Wait...do you hear that?
Yup, that's applause coming from offices, bars, restaurants, nursing homes and living rooms across the windy city.
Cubs fans finally have something to cheer about.
But before you kick Hendry in the ass on the way out the door, realize this: Hendry was fired almost a month ago. Yet he stayed on, at the behest of Ricketts, in order to make sure the Cubs could sign all of their draft picks.
He deserves some credit for that.
As my B/R colleague Doug Mead pointed out, Hendry's time in Chicago has been one littered with questionable and ill-advised decisions.
But surely all of Hendry's decisions were not the wrong decision, were they?
Of course not.
After the jump, here are five moves made by Hendry that worked out for the Cubs.
Damian Miller, a 33-year-old veteran, would only spend one year calling Wrigley Field home. While he would not provide much in the way of offense (.233 average, nine HR, 36 RBI) he made up for it with solid defense and the ability to handle the Cubs pitching staff.
To acquire Miller from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jim Hendry gave up LHP Dave Noyce and 1B/OF Gary Johnson, neither of whom would play a single inning in the major leagues—or in Arizona's minor league system.
Not a bad trade considering the cost, and considering what the eventual trade of Miller would bring back to Chicago.
In exchange for IF Bobby Hill, career-minor-league RHP Matt Brubeck and SS Jose Hernandez, Hendry bought in the up-and-coming 3B Aramis Ramirez and veteran CF Kenny Lofton from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ramirez has manned 3B at Wrigley Field for nearly a decade, and while his contract (and no-trade clause) has become somewhat of an albatross around the team's proverbial neck, Ramirez is still producing at a fairly high level.
Lofton only played the remainder of 2003 with the Cubs, but was clutch down the stretch and in the postseason, where he hit .308 with 11 runs scored in 12 games.
Other than Hernandez, who, while a SS with power, is more remembered for his incredibly high strikeout totals, Hendry certainly got himself a bargain with this deal.
By sending a 1B who was out of baseball by 2005 and a career minor league pitcher to the Florida Marlins, Hendry acquired a Gold Glove-caliber 1B to fill the void left when incumbent 1B Eric Karros was not re-signed.
Derrek Lee provided superb defense, leadership and stability to a position that had been in flux since the departure of Mark Grace in 2000 and fit nicely in the middle of the Cubs lineup for seven years.
In exchange for Damian Miller and some cash, the Cubs acquired catcher Michael Barrett from the Oakland A's.
Barrett provided excellent defense, solid offense and, as it turns out, a fiery attitude.
On May 20, 2006 in a cross-city interleague game against the reviled Chicago White Sox, Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski slid hard into home, colliding with Barrett and knocking the ball loose. Being fiery himself, Pierzynski smacked his hands on home plate—an action that Barrett took offense to.
Barrett grabbed the White Sox catcher and punched him in the face, inciting a bench-clearing brawl and earning a 10-game suspension.
While his time in Chicago was short—he was dealt to the San Diego Padres during the 2007 season—Barrett earned himself a place in Cubs lore and the hearts of their fans.
Signed as an amateur free agent in 2006, Starlin Castro is one of the brightest young stars in baseball today.
Without question the future of the Cubs, Castro made the first of many All-Star appearances this year.
He's already very good, and he's only going to get better.
A scary proposition for the rest of the NL Central.