New York Yankees: Why Jim Hendry Can Help Brian Cashman in 2012

Brian BuckleyContributor IIFebruary 7, 2012

CHICAGO - JUNE 25: General manager Jim Hendry of the Chicago Cubs (center) talks to reporters before a game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 25, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

During the past few weeks, most New Yorkers have been more than preoccupied with the New York Giants' Super Bowl run. 

Perhaps some were engrossed in the unforeseen emergence of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. 

Whatever the case may be, the New York Yankees made a big move that might have flown under the radar to most in the Tri-State area.

The acquisition might seem like nothing more than a blurb in the newspaper while slurping down your Cheerios. 

The pinstriped appendage wasn’t a left-handed starter or a base-stealer. 

Orchestrated by general manger Brian Cashman, the addition was for a personal confidant.

On January 31st, the Yankees signed former Chicago Cubs general manger Jim Hendry to a multi-year deal to be the special assignment scout to Cashman.  At first glance, the sex appeal with this signing is definitely waning, but after peeling back the exterior, you will find an invaluable center.

While Hendry would be saddling up as an executive in the Bronx, he has served at nearly every level in baseball since 1983. 

Starting with the toiling of the high school ranks to National Coach of the Year when his Creighton squad appeared in the College World Series in 1991, Hendry began at the bottom and rose up the ranks of the baseball stratosphere.

After his coaching stint at Creighton, he joined the Florida Marlins as a special assistant to general manager Dave Dombrowski.  Following the brief Floridian stint, Hendry ended up in Chicago, where he made Addison St. his home with the Cubs for 17 years.

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 07:  General manager Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees speaks to the media before Game Three of the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on October 7, 2007 in the Bronx borough of New York
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

During those 17 years, he served in a surplus of roles for the "Cubbies."  From assistant general manager/player personnel director to the director of player development/scouting and minor league operations to eventually General Manager in 2002, Hendry had his hands on almost everything to do with the Chicago Cubs product.

However, is that a good thing?

If you are unaware of the Cubs' eternal struggles, then you can’t be considered a bonafide baseball fan. 

From Billy Goats to Bartman, the North-Siders have been the playful laughingstock of the game for decades. 

So, why is adding the former GM of a team with disastrous results a good thing?

Obviously, Hendry didn’t win any World Series championships in Chicago, but he did reach the postseason three times in his tenure. 

No other person can say that. 

Nor can anyone say they manned a Cub team to two consecutive playoff berths since the 1930’s. 

Cashman has definitely noticed the success.

"He can scout amateur players; he scouts pro players for us," Cashman cooed. "He's as connected in the game as you can possibly be. Everybody loves this man."

As for what is entailed for Hendry and his role, he reports for work in two weeks in Tampa.  At that point, he will be assigned to scout major and minor-league talent and, at the same time, restoring any problems that might arise for Cashman and assistant general manager Billy Eppler.  

As outsiders, we watch the results on the field to measure the success of our team, but in the case of Jim Hendry, maybe the infancy of those accomplishments originate upstairs.