Filed: October 20th, 2008
In what is the worst surprise of the month, given last week's news of the Cubs refusal to allow the Mariners to interview him, numerous media outlets are reporting that Jim Hendry has agreed to and signed a four-year extension to continue as GM of the Cubs.
While I have generally viewed Jim Hendry as only a better-than-average general manager during his tenure in Chicago, I think this is a good think. In my mind, continuity is key to a successful franchise, first and foremost. And for his questionable evaluation and development of organizational talent, he has done well since leaving Andy McPhail's shadow in creating and executing a plan for the rise of the Cubs. Back-to-back winning seasons, shrewd free-agent signings, and tirelessly working to make Chicago a premier baseball destination for fans and free agents alike that it should have been all along rank high with me.
However, what probably is most interesting is that with Lou Piniella likely not managing past 2010, he'll certainly have a say in the hiring of the new manager, which suggests that he has the full support of the potential buyers of the Cubs. Although there has been some talk of the potential sale being delayed, it should still be completed sometime in 2009, given the sizeable upcoming debt service payments the Tribune needs to make. That said, it's difficult to imagine that they bidders were not consulted before granting this extension.
Love him or hate him, Hendry looks to be here to stay. And given that this is another strong signal by the Cubs making a commitment to winning for the foreseeable future, I think it's a good thing.