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The Hendry Hot-Seat

As the Cubs inconsistency rolls on, much blame has been directed towards Cubs' general manager Jim Hendry. Milton Bradley's underachieving performance, coupled with his on-field antics has rubbed many Cubs fans the wrong way. Mark DeRosa has suddenly become the most popular Cub, as he has worn two different jerseys in the past 4 months, neither of which has been the Cubbie blue. With this and many other issues, is Hendry really the one to blame? The DeRosa trade may have been a head scratcher after a career year offensively and his widely talked about versatility in the field. Bradley on the other hand, was not a bad decision given his past production and team needs. They demanded a left handed bat to break up the right handed overload, and arguably got one of the best in the American League last season. This praise comes from someone who was a huge supporter of trying to acquire free agent right fielder Raul Ibanez (currently batting .312 with 22 HRs and 59 RBIs). How nice would those numbers have looked in the middle of a offensively challenged Cubs lineup? On the other hand I'm a firm believer in "anything can happen in baseball". A prime example is Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. A guy who was considered one of the best if not the best bat in the American League since he came to Boston has suddenly hit a bump in his career (.221 AVG, 8 HRs and 35 RBIs). Another disappointment has been reliever Carlos Marmol, a guy who has been consistently un-hittable for the past two seasons. He suddenly has lost his control and continues to be a question mark every time he comes out of the bullpen. Jim Hendry is not the one to blame for the drop off in statistics. This is a team that is loaded with talent, and built to win now. If there is one thing Hendry has to fall back on, it is his recent history of strong mid-season moves. There is obviously some moves that need to be made, like toying with the bullpen or adding an offensive catalyst for the top of the order. Until then Cubs fans, be patient as Ramirez will soon make his return which might ignite the slow moving offense. They are still within striking distance of the division leading Brewers and this may be a blessing in disguise. Get the struggles out early while becoming red hot in the month of September for a change. Recent history saw teams like the Cardinals, Rockies and last season's Dodgers play their best baseball down the stretch only to continue into the playoffs.

Mitch Heun


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