The “Bloggers’ Luncheon” Take Two


Section 242 was kind enough to invite me once again to the Jim Hendry luncheon yesterday. Hendry was incredibly candid last year, and I was pretty much a dick and took advantage of that by writing about some of the stuff he said. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal because only about eight people read the blog at that time. But then some other sites picked up the post and spread it around, so now I feel guilty. I felt even MORE guilty when Hendry mentioned it at the beginning of this year’s speech, referring to HJE as a “fictitiously-named” blog. If anyone has any idea what that means, please let me know.

Anyhow, if you’re looking for me to give away secrets again this year, I’m not going to. It was selfish and disrespectful to do it last year, and if Jim catches wind of THIS post, I apologize. But I do want to point out a couple of things that are not detailed, and I assume not confidential, but that give you more of a hint of what a cool guy Jim Hendry is.

First, Hendry is a hell of a public speaker. He really commands a room. He is relaxed, well-spoken, and funny. At one point, some dude asked the idiotic question, “Would you ever consider doing a “Bring Your Pet to the Park” day at Wrigley? Without missing a beat, Hendry said, “Can they hit?”

Second, it takes some balls to give a group of fans access to you as a general manager. Keep in mind, there are some dumb-ass people who root for the Cubs and who would have no greater desire than to tell off the general manager of the team, even though he assembled a team that won 97 games last year. To allow those same fans to ask questions in a candid environment is pretty awesome, and I doubt it’s something that a lot of other general managers would do.

Third, Hendry didn’t shy away or pass the buck for the disaster of an ending that was the playoffs last year. Hendry was the first to say the lack of left-handed hitting was his own fault. That was admirable, since it would have been very easy (and absolutely true) to say that the very good team that he assembled just happened to suck ass during the playoffs.

Fourth, I want to clear up one thing that isn’t confidential since it’s pretty much been covered in the mainstream media. But I am convinced a little more detail will help explain arguably Hendry’s most confusing offseason move. I know it made me happy to hear. A lot of people are wondering why Hendry didn’t bring back Kerry Wood. Trust me when I say Hendry would have loved to bring back Wood, but couldn’t do a three-year deal. Here was the basic sequence of events:

  1. Wood wants a three-year deal.
  2. Hendry realizes that with the amount of time Wood has been on the DL in the past three years, an additional three makes no sense for the club.
  3. Hendry trades for Kevin Gregg.
  4. Hendry signs Ryan Dempster.
  5. Wood announces that he would have taken a one-year deal with the Cubs.
  6. Hendry can’t afford to sign Wood because of the money now committed to Gregg and Dempster.

Hendry and Wood joined the organization the same year, and it was easy to see that Hendry was sad to see Wood go, and he had nothing but nice things to say about him (and Mark DeRosa, for that matter).

The luncheon was once again an awesome experience. Thanks to Section 242 for inviting me again this year, and thanks to Jim Hendry for agreeing to do it, even though I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut last year.


31 thoughts on “The “Bloggers’ Luncheon” Take Two

  • Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler

    Does Hendry know that arbitration only gives a player a one year deal? That’s a nice 1st round draft pick Tim Wilken could have wasted on a toolsy player.

  • TDubbs

    You better give drunken details during the Mr. Awesome competition on Friday. That might help you beat our Weebsuflex.

  • Thrillho

    First, Hendry is a hell of a public speaker. He really commands a room. He is relaxed, well-spoken, and funny.

    So, Kerm… How does Jimbo’s dick taste?

    When you said Hendry ‘called you out,’ I hadn’t realized you meant all the way out.

  • Hohokam

    Kerm, I have to say I have met Jim Hendry many times in the past. He has a passion for the game that I have never seen in anyone else. He can talk the game like no one else I have ever met. But more importantly he always asked questions and listened to my thoughts as well as other fans thoughts about the Cubs, MLB and much more. He is as good of a speaker as a listener.

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    @Hohokam – Yeah, he was fun to talk to last year. I didn’t stick around for the even-more-candid part after his speech this year, but he definitely knows his baseball and loves the game.

  • aaron b

    Did Jim happen to Mention why he didn’t at least offer arbitration to KW? Does Jim really hate compensatory draft picks?

  • Ace

    To get the pick, Woody would have had to pass on the offer of arbitration. If Wood had just told you he’d take a one year deal to stay, are you concerned that he might accept arbitration (if you don’t have room in the budget for him)?

    The answer is of course. Or duh. Or cheese fries.

  • aaron b

    @Ace

    So Kevin Gregg wouldn’t have been available 1 week later?

    With patience like that, I want to play poker with Jimbo.

  • Cubsbadgers

    So. . . this post, in the end, is about a lunch date with Jim?
    The one last year was great and provided insight into Hendry and the organization, and this year is, basically, a giant dicktease. Damn you!

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    To be honest, there wasn’t anything that juicy, anyhow, especially since I didn’t stick around for the post-game. You can imagine what was asked, and with the tampering rules being what they are, you can imagine how Hendry had to respond.

  • Hohokam

    @aaron b – Do you really think that Kerry Wood would have been so willing to accept a one year deal with the Cubs if they hadn’t signed Gregg. If you saw a job posting on career builder for your job, wouldn’t you hold off asking for a raise.

  • Cubsbadgers

    I know. . . just giving you a hard time. This part of the year is always boring and would have been nice to hear some indication of what may be ahead in the coming months

  • aaron b

    @Hohokam

    I don’t think Kerry Would have accepted a 1 year deal regardless. That is why Jim should have stuck the arbitration tag on Kerry. It wouldn’t have stopped him from signing with the Indians. And we would have had a Sandwich pick and the Indians 2nd rounder as compensation for all of KW’s DL time over the years. We are a club that hasn’t had a non-bust 1st rounder since Mark Prior in 2001. We need as many chances as possible to get one. Before Prior the last Non-Bust 1st rounder was…. Kerry Wood in 1995. That’s a bleak ass track record.

  • Mercurial Outfielder

    Last year’s luncheon was obviously better. Nevertheless, if it takes BCB two days to figure out the difference between fact and satire, it will have been worth it.

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