Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Derek Smart
I can't pretend to speak for all of you, but I don't think I'd be far off if I said that most Cub fans are starting to feel a bit o' the stir crazies. The level of inaction is getting at me to the point where, upon seeing the report that the Cardinals had signedRoberto Alomar to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal for $500K, my initial thought was something like, "Now, why can't the Cubs do something like that!"
The answer, of course, is that there are laws against grave robbing, but even realizing that can't keep the driving beat of cricket song throbbing out of the Cubs' front office from continuing to push me toward madness.
Action for action's sake isn't what I'm after. If I had a predilection for such management stylings I'd be glued to the yearly flailings of the Jim Bowdens and Dan O'Dowds of the world, breathlessly waiting to see if the next move would reveal a plan, or if, like an Escher staircase, it proved only to be a different route to the same spot.
But I do want something to happen, and I want it to be, in the words of Dave Bowman, "Something wonderful."
However, if I'm being realistic, I know that this feeling of helpless impatience is what we have to look forward to for the remainder of Jim Hendry's reign. He's proven to be patient, deliberate, and secretive, revealing his hand only when the outcome is all but decided; and when looking at the situation objectively, it's a fine set of traits for a man in his position. After all, who would you rather have dealing with the likes of a Scott Boras - Hendry, or someone like Omar Minaya who seems to enjoy sharing every idea that flits between his ears?
There are reasons for annoyance to be found in Hendry's record, like his tendency to overpay for bullpen help, or employ batless wonders on the bench, but he's nearly always gotten the big things right. It's these big things - trades for the likes of Nomar, Ramirez, and Lee; signings of Maddux and Walker, among others - that give me hope despite my anxiousness.
I won't say, "don't worry," because I can't ask of you what I can't deliver myself. But I will say, "don't give up," because there's a lot of offseason left, and if the past can teach us anything, it's that Mr. Hendry has at least one more card up his sleeve. Here's to hoping it's an ace.