His last, horrifying words, to his interim successor, Randy Bush, reportedly were "Don't forget to hug Albert Pujols for me" or something like that, meaning, I guess, that Bush should do his best to sign Albert to a behemoth contract that will saddle the team with debt for another 10 years, or that Big Jim has some kind of thing for... No, no, scratch that, scratch that.
The curious thing about this whole business, leaving aside that it should have happened last October at the latest, is that Ricketts fired him a month ago and didn't tell anyone. It kind of reminds me of several Seinfeld episodes when George or Jerry try to break up with their girlfriends and they won't accept it.
The world of Cubs officialdom, where any resemblance to a serious, professional organization has long ago disappeared, tends more to the surreal every day.
Imagine this, your boss calls you in and tells you you're through, that he has lost all confidence in you. Then he either asks you to stay on and supervise one or two projects upon which the future of the organization depends, or you ask him to let you stay on and supervise two or three projects upon which the future of the organization depends.
I mean, where else on Earth can this happen and then be presented to the public as something you would even admit in your wildest drug- or alcohol-addled dreams to having done or even thought about?
But that's what happened, at least that's what we are told happened, and, truth to tell, you cannot make stuff like this up, can you?
In any case, Hendry proceeds to oversee a trade deadline scenario where teams make offers on half-a-dozen eminently available players whom Big Jim declares untouchable, household names like Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, etc., all of whom will undoubtedly have statues commissioned shortly in the Wrigley Field Walk of Fame.
The only trade he makes peddles Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians for a bag of balls so that Tyler Colvin can play every day or so that Mike Quade can immediately bench Colvin, declaring he has to earn his starts, presumably by getting base hits when he isn't in the game.
For the record, here are a few honest suggestions for Mr. Ricketts to consider. Hire someone with baseball knowledge to supervise both the business and baseball aspects of the Cubs. The principal duty of this person will be to fire most of the current leaders of these departments, Crane Kenney, Randy Bush, Mike Quade, and so on and to persuade them to leave right now.
This person can then hire an actual baseball GM and let him find the necessary replacements or decide who among the current scouting and player development staff should be retained.
After that, Mr. Ricketts can purchase a private corporate jet if he doesn't own one already. You can still get a good tax write-off on them. He should then spend the rest of his time flying from one Cubs minor league outpost to the next blackmailing the respective city fathers into paying for improvements to baseball facilities the Cubs operate in their domains.
Boise, Peoria, Daytona, etc. These places are the places where sophisticated operators like Tom Ricketts can shine. And, most of all, he should just shut up and pay the bills.