Couple of thoughts from the past week:
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is finally getting some of the blame or the under-achieving Cubs. You can blame the players or Sweet Lou's supposed lack of fire, but sooner or later, you have got to question some of the moves Hendry has made--and we aren't talking about the DeRosa trade, because of course that has been mention plenty of times already.
Hendry loves to tinker, and sometimes it turns out well, when you come up with Aramis Ramirez or Rich Harden, but his love of long-term free agent deals may have finally caught up to him, with under-achieving, but hard-to-tade players like Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley and Kosuke Fukudome. Each of them do have value on different ways, just not enough to validate big hard-to-move contracts.
Hendry is still tinkering, trading today for Jeff Baker, a multi-position infielder with a decent bat, but also 85 strikeouts in 299 at-bats last year. The Cubs designated multi-position whiz Ryan Freel for assignment. Freel had done very little, but his aggresive base-running and visible attitude on the field was kind of encouraging on the otherwise tight, jittery Cubs.
The second thing is the whole get-rid-of-Zambrano movement. We've been tired of Carlos Zambrano's antics for a while now, though curiously, the recent uproar came after a relatively benign plunking of Dewayne Wise during the finale Crosstown Classic South series. The HBP came right after the wild pitch/steal of home by Chris Getz, a play that made Zambrano look pretty stupid and set up his rather obvious method of acting out.
Next thing you know, the Tribune is saying get rid of Zambrano and conducting a fan poll on the issue after arguing its case. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of fans voted to dump Zambrano. I'm fine with him leaving town, but not for nothing or less. He's still a young. talented arm that has pitched a no-hitter, and I don't think the Cubs should part with him for less than a couple a strong bullpen vets or a position player who starts somewhere else with one or two minor leaguers thrown in.
The funny part to me is that it took this long to get the dump-Zambrano bandwagon moving. his antics against the Sox were nothing but Zammy being Zammy.