a bit for his bullpens. He also paid top dollar for relievers like LaTroy Hawkins, Bobby Howry, Scott Eyre, John Grabow… He also “locked up” Carlos Marmol about a year too late and lost a chance to make it cheap for his inevitable implosion. At least they made Sean Marshall into a cheap asset, but this was the year to cash that in… and, as effective as he’s been in relief, they could really have used him in the rotation, even as a mediocre back-end starter. He’s been a great reliever, but that’s going to end up worthless over this three-year period of suck.

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  10. The Molitor Lizard says:

    Milton Bradley was a bad deal as was Zambrano’s extention. Hendry is one of the last GMs that can be characterized as old school and he has clearly stacked the organization with players that do not take walks and has squandered many 1st round picks for various reasons. The WAR #’s are surprising but this club has underperformed for the amount of money that has been spent on this team. Hendry had three shots at hiring coaches and they all disappointed. A site such as fangraphs should be exposingHendry’s reign for how backward and myopic that it was. Keep digging. There’s no ambiguity here -Jim Hendry was a failure as were all his teams.

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    • Todd says:

      I’m sorry, but it’s just not true that all of Hendry’s teams were failures. In order put together those successful teams, he did have to saddle the future of the team with albatross contracts, but this is a Cubs fan base that really won’t settle for a long term plan. You knew that when they signed Soriano/Zambrano to those big, long-term, untradeable contracts, that there was going to be hell to pay roughly 3 years later, yet I never heard one peep from Cubs fans that Hendry was mortgaging the future for a shot at the present.

      Kudos to Hendry for bringing us as close as we’ve ever been– perhaps equal to 1984- to a WS Championship. The writing was on the wall back in 2008, though, when the team didn’t win it all– the window of opportunity was rapidly closing, and the nature of those long-term, crazy expensive deals for players about to enter their decline years meant that we were going to be really bad until those contracts came off the books.

      Yes, it is time to start over, but I’d argue the problem with the Cubs is a myopic/win-now/to-hell-with-plans-that-last-more-than-two-years fan base and an ownership situation where winning was not always the top goal. Perhaps the latter will change; I’m not too hopeful the former will.

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    • I don’t know that he’s one of the last “old school” GMs. It’s hard to know how to exactly define the term, but I’d say that anyone around 50 or older who came up in baseball with a scouting background probably qualifies. Sabean and Colletti are clearly “old school.” So are Jack Z, Dave Dombrowski, Andy MacPhail, Walt Jocketty, Ed Wade, and Kevin Towers. And, of course, Sandy Alderson.

      The youngbloods haven’t quite taken over just yet.

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      • JamesDaBear says:

        Jack Zduriencik doesn’t shun the advanced metrics. He has top lieutenants to help with that. For better or worse, the Mariners are doing things far from the “old school way” with their focus on run prevention. Ricketts himself had to force Hendry, kicking and screaming, to hire someone to help with high-end statistical analysis.

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  11. Richie says:

    Given the financial resources at his disposal, I’d say Hendry fell short of what he should’ve accomplished.

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  12. The Molitor Lizard says:

    No good GM bids against himself, something Hendry did many times. If you want a good profile of a typical Cubs fan, read prospectlols comment. For a team that hasn’t won in 103 years, the fandom is a good reason why the Cubs still have a large fandom. I guess they’re ok being losers.

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  13. fang2415 says:

    This might account for some of the Cubs’ win-WAR disparity…

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/more-on-clutch-hitting/

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  14. gjsdaf8d9sa says:

    This might account for some of the Cubs’ win-WAR disparity…

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  15. MikeS says:

    How come wins and WAR don’t correlate better?

    This may be a stupid question that has been answered a million times before but has WAR ever been prospectively validated? What I mean is that if a team of 25 replacement level players is expected to win say, 50 games then a team should win 50 + (total team WAR). It doesn’t have to be exact but if they don’t correlate very well with a big sample size than there is a problem in the model – maybe replacement level is wrong or WAR is calculated wrong and the model needs to be refined. This sort of validation is done all the time with scientific models. Has it been done with WAR? if not, then WAR is more of a curiousity (like NERD) than a true measure of value.

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    • Richie says:

      WAR is calculated wrong and the model needs to be refined (see earlier ‘Richie Rant’ – if you can find it – on illogic of using league averages when figuring out ‘replacement level’).

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    • Al Dimond says:

      There are some interesting discrepancies between team and individual performance that could make “team WAR” (as the sum of individual WAR) not match up with team performance. I haven’t put much thought into how much these matter, just a few off the top of my head:

      1. For individual pitchers, a starter is given more credit for an identical performance (in IP and FIP) as a reliever. So a team that got a higher proportion of innings out of starters than average would be somewhat overrated by team WAR.

      2. I’m just not sure how well FIP * IP – UZR correlates to actual runs allowed. Has anyone studied this?

      3. For hitters: WAR uses per-PA linear weights, which is appropriate for measuring individual players. A per-out run estimator should work better for analyzing team hitting. I think a team with low OBP and thus fewer PA should end up overrated by team WAR.

      4. The rest is stuff like sequencing/situational hitting, effective use of the bench and bullpen, performance in one-run games vs. blowouts (related to consistency, which can cut both ways).

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  16. vl says:

    Didn’t Hendry also give John Grabow 7 million for 2 years?

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  17. Jeffrey Gross says:

    Yeah, but he also gave away Ricky Nolasco, and undervalued Hai Juk Lee

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  18. Hendry bet the farm in 2008, then gets put away in the first round against the Brewers. He was toast from that time on. Was ‘Skippy’ Soriano worth the $$, as it turned out no. Had he gotten to the WS in ’08, win or lose, it might have been different. The Tribune Management was among the worst in the histoy of baseball, IMO.

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  19. MC says:

    I always thought of Hendry as a GM who liked “toolsy” hitters and overpaid for free agents. He would have been better served to take that money he spent on free agents and invest that into the farm system. But that’s true for any team, yet very few teams do this except when forced to (because they’re in small markets).

    He was also very quick to give up on prospects in exchange for players that for some he reason he thought (and only he) were indispensable. Case in point: the Carlos Pena trade.

    I also heard that the Ricketts family paid a dear price to acquire the Cubs. Perhaps there has been a drop in attendance due to the Depression and, combined with the increased payroll this year, was the last straw.

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  20. KingKongvs.Godzilla says:

    Completely agreed with the conclusion of the article. Hendry missed alot of things as GM, but it’s not as if the last decade knocked the Cubs down a peg. 3 1st places for this franchise in the same decade hasn’t happened in (probably, didn’t fact check) a good 70 maybe even 80 years.

    If only they had signed Beltran in ’05…f’n Cubs.

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  21. Shaun Catron says:

    Am I the only one who thinks of Muppets when I think of Jim Hendry?

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  22. mikec says:

    This piece overrates Hendry’s work quite a bit.

    He actually wound up only one game over .500 for his 9 years plus a month.

    Despite payrolls ranking 1.2 out of 6 in NLC, 3.3 out of 16 in NL, 7.0 of 30 in MLB.

    There’s no way to spin that as anything close to good on a wins-to-dollars ratio.

    Speaking of that, I encourage anyone to google up Tom Verducci’s SI article from a couple years ago. He came up with an excellent system to rank every org ’00 thru ’09. Wins to dollars, and also achievement points for postseason contention and postseason advancments. The Cubs ranked No. 28, and it wouldn’t be any better in the Hendry/GM years!!!!

    Also, I can clarify how the Sori contract went down. Hendry said let’s get him but hold it to 5, 6 years. McDonough said don’t worry about it, just get him regardless. Partial not full blame.

    Hendry was way too old-school. Valued BA, not OBP. That’s why Cubs hitters never walk, and all their minor-leaguers also hack away.

    Really good human being, but he goes down as a below-average GM.

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  23. CircleChange11 says:

    IMO, and a say this even as a Cradinals fan, the Cubs during Hendry’s tenure experienced some horrific bad luck … even for the Cubs. Don’t get me wrong, I enojyed every minute of it, but just being honest.

    The 2003 overachieved big time, namely due to Zambrano, Prior, and Wood. Sosa and Aramis were good on the offense but Damien Miller behind the plate, Karros at 1st, Grudz at 2nd, and even though Gonzalez had 20 HR @ SS his forgetting how to field a routine DP ball would be the end. The 2003 team almost made the WS as an 88 win team.

    In 2004, the team got BETTER. Derek Lee came in, Maddux returned, Michael Barrett and Todd Walker were upgrades. The OF of Alou, Patterson, Sosa was a force (this was one of Paytterson’s good years). But, Prior and Wood were injured for half of the year, and the team WON MORE games (89) than in 2003. You have a healthy Prior and Wood in 2004, with the rest of the Cubs roster, and it’s possible that CHC and STL are the two best teams in MLB. The 2004 team, on paper, is impressive.

    From 2004 – 2006 the Cardinals were the best baseball team in baseball. Almost 300 wins during these 3 years.

    2005 – Sosa & Alou are gone, Hollandsworth and Burnitz are in. Derrek Lee went nuts. Prior returned, Wood was injured.

    2006 was a waste for Prior and Wood. DLee had a throw away half year. Juan Pierre led Cub hitters with 3.3 WAR (br). Nuff said. When your 3 best players spend the season injured, you’re not going to be good. By now, it’s obvious that Prior and Wood will never be battling it out for the CYA.

    2007 – Division title with Fonze and Lou, ends with Ted Lilly throwing his glove in to the mound as Chris Young leaves the yard. 85 win team.

    2008 – 97 wins. Soto arrives. Looking at the roster, the lack of homegrown talent is obvious. Wood is now a closer. Oh yeah, the Cubs are swept again.

    2009 – Milton Bradley and regression. Still … 2nd place.

    2010 – Aging and injuries. Babe Colvin shows up. 75 wins.

    ————————

    Looking at the wins by year –

    03 – 88
    04 – 89
    05 – 79
    06 – 66
    07 – 85
    08 – 97
    09 – 83
    10 – 75

    —————————–

    The MAJOR shortcomings of the organization during this period were …

    [1] Prior and Wood fell apart. Had they become Wainwirght and Carpenter, it might have been a whole different story.

    [2] 0-for-3 in the playoffs, including losing their last 6 games. Had they went to the WS, maybe Hendry rides that accomplishment like the GM across town. In 04 StL went to the WS, in 05 Hou did, and StL won it in 06. 3 NLC teams. The CHC were swept in the 1st round in 2007 and 2008.

    [3] The big contracts by a team looking to increase sale value. Aramis aging hurts, as he has been the staple in the offense.

    [4] The lack of homegrown talent. Soto has been good, when healthy. Castro may be good. Colvin likely not. They spent a lot of money because there were no cheap, quality, homegrown options. They overpay for free agents.

    [5] Many of their players were hacktastic. Seriously, one season Ramirez, Theriot and Fontenot combined for ~100 walks.

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    • Joeiq says:

      The Cubs are incredibly hack tastic this year, they are highest in O-swing percent and lowest in walk percent. I don’t think that’s always the case.

      Aramis is usually fairly paitent for a high contact guy. This year is the exception.

      Even Soriano had decent walk rates before this year. I agree it is a problem right now but not a problem over the last 10 years.

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