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updated: 8/19/2011 5:08 PM

Cubs should make the call to get Hahn from Sox

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  • White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn works for GM Ken Williams, but Hahn's name has been many short lists of teams looking for someone new to run their clubs.

       White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn works for GM Ken Williams, but Hahn's name has been many short lists of teams looking for someone new to run their clubs.
    SCOT GREGOR | Staff Photographer

  • Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, center, was dismissed by chairman Tom Ricketts on Friday, but he was told on July 22 that he wouldn't finish out the season.

      Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, center, was dismissed by chairman Tom Ricketts on Friday, but he was told on July 22 that he wouldn't finish out the season.
    Associated Press file photo

 
 

When Carlos Zambrano walked out on the Cubs last week in Atlanta, he might as well have taken Jim Hendry with him.

That embarrassment was the final one in a humiliating Cubs season filled with missteps and errors from start to finish and from top to bottom.

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The Cubs GM probably would have survived had it not been for his final big decision, which was hiring Mike Quade a year ago.

But there have been so many bad calls in one of the all-time worst Cubs seasons, and much of it has centered around Hendry and Quade.

This was Hendry's personal choice and one that was finalized in his mind by Labor Day a year ago.

While so many rooted for the local kid to make good, Quade was clearly overmatched and by the end of spring training he was proving to be incompetent on a nearly daily basis.

Making matters worse, the search for a manager was a sham. By dragging Ryne Sandberg through the process when he never had a legit shot at the job, Hendry sealed his own fate with any Cubs fan who hoped No. 23 would get his first chance here.

So Hendry is gone and the timing is bizarre.

Tom Ricketts allowed Hendry to run the draft and shape the team for next season by orchestrating the moves -- or lack of them -- before the trade deadline.

It should have been done in May if he were going to do it this season, but by firing Hendry now it gives Ricketts more time to get his GM candidates in a row.

He only needs to make one call and that's to White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, who is far and away the best choice for the job.

He's a North Shore native who understands the ballpark and what it will take to put a winner together on the North Side.

And it's a move that could have been made two years ago.

It's just difficult to understand anything Ricketts has done up to this point, when he could have come in and cleaned house immediately and given Cubs fans a chance to embrace him.

He could have dumped Crane Kenney and blown out the entire front office.

Instead, he has wasted two years and a serious amount of money while he attempted to get a handle on just what he had here, and he lost the trust of the fans in the process.

He has yet to explain why he didn't get it figured out during the three years it took to complete the purchase.

But he is enamored with Kenney and that's his guy, so don't look for that to change any time soon.

As far as the timing goes, Ricketts needed something of a public relations victory after another public financing plan was leaked and thoroughly panned.

Perhaps he believes one way to get support quickly is to get rid of a guy many Cubs fans wanted to see fired the day Ricketts took over the team.

Hendry's an easy target and he's made more than enough mistakes to merit his fate, from the bad contracts to the handling of Zambrano to the hiring of Quade, but it's not enough to simply blame Hendry.

Kenney, the team president, has been in on baseball decisions the last four years, and as Ricketts' right-hand man the last two years there's not a move Hendry has made without the expressed verbal consent of Kenney and Ricketts himself.

Ricketts was right in the middle of it all, agreeing with Hendry and patting him on the back, assuring Cubs fans that the team was headed in the right direction and poised to compete in 2010 and again in 2011.

Now, he's finally made his first big change after hemming and hawing, dithering and deliberating.

He's taken two more years from the lives of Cubs fans who have waited an eternity for an owner with a plan.

Let's hope he finds one -- and that the next two years are better than the last two.

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM. Follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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