8/19 Players reaction to Hendry’s departure
Friday was a difficult day for some of the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry’s dismissal caught them off guard.
“He’s responsible for every single person in here,” Ryan Dempster said, looking around the clubhouse. “He’s a really good person and good man and he was let go because we didn’t do our job on the field.
“He’s been a big part of my life and gave me the opportunity to play for the Chicago Cubs and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for,” Dempster said. “It’s tough for us in the locker room, I’m sure it’s tough for the coaches. I’m glad we won today because I know he’d be happy for us.”
The Cubs rallied to beat the Cardinals 5-4 in 10 innings on Friday, just hours after meeting with Hendry in the clubhouse to get the news.
“It was a tough day and a tough thing to hear that sadness,” Dempster said. “He doesn’t have anything to be sad about because he did a great job in every aspect. Everyone was thankful to go out and play for him.”
The Cubs did improve to 12-5 in August with Friday’s win but they are 55-70 overall, and now searching for a new GM.
“Whatever his legacy is, in my time here with the Cubs, he’s as good a baseball man as I’ve been around,” Mike Quade said of Hendry, “and I’ve been around some pretty good ones.
“My friend won’t be my boss,” Quade said, “but he will always be my friend.”
Hendry, who took over the GM duties in July 2002, signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year deal in November 2006.
“He tried to do what’s best for the team,” Soriano said. “He’s very honest with the players. He does what’s best for the players and what’s best for the team, too.
“I was very surprised,” Soriano said of the news Friday. “I talked to him after practice today. I thought they wanted to make a move, but I didn’t think they’d make that kind of move. It’s very sad for Jim and for the players because we love him.”
It’s impossible to fire 25 players when the team isn’t performing well.
“We didn’t play the way we should play and a lot of veteran guys are making a lot of money and not performing like they should and someone had to pay the price,” Aramis Ramirez said. “The players are responsible. [The GM] doesn’t play. He signs guys and brings in guys and puts this guy in this position and gets the manager and the coaches.
“The bottom line is to get the job done between the lines,” he said, “and we didn’t.”
– Carrie Muskat