Monday, May 22, 2006

Now I Understand

I've been trying to figure out why the Cubs have been playing so poorly and what can be done about it. Thankfully, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail has come out of the bunker in an undisclosed location that he occassionally shares with VP Dick Cheney to shed some light on the situation.

According to MacPhail, the Cubs are not doing a very good job of driving in runs. Ahh, that makes sense. Further, accounding to MacPhail, the Cubs can address the problem by driving in more runs. I guess that's why MacPhail makes the big bucks running the Cubs and I'm stuck out here in cyberspace writing about the Cubs.

I don't mean to second guess or over-analyze MacPhail's analysis of the Cubs' problems, but there is a tiny voice in the back of my head saying, "that's not the whole problem." For instance, that little voice wants to ask, "why aren't the Cubs driving in enough runs?" And as soon as the little voice asks the question, a louder, more angry voice answers, "Because that idiot Hendry built a roster that can't score runs."

I guess what the loud, angry voice in my head is saying is that Hendry built this team to fail. He counted on starting pitchers with a history of injuries. He signed free agents and traded for players with poor OPS numbers and who are on the downward side of their careers. He brought in guys to man the bench that didn't stand a chance of picking up the slack in the event of an injury to a starter. Hendry was given $95 - $100 million to build a team and he squandered the money.

Much has been said about the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers over paying for players. Actually, the same can be said about Hendry and the Cubs. But the difference with Hendry is that he overpays for mediocrity. The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers may have overpaid for some of their players (i.e, Damon, Furcal, Beckett), but they all overpaid for excellence, not mediocrity. To borrow a cliche, Jim Hendry has been penneywise and pound foolish.

So, although it was good of Andy MacPhail to come out of hiding and talk to the masses, I'm afraid he may have been less than accurate about the Cubs problems. The times for the Cubs are desperate and they call for desperate measures. And the first measure should be for Andy MacPhail, Jim Hendry and Dusty Baker to find employment elsewhere.


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