Results tagged ‘ Jim Hendry ’

9/3 Manager search

Cubs GM Jim Hendry rejoined the team Friday after spending a few days with the Triple-A Iowa team and its manager, Ryne Sandberg. A candidate for the Cubs job, Sandberg was named the Pacific Coast League manager of the year on Friday. His Iowa team begins a four-game series Friday against Memphis and needs to win three of four to advance to the playoffs.

Hendry did talk with Sandberg about the Cubs job but says it wasn’t a formal interview.

“He needs to finish the season,” Hendry said. “We’re not in any rush to complete interview processes or things like that. It was more normal dialogue and get together after the game. It was no different than if I was going into Iowa in the middle of May.”

There were reports that Fredi Gonzalez was a front runner for the Cubs job.

“I told everybody I would not do that and I’m not going to get into comments about everybody,” Hendry said. “The process will take the same time frame I said it would. You’ll read different speculation every day about who the front runner is and who’s eliminated and who’s not. Trust me, it’s all basically conjecture because I haven’t talked to anybody about any of it.

“There is no leading candidate, there hasn’t been and there won’t be until I take the final evaluations to [owner] Tom Ricketts and his family,” Hendry said. “There’s no sense talking about it really.”

Hendry has watched the team under Mike Quade, who is 6-3 since taking over Aug. 23 for Lou Piniella. Quade also is a candidate for the Cubs job.

“I think Mike’s done a real nice job of getting everybody involved and giving people chances and putting people in spots that we’d like them to be in so we can see who we’ve got at the end of the year,” Hendry said. “It’s not an easy job when you take over with five or six weeks left and I think he’s off to a real good start and handled himself at the highest level on and off the field.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/1 Ricketts leaves search to GM

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is leaving the managerial search to GM Jim Hendry, and will go over the list once it’s whittled down. So far, Hendry has talked to former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge and was in Albuquerque with the Triple-A Iowa team to talk to its manager, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.

“It’s Jim’s responsibility to go out and find a new manager,” Ricketts told beat writers on Wednesday. “What he’ll do is he’ll create a short list and I’ll meet with everyone on the short list.”

Ricketts said the emphasis is on winning, not finding the best big name manager to help market the team.

“I don’t think we need a marquee name to sell tickets,” Ricketts said. “What we need is a team that produces on the field. And that’s really what’s most important to us.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/31 Hendry talks to Ryno; Quade keeps working

While Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is in Albuquerque with the Triple-A Iowa team to talk to Ryne Sandberg about the Major League job, Mike Quade is taking care of business in Chicago.

Hendry is in the early stages of the interview process to find a replacement for Lou Piniella, who retired on Aug. 22. So far, Hendry has talked to former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. Sandberg, currently managing the Triple-A Iowa team, has made it clear he’d like to be the one who replaces Piniella. One option the Cubs may try to sell Sandberg on is being a coach on the big league staff.

Quade has spent 17 seasons as a Minor League manager; Sandberg is in his fourth season. Since taking over for Piniella on Aug. 23, the Cubs have gone 5-2 under Quade.

“The biggest difference to me,” Quade said about managing in the Minors versus the Major Leagues, “has been the crush of information I have to process. You process information at the Triple-A level, you’ve got left-right matchups, but you don’t have the specifics and the sample size and [Alfonso] Soriano has 40 at-bats off somebody [for example].”

Quade used to rely on hand-written notes when he managing in Des Moines and Huntsville and Rockford. Now, he has complicated computer print outs to decipher.

The other switch from being a third base coach to a big league manager has been dealing with the media on a daily basis.

“It’s a lot more fun talking to you guys after a big win, obviously,” Quade said. “It’s all good and you guys didn’t bother me for three, four years so I guess I’m overdue.”

Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman, is in his first year at Triple-A after spending two seasons with Class A Peoria and the 2008 season with Double-A Tennessee. He led the Smokies to the Southern League championship series last year. This year, the Iowa Cubs have a half game lead in the Pacific Coast League Northern Division.

— Carrie Muskat

8/22 Who's next as Cubs manager?

There has been speculation that Triple-A Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg is the front runner to take over for Lou Piniella next season. The Iowa Cubs are in first place in their division.

“I don’t have a front runner and haven’t had a front runner,” GM Jim Hendry said. “I’ve said from the day Lou announced his retirement [July 20] that I would take a long, extensive time to do what I thought was best for the organization in the future.

“It’s a very important decision,” Hendry said of the next Cubs manager, which will be his third hire, following Dusty Baker and Piniella. “There has never been a leading candidate and there isn’t one as I sit here today in the month of August.”

Hendry said Mike Quade, who will take over starting Monday, deserved the opportunity to manage the team for the remaining five weeks or so and will “be a strong candidate for the future.”

“To label anyone as the favorite would be absolutely foolish,” Hendry said.

— Carrie Muskat

8/22 "Q" takes over on Monday

Third base coach Mike Quade takes over as the Cubs interim manager, starting Monday. He’s a candidate for the job. It was quite the day Sunday as Quade took part in a coaching clinic at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, then a simulated game with pitcher Carlos Silva at 10 a.m., and then batting practice.

GM Jim Hendry picked the third base coach known as “Q” over bench coach Alan Trammell because Trammell apparently is not a candidate for the job next season.

“Alan’s a tremendous human being, quality person, outstanding coach,” Hendry said Sunday. “I spoke to Alan this morning and basically told Alan over the last few weeks, I’ve made a decision in the process moving forward that Alan would not be considered for the managerial job after this year.”

Quade, 53, a Chicago native, who has managed in the Minor Leagues for 17 seasons, has spent the last four on Piniella’s coaching staff.

“It’s probably not the way you envisioned it,” Quade said about his first big league gig.

Piniella met with the coaching staff prior to Sunday’s game to tell them he was going to retire early to go home and be with his mother, who was ill.

“I’m proud to be a part of this,” Quade said of the Cubs. “We’ll work hard to do a good job and finish up these six weeks and see where it takes us.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Demp: Let's cheer for D-Lee

There’s one more thing Ryan Dempster wants Cubs fans to do on Friday when the team opens a three-game series against the Braves: Cheer for Derrek Lee.

“There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about,” Dempster said, “but if
there’s something to cheer about it will be Friday when Derrek Lee
takes his first at-bat. I hope everybody in the stadium gives him a
standing ovation for everything he’s given in the past seven years he’s
been here. He deserves that at the very least.”

That will be Lee’s first game in a Braves uniform. He was traded to the NL East leaders on Wednesday for two Minor League pitchers. It’s been tough to cheer this month. The Cubs are 4-13 in August after losing 5-1 on Wednesday to the Padres. The crowd of 33,267 at Wrigley was the lowest of the season, and smallest since April 16, 2007, when the Cubs drew 32,126. Four rookies started and six rookie pitchers appeared in the game, the first time in Major League history a team has used a half dozen prior to September call-ups.

“I think a lot of the fan base understands we have to find out about the people we have before we move forward,” GM Jim Hendry said.

Micah Hoffpauir will join the team Thursday from Triple-A Iowa. Expect more young players, even before the Sept. 1 call-up date. Lee appreciated his time in Chicago.

“I grew as a player, grew as a person,” Lee said. “I didn’t achieve the ultimate goal. Coming in here, it just seemed like we were going to win a championship so that part is disappointing. The rest of my experience is nothing but positive. My family enjoyed it here, Wrigley Field was great. It was just a great experience.”

— Carrie Muskat

8/18 Derrek Lee update

Derrek Lee may have changed his mind. Lee, who invoked his 10-and-5 rights and rejected a trade to the Angels in late July, was believed to be targeted by the Atlanta Braves, who are looking to upgrade their lineup.

The Braves were currently evaluating the first baseman’s health, sources told’s Mark Bowman. Lee had an epidural injection in his lower back on Monday to ease discomfort from a bulging disk. He was expected to be ready to play Thursday. The Cubs, coincidentally, open a three-game series against the Braves on Friday.

Lee declined to comment on the rumored deal prior to Wednesday’s Cubs’ game against the Padres. He has homered in three straight games for the sixth time in his career, and the first time since June 18-20 last season. He’s hitting .251 overall and has not blamed the back problems on his numbers this year, saying it’s tough sometimes to bend over but it doesn’t affect his hitting.
Lee has a full no-trade clause as well as the 10-and-5 rights. It was unknown whether he has said he would accept a trade to the Braves. With Troy Glaus struggling at the plate and experiencing leg discomfort recently, the Braves have been looking for a veteran first baseman who can hit in the middle of their lineup. This is the final year of Lee’s contract and he is still owed a little more than $3 million for the remainder of this season. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Lou Piniella tried to downplay the rumors.

“There’s no reason to speculate,” Piniella said. “I wouldn’t put much credence in rumors until something happens.”

Hendry was not available for comment on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

8/6 Manager search

GM Jim Hendry says he expects the search for the next manager to be an extensive process as he tries to find the right guy for what he called a “marquee job in the industry.”

“It’s going to be a long process, it’s going to be a couple months process,” Hendry said Friday. “I don’t have a definite time frame on it.”

The only deadline is that the Cubs would like to have the next manager in place by their organizational meetings, which are usually held the first week of November. Lou Piniella announced July 20 that he is retiring at the end of this season with the Cubs. This weekend, the Cubs are playing the first-place Cincinnati Reds, managed by Dusty Baker, who preceded Piniella in Chicago from 2003-06.

“I’ve hired two really good managers who did well the first couple years and for a lot of reasons — and not blaming them — but things didn’t always go on an upscale plan and we got derailed a couple times,” Hendry said.

“It’s a huge decision now going forward because I don’t think in a long time we’ve had this many people coming up on a fairly steady path and a lot more coming from the system,” Hendry said. “It’s a big decision moving forward and I take the responsibility of getting  it right very seriously.”

Hendry planned on touring the Cubs’ Minor League system with stops at Triple-A Iowa at least once and possibly twice before Sept. 1. That will give him a chance to talk to Iowa Cubs manager Ryne Sandberg, who has made it known he’d like to one day manage the big league team.

Hendry will consult with special assistant and four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux as well.

“As everyone knows, this is a marquee job in the industry and you won’t find too many people who wouldn’t have interest in becoming the manager of the Cubs and that’s the way we have to look at it,” Hendry said. “We have a plum job and we found that the last two times — Lou and Dusty really wanted this job. Both did really well at it and we’ll go about our business and take our time until we find the right guy.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Lilly says goodbye

Ted Lilly said he thought perhaps the trade deadline would pass and he would stay with the Cubs. But he found out Saturday he was headed to the Dodgers along with infielder Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt and two Minor League pitchers.

“I think I’m going to a really good place and to a team that has aspirations of winning the World Series and that’s a fortunate thing for me to be a part of,” Lilly said.

He will be returning to the team that originally drafted him back in 1996.

“You look at it like that and it’s pretty special,” Lilly said.

He talked to the Dodgers equipment manager on Saturday, and the lefty said it’s the same person who handed him his first uniform during Spring Training games.

“It’s pretty amazing how this has come full circle,” he said.

Chicago was special, too.

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to play, teammates to play with, fans to play for,” he said. “All the way from the coaching staff to the front office, I can’t say enough.”

Still, he didn’t want to leave the Cubs.

“It’s not something I’m overly excited about,” Lilly said. “I’m going to miss a lot. But when I go over there and I put a Dodgers uniform on and I meet my new teammates and start competing with them, I’ll really enjoy it.”

This is the last year of Lilly’s contract. He said he’d consider coming back but there apparently have been no talks between the Cubs and the lefty about extending his contract.

“I think I voiced my opinion as to what I’d prefer but there are reasons that go into it,” Lilly said. “I would imagine money is one of them.”

The two sides never exchanged dollar figures.

“Obviously, this organization is commited to win,” he said. “I would imagine they’ll do what’s necessary to put this club in that position again in 2011. One thing I’ve learned is you can’t get too far ahead of yourself and try to predict what’s going to happen down the road. I seem to benefit from just trying to keep my mind focused on one thing at a time and my next start kind of thing.”

The Cubs began play Saturday 11 games back in the NL Central. The Dodgers are seven games behind the Padres in the NL West.

“I don’t think this is how any of us would’ve drawn it up,” Lilly said. “[GM Jim Hendry] didn’t have a lot of choices. We would all prefer to be buyers and to be acquiring pieces but this is what it’s come to.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Diamond will start – UPDATED

With Ted Lilly being dealt to the Dodgers Saturday, the Cubs needed a starter for Monday. They will move Randy Wells to Monday’s game and call up right-hander Thomas Diamond from Triple-A Iowa for Tuesday’s game. Diamond was pulled after throwing 64 pitches in four innings in his last start Thursday for the Iowa Cubs. He was the Rangers first-round Draft pick in 2004 but slowed after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2007.

This season at Iowa, Diamond is 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 21 starts and has struck out 104 in 108 1/3 innings. Opposing teams were batting .218 off the right-hander.

— Carrie Muskat