Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry spent time on different radio programs Wednesday, of course talking everything Cubs. Piniella joined Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 in the morning while Hendry was on the Show (XM Radio) with Rob Dibble and Brian Webber in the afternoon.
Paul Sullivan mentioned several of the main points from Piniella’s time on ESPN 1000 in the Tribune. Piniella “refuted Ryan Dempster’s comment” about their playoff performance that the Cubs “underestimated how prepared you have to be“, discussed the right-handed, power-hitting, “not very quick” lineup last season, adding a veteran arm in the bullpen and Kosuke Fukudome among other topics.
Jim Hendry, on the other hand, discussed Ryan Dempster and the team’s needs for the off-season…..
Below is a link to the entire interview with Piniella. It is around 12 minutes long and well worth the time. Piniella is very candid and sounds like he knows what kind of team he would like on the North Side….it’s now up to Jim Hendry to make it happen.
Piniella on Waddle & Silvy – Podcast
A few of the points Piniella brought up were the fact the Cubs need to add a left-handed bat and some speed. Piniella talked about the Cubs being able to manufacture runs, especially in the post-season, with a balanced lineup. Piniella also brought up the injury Kosuke Fukudome had during the 2007 season in Japan and the fact it cost him a lot of his season. Piniella questioned if Fukudome “was not is as good a shape, core wise” coupled with the “added length of a Major League season.” Piniella mentioned the Cubs possibly changing his training program and used the words “more Americanized.”
Jim Hendry on The Show
With “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” fading into the background, Jim Hendry joined Brian Webber and Rob Dibble on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs’ GM talked about the recent re-signing of Ryan Dempster. Hendry was extremely complimentary about the Cubs’ right-hander and said re-signing Dempster was right at the top of his priorities.
Dempster is in good shape arm wise according to Hendry and he feels he can pitch at least 200 innings for the next four to five years. He called Dempster a “10” in the clubhouse. Dempster received a deal he felt he could live with and probably would have received more on the open market. Hendry reminded Dibble of the fact the Cubs have a good track record of keeping the players they want to keep and mentioned the fact some have taken ‘hometown discounts.‘
Hendry does not feel the team needs a complete overhaul. He said the Cubs are a good team with a great manager that is all about winning.
Hendry is looking to make changes and additions to the roster. He mentioned adding a left-handed bat. He feels the Cubs are in good shape pitching wise but is not opposed to adding to the staff if the right situation arises. Hendry said they are counting on certain guys to repeat their performances from last season and others to step up next season. Hendry briefly discussed the Cubs need to “maybe add some speed.”
The Cubs are in a situation to stay on the top of all the free agents but will also explore other options. Hendry said they must be prepared for options ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ and it could take a little creativity but the objective is to make the club better than it was a year ago. Hendry feels he has pieces to move if a trade that would help presents itself. And the trade avenue may be the “way we have to go.”
Hendry was asked about Jake Peavy and quickly said he could not comment on another team’s player (tampering rules) and has to make sure when he is asked about a player not to slip up with his answer. Hendry added he always tries to do what he thinks is best for the club.
Hendry said Lou Piniella and Larry Rothschild will decide whether Kevin Gregg or Carlos Marmol is the Cubs’ closer next season. One will pitch in the 8th and the other in the 9th and compared next spring with Gregg and Marmol to last spring with Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol. Hendry spoke highly of Carlos Marmol’s stuff and make-up.
Kosuke Fukudome’s first year in the majors is hard to figure out according to Hendry. In the first half Fukudome hit for a high average with a high OBP and made the whole lineup gel. He couldn’t have had a better first two months and couldn’t have had a worse finish to the season. Hendry mentioned Fukudome’s injury in 2007 (same as Piniella) and thinks he will be better in his second season. Hendry added the fact the Fukudome is a real proud guy and he thinks Fukudome will be like the player in the first half of last season next year.
Well, that’s the latest….as I heard it!
Last but not least….for Hot Stove discussion and more from the Cubs rumor mill as well as discussion on free agents, check out the CCO’s Community Blog. There are two excellent, thought provoking posts: