Could Hendry and Kenney Be On the Way Out?

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Jim Hendry and Crane Kenney may end up taking the fall for the Cubs’ swoon soon. Phil Rogers reported that Jim Hendry “understands his days as the Cubs’ general manager could be coming to an end” but continues to operate “on a business as usual basis.”

Rogers also reported the Ricketts family could be looking to relieve Crane Kenney of his duties as team president.

The Cubs have been operating without a Team President with knowledge of the game of baseball for years. Crane Kenney is not a “baseball man” and pretty much received his current position by default when John McDonough left the Cubs to take over the Blackhawks in 2007. The Ricketts family needs to put a baseball front office together … with a proven track record of evaluating talent and putting together a winning product on the field.

Phil Rogers mentioned names such as Pat Gillick and the Rays’ Andrew Friedman as possible replacements. Rogers said if the Ricketts family was to hire Gillick, his past relationship with Tim Wilken could work to the Cubs advantage in order to keep Wilken in the organization.

Rogers also thinks two members of the Red Sox front office could be a fit … Allard Baird (VP/Player Personnel and Professional Scouting) or Ben Cherington (Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager). The Dodgers’ current GM, Ned Colletti, could be a fit as well

According to Rogers, “Ricketts respects Hendry and believes the organization is making progress below the surface. But how much longer can he continue to ignore a disenchanted fan base and the National League Central standings?” Rogers concluded by stating, “a change at the top feels inevitable.”

As with all reports from Phil Rogers, please consider the source.

Stay Tuned …

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  • Tedtop16

    Phil Rogers ought to write comic strips.  His accuracy is about as good as any weatherman.

  • Tony_Hall

    The more it is printed, the better chance Tommy Boy has of seeing it, and/or his siblings, or father, or their friends. 

    You know that they didn’t want to become the laughing stock of MLB, but here they are…

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    The best news ever , can not wait till they get rid of Hendry.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Phil Rodgers? Chicago Tribune? And the most incredulous idea of all–that P.K. Ricketts would eat contracts–IDONTBELIEVEIT. My view of P.K. Ricketts is that he doesn’t know enough about running a baseball team to fill a half empty tea spoon. Why, I even heard that he asked someone why the game was delayed when it started raining. He doesn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Even though the Cubs won a great victory yesterday, it did not propel us out of a tie for last place, The torrid Houston Astros also won yesterday, as did the now .500 Pittsburgh Pirates. 

    We now have a four game series against the #2 pitching team in MLB: the Phillies. Offensively they stink like the Cubs–they have scored exactly one more run that the Cubs have this season. But the Cubs are dead last in MLB in pitching (4.80 staff ERA). 

    Still, we have a decent back end of the bullpen: Wood, Marshall, Marmol are about as good as any. 
    This series will be tough as we face these four starters:Wells vs. Kendrick (3-4 3.78)
    Z vs. Halladay (8-3 2.56) should be a great game!
    Garza vs. Cliff Lee (5-5 3.62) winnable for us.
    Doug Davis (HAHAHAHHAAAHAHA) vs. Oswalt 3-4 3.05)

    We could win four; we could lose four; we could split four; we could win three out of four. I know it looks like the Phillies should march all over us, but it all depends upon which pitcher shows up for us. If we have the best they have to give out of all four of our starters, we could embarrass the Phillies as they run up against the Chicago Cubs buzz saw!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I know that the last paragraph is kind of tongue in cheek but you actually sound positive about our chances. Are you taking my spot in the Silver Lining brigade? 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Ya’ll think I’m kidding, don’t you?

    I WOULD START KOYIE HILL EVERY SINGLE GAME VS. THE PHILLIES.

    Look–he’s 12-7 as a starter. Soto is 12-29. And remember: K.Hill usually starts with some of the other regulars on the bench, too, In short, it must be that he calls a better game. 

    • Ripsnorter1

      I was looking at K.HIll’s baseball reference page, and they listed his honors/awards received. He has only one award: most errors by a catcher in 2011. And remember: he’s a PART TIME catcher, too. LOL

    • T_Leise

      So is it that K.Hill is starting or the fact that some of the other regulars are on the bench?

    • paulcatanese

      I kind of agree with you Rip as the only real reason or difference that I can see is that Soto has home run power or at least it’s said that he does. Hill may call a better game but if you notice he looks to Quade before every pitch for some kind of sign, but Hill has been hitting the ball a little better than before. I would also go as far to say that I would not change the lineup that broke the Cubs out of their losing streak.

      I would also look for a spot for DeWitt as he is looking good with the bat, if it means left field again so be it. Should be 3b but as we all know Aram hit one out of the park and he is good for another 55 at bats before he is due, so that leaves 3rd out  or DeWitt, in Quades hopes that his top RBI man Aram will hit another one out before 55 more at bats.

      • Rbmercer

        He does not look at Quade for pitch help. All catchers look over to the bench to make sure of what bunt coverages they are in, if the mgr wants to pitchout, or pitchers to throw over to bases to shorten runners, etc. He calls his own game.

        • paulcatanese

          Then why does he look over when no one is on? I agree that he may be calling his own game but not without a workup on each hitter before the
          ballgame starts on what they will try to do with each hitter. And to reinforce
          that he looks over. All managers do not do that with catchers, but until they
           have a complete command of pre-game workups and have proven their
          ability to perform that task I believe they look for the pitch from the manager.
          Why then do they bother to take the pitcher out if consecutive pitches are the same and are hit hard for hits? Why not just take the catcher out,as you say
          he is calling the pitch?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Catchers look over at the bench before calling the next pitch just in case the manager has some instructions for them–like dusting off the next batter.

          • paulcatanese

            I’ll buy that.

          • Rbmercer

            Catchers call the game or “suggest” based on pre game reports on how they want to attack each hitter. That may change depending on what the pitcher has working for him that day. I say “suggest” bcuz, the pitcher will shake occasionally, especially veterans. Sometimes pitchers shake by design as well and actualy get back to throwing the original called pitch to get the hitter second guessing what he is shaking . The young pitchers rarely shake off a catcher. I promise you that Quade is not calling any pitches

          • paulcatanese

            Ok,I’ll take your’e word for it, its just that why would someone want to look at Quades face inbetween pitches 130-140 times unless? Thats got to give Hill nightmares.

          • paulcatanese

            OK, I like that answer a little better, really I am totaly aware what you were saying earlier about catchers calling pitches and was confusing with the team meetings including pitcher and catcher on what to throw and where to play a certain hitter.

  • jw

    Oh happy day! I can only hope Rogers knows what he is talking about for a change…Even Ricketts has to understand the obviousness of the situation.

    I think they should retain Hendry in some capacity i..e., I think he would be okay to work out trade details, deal with the reps and do some work with scouting management and player personnel issues…he knows the system and like so many other Cubs “assets” will not be valued by other MLB franchises so he he won’t have an offer as GM anywhere else. (Andy boy in Baltimore might give him a gig if the Cubs don’t). Kenney is the wrong guy period and the Cubs need to look for a saavy business/marketing guru with some professional baseball understanding/vision. They screwed up big time by letting McDonough get away but a dynamic new appraoch as President would be just what Ricketts need to save their bacon..

    • Dorasaga

      The thing is… it’s not obvious.

      We had an old and generous, frequent reader on CCO who passed away a year and half ago. He was telling us how brilliant Hendry is when he saw him on Cubs Convention.

      And then you mentioned McDonough, a smart marketing guy… from the old Tribune regime. You know what the Tribune wanted him to do: PR; propaganda. Make the fans BELIEVE.

      McDonough might be a good president and someone who knows what to feed to liven a club (his successs with the Blackhawks is still present), but that’s about it. The president operates and manages to keep the club rich. The GM is responsible for the talent and roster management.

      Anyway, I want change. The Cubs is returning to 1946. There’s no mercy.

      • paulcatanese

        Been there in 46 and was a disaster ever since, I wouldnt wish those years back at all on anyone. But would be something for younger Cub fans to see.
        Kind of puts everyting in perspective now.

      • jw

        I agree that Ricketts has been singing Hendry’s praise since the beginning which was a huge let down for me. I had hoped for a strong vision and strong action to change the direction of this franchise.

        Agree that McDonough is a strong marketer and not a good option to be Cubs President. While he could have really helped Ricketts in the money department I agree his job with the Trib was propaganda (lies) and he sold out to some extent loading the team with awful contracts. Like to see someone with integrity vision and baseball business saavy who can identify the next great baseball GM

  • Cloycub13

    Anxiously waiting a “From the wire” post….

    Until that happens things like this are not going to get me excited. BUT, the word is out. Every time the Ricketts turn on the TV it says FIRE HENDRY! CUBS ARE A JOKE! CUBS ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT!

    That has to suck if you are the owners. You cannot stick your heads in the sand forever. And the “We are evaluating” Excuse only goes so far.

    Complete a transaction such as Firing Hendry, Firing Kenney, Hiring a smart baseball exec, having him or her make a smart baseball decision on the GM and have all of them make a smart decision on the manager.

    Even money says that you hire baseball people and request that you evaluate Quade as manager there will be a managerial search on, I would hope that it is a quick one as there is only one candidate that you need to call.

    Personally I would go Gillick as President of baseball operations. Kim Ng as GM. Sandberg as Manager. Retain Wilken and Fleita (I would have said only Fleita earlier, but Wilken had a redeaming last couple of days… especially if the bigger draftees sign). “These endorsements represent the opinion of this lowly blog site contributor and do not represent the views of WGN, The Chicago Cubs National League Ball Club or the CCO :)”

    After that you will see the fans come back.

    And sorry JW… but I would jettison Hendry’s butt far far far away from this organization, and if Andy McFAIL wants Hendry, well he can go there like all of the other used up and wasted Ex-Cubs.

    Go Cubs!

  • paulcatanese

    Like Quades lineups,I’ll believe I when I see it. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    It’s time to admit that Funko has played pretty well for us in 2011. Sure, only 6 RBI’s from a power position, with 2 hr. Sure, offensively he’d be better suited to play short stop. But if one forgets where he plays, and considers just how he has played the leadoff spot in the order, he’s done pretty well for us:

    .306 BA
    .419 OBP

    These are fantastic on base numbers. ANY team would love to have that kind of leadoff type numbers. Compare a few winning teams leadoff hitters vs. Funko. Here’s the top ten leadoff men in MLB as of today:

    #1 FUNKO——  .419
    #2 Reyes——–  .391
    #3 Ellsbury——-.390
    #4 Span———–.367
    #5 Kinsler——–.361
    #6 Brantley——.360
    #7 Weeks ——-.354
    #8 Theriot——–.348
    #9 Fowler——–.345
    #10 Jeter——–.339

    FUNKO SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE TRADED. WE JUST NEED A TEAM THAT NEEDS A POWERLESS RF TO BAT LEAD OFF.

    Teams that need an OF (any position) and a Lead off hitter:
    Reds
    Atlanta
    LA Angels
    Tigers (big time needs!)
    Giants (include Soto in a blockbuster trade)

    • paulcatanese

      Have said it all along about Fuko, underated, a good outfielder, burns a lot of pitches and does get on. It’s not entirely his fault that the bottom of the Cub lineup dosent set the table very often for him and a fair assesment would be if he was in the 3 spot or 6 spot where he could have runners on when he gets up. He just happens to be a guy who takes what he gets from pitchers and uses all fields. Plus a guy who knows all the great Sushi places in Chicago is invaluable. And he is a good guy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I have been on the same page for the last couple weeks Rip. Fukudome is a good top of the order guy.  I think his best place to bat is the 2 hole with a solid guy at lead off but you can’t debate the way you broke down the numbers. I still think that Detriot will bite on a Koske trade if they start making up some ground. His value is actually going up in June! Who would have thought that in Spring Training this year?

      • cc002600

        Sorry, but I totally disagree with you guys…..yes, he does a couple things well, like draw walks, which boosts his OBP, and he’s decent defensively, but other than that what does he give you ?  To me he is VERY limited and needs to go…and fast.

        Remember, he plays a power position, yet has zero power, no speed and he cannot hit lefties. Plus, you know at the end of the year he will be around .250 BA. 

        Sorry, but a RF with those type of numbers is worthless.  OBP is a nice stat, but its not everything…..The season is more than 1/3 over and the guy has 6 FRIGGIN RBI.  Come on.

        That is utterly pathetic……can’t wait till he’s gone.

         

        • cc002600

          Oh, by the way, do you really think that any prospective trading partners don’t know that this guy is terrible after April / May ???   Please.

          Trust me, they will be VERY lucky to find a sucker to take this guy. If they do, the cubs will have to eat 70-80 % of his salary, at a minimum.

          The guy is a dog.

           

           

          • paulcatanese

            With the reasoning you post with, I would assume you feel that the
            Cubs have a full canine kennel out on the field, at least in the outfield.

          • cc002600

            Without a doubt.

            Soriano, Byrd, & Fuk has to be worst OF in baseball, when you look at everything. ((power, speed, defense, etc)

            Bruuuuuuutal.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          We are still saying he needs to go but that his value is going up. 

          • cc002600

            don’t know why……it’s time for him to start his swoon.

            Why would you want a guy like that if you were another team ?   I sure as
            heck wouldn’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

             Teams on rentals do not look at career as much as current production in a short season (trading deadline or later) deals. If he keeps hitting (he is hitting .309 in June) and keeps getting on base (.375 in June/ 423 overall) there will be offers. The Cubs will have to throw money in because he will make 6.75 million the 2nd half of the season but he does have value.

            You probably would think that Ryan Ludwick didn’t have value last year or this year and he still was able to get some talent to STL and is probably going to get traded to Cincy soon for Chris Heiney and prospects not a bad hall for someone with no value in your opinion.

          • cc002600

            Well, Ludwick has actually put up decent numbers in prior years.  What has Fuk put up ?  not much.

            Again, he brings VERY little to the table.

            He’s a platoon outfielder with no power, no speed, and a track record (like clockwork) of falling off a cliff in the second half, making a BOATLOAD of money. And oh, he plays a power position, not SS or 2B.

            You keep quoting his current numbers as if it will continue….we know from history that it won’t.

            Sorry, I don’t see it.

            Hope I’m wrong.

            Either way, it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

      • Ken Hubbs

        Richard, Paul, and Rip,
             Agree with you on Fukudome.  Would like more pop from him, but the concerns about him really speaks to the bigger picture.  If the lineup around him was solid with defense and some power, he would be a ‘luxury’ that we could afford, but he is paid a lot, we need to back-up the truck, and his  might be a salary that we can move and maybe even something of worth in return.  Such is the position of our team.  

        • cc002600

          You guys are living in a dream world.

          You won’t get a bag of balls for this guy.

          I’m always amused when I read on here how we KNOW the guy is garbage and can’t wait to get rid of him, and yet other teams out there won’t see it the same way and will give up something in return that we could use.

          LOL

          the guy has ZERO value.

           

          • Ripsnorter1

            We are not looking for a bag of balls for Funko.  We are looking for some salary relief. Let’s say we deal him and only have to pay part of his salary. That helps the Cubs, and opens up some room for some youngster like Montanez to play. 

            And did you understand my post? FUNKO–yes, FUNKO–is the best leadoff man in MLB right now. Getting on base is the lead off man’s job, and he’s doing it better than anybody right now. 

          • cc002600

            Well, to say Funko is the best leadoff in baseball just because he has a good OBP through 1/3 of the season is just silly.  Stats are great, but they don’t tell the whole story, AND its only 1 stat. What about SB, HR, RBI, SLG, in which he is God awful ??  How about his splits against LH pitching ?   What about his track record of his annual swoon in the 2H ?

            So are you telling me that Funko has more value than Ellsbury or Reyes or Kinsler ???  Of course not. That’s ridiculous.

            They MAY find someone to take him, but they will have to pay at least 80% of the remainder.

            Put down the kool-aid, its clouding your brain.
            Mark my words.

          • Ripsnorter1

            If you are taking Funko vs. Castro, let’s compare the two and see who is the better lead off batter:

            Castro vs. Funko1. Batting average…. .301 vs. .306
            2. Slugging   ………….406 vs. .407
            3. On base %…………323 vs. .423
            4. OPS…………………729 vs. .830
            5. SB…………………..5 ….vs. 1
            6. HR……………………1 /…vs 2
            7. BA RISP…………….296 vs. .381

            Who is the better leadoff man? You chose whomever you want, but if I am choosing, I want the better OBP man. I want the better hitter with RISP. I want the better slugger. I want the better BA. I want the better OPS. I want the better HR hitter. I want FUNKO.

  • Aaron

    Cloy,

    I am anxiously awaiting a post like that too.

    Something of note that may indicate changes are on the horizon is that teams have started firing coaches already.

    The Rangers and Marlins both fired their hitting coaches yesterday. 

    Right after the draft is usually the cut-off to determine if you’re in the race or not, and movement starts happening. Usually it’s a manager or coach being fired, then upper management, then players start getting moved as teams have a clearer picture of needs, etc.

    Also, another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of players on the Cubs like Hendry. Why? Because he almost never holds veterans accountable. He even made Piniella apologize to the perpetual man-child in Bradley for crying out loud.

    Just like Quade…and Baker before him, they’re known as “player’s managers”. They eventually lose control of their clubhouse, and trades almost have to happen at that point, forcing Hendry’s hand.

    What I find more intriguing about firing Kenney and Hendry first, is the fact that veterans with close ties to Hendry like ARAM, Zambrano, and Dempster, would likely be more willing to waive their no-trade rights if the Cubs fired him. 

    However, as I always say with the Cubs….I’ll believe any changes when I see them, and I know that sounds cliche, but it’s very true. It’s like Ricketts’ declaration to Wilken and others that they’d spend more on bonuses this year. Well, from 2008-2010, they ranked 25th in all of baseball in bonus expenditures:
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/2010/08/bonus-expenditures-2008-10/

    Last year was an improvement to 20th overall in spending, but over that span, they finished 25th in spending on the draft. As I said last night, once I find the article talking about the combined spending internationally with the amateur spending, I’ll post that too.

    But it really is a “believe it when you see it” approach with the Cubs. They seem to always talk big, but never seem to follow through.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Hendry is loved because, as you say, he does not hold players accountable, and also . . .

      HE OFFERS THEM RIDICULOUSLY LARGE CONTRACTS WITH A NO-TRADE CLAUSE.

    • cubtex

      Aaron…..the kid you were talking about from yesterday commited to Texas that they drafted in the 33rd round from El Paso will almost certainly go to UT. Jaquez throws low to mid 90′s with a good curve. The reason he didn’t go much higher is he is only 5’9!!!! There aren’t many 5’9 pitchers in the mlb lol

      • Aaron

        that’s why I said he’d be difficult to sign, along with almost all of the other high school guys they took, especially Vogelbach, Gretzky, Dunston Jr., Lockhart, etc. They all have scholarships to decent programs

        • cubtex

          and Maples to UNC. The way Wayne Gretzky and Shawon Dunston Sr. were sounding….there is a chance those 2 could sign. I think they will do everythjng they can to sign Vogelbach.

    • studio179

      “Something of note that may indicate changes are on the horizon is that teams have started firing coaches already. The Rangers and Marlins both fired their hitting coaches yesterday.”And the A’s axed Bob Geren today. Bob Melvin taking over.

  • Tom U

    A key clue as to the direction of this story will be who stays and who goes once Johnson, Baker, and Soriano come off the DL. 

    If you see Colvin, Snyder, and Montanez go down and LeMahieu and Campana stay up, you can assume Ricketts is now calling some of the shots.

    If that happens and you see Campana and LeMahieu getting more playing time, that could be the GM trying to save his job.

    • paulcatanese

      Tom , as I had posted earlier to the Maven with a response, I would hope Campana stays as he is quickly becoming a fan favorite, certainly one of mine. If he has to go it would be with the knowledge that he gave everything he had and left nothing on the field. The inspiration that he has given to many young players that face obsticals in their lives is priceless.  I would say as before,
      that “he got more than a cup of coffee” and even shared it with others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    This story does give some legs to the earlier rumor that Hendry was going upstairs for the end of his contract. A couple weeks ago I read a rumor that Hendry was approached to be a special adviser to Ricketts after the draft. I thought it was a good way for everyone to save face at the time and comment as much here. If TR still trusts Hendry but realizes a change is needed then this makes sense. I really hope that change is coming because it is now really needed. The media and most of the fans have become so soured on the Cubs management that something has to be done.

  • http://twitter.com/cornerlots Marvin Ferguson

    Having a president of the Cub organization without any baseball knowledge like Crane Kenney is like having a physican without any formal training to care for patients. No wonder the Cubs just came off an 8 game losing streak until yesterday.   

  • http://twitter.com/cornerlots Marvin Ferguson

    The Cub organization needs a president with significant baseball knowledge. 

    • studio179

      I could not agree any more. I have been saying this over and over. For as much as there is an outrage over Jim Hendry (rightfully so), there should be even more of an outrage over Crane Kenney as team president. The fact Crane Kenney has had his powers increased the last few years and has been retained to this point is outrageous. Crane Kenney is not a baseball man whatsoever. Crane Kenney has significant power to oversee the organizations moves and direction. The first priority should be to correct the team’s president position and let the new team president correct everything on down.

  • EqDoc

    Oakland fired their manager today…  see it’s not hard to do…

    • diehardcubfan

      The difference is that Geren managed the A’s for the last four years and was under .500 the whole time.  Being 27-36 this season made that inevitable.  Since Quade hasn’t reached even a year yet do not see happening.

      Besides, everyone is convinced it is because of injuries we are so bad though everyone else can pretty well recognize that is not the case.

  • John_CC

    Well, Geren is the first in-season casualty.  Maybe it will get the ball rolling…

  • the rifleman

    Please DO SO. Yesterday is too late. Ive mentioned asking Pat Gillick to serve as the man behind the search for a GM and team president. Hendry rightly gets his share of the blame. Crane Kenney has not. Fire both. In anyone may care to remember , what happened to the Bears when they let Finks and Vanisi go in the 80s? screwed them up for a decade.

  • the rifleman

    BTW guys-Fuku dummy DOES have value in a lineup where you have 3-4 power hitters. Has anyone considered say, the Stankees or the Bosox? 

    • John_CC

      Problem is, teams like the Yankees and Red Sox do not need light hitting corner outfielders like Fukudome.  Dispite Rip claims he is the “best” leadoff hitter in the MLB.

  • Bryan

    John Heyman article assessing the 12 new, 1st year managers.  Quade is ranked 12th…but injuries are cited in the assessment.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_heyman/06/09/new.managers/index.html?xid=cnnbin&hpt=hp_bn10

    • paulcatanese

      and Bryan, there was no number thirteen to put him at. Enjoy the game tonight.

  • John_CC

    Power ranking from Yahoo’s Tim Brown:

    30. Chicago Cubs
    (24-36; Previous: 25) – So, eventually Hendry and Quade probably get
    fired, and you get the feeling it’ll be the equivalent of planting a
    fern in your backyard in order to stem global warming.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonPenrod Jason Penrod

    What are the chances that Greg Maddux is hired as President or GM?  He has a few years of front office experience under his belt, and no one can question his baseball IQ.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Yep got 2 words for you…….. Blake DeWitt. He was the guy that told Hendry that any trade should include him. How has that worked out so far?

      • Cheryl

        Maddux is too tied in with Hendry at the present to be number one in terms of GM. He needs to sork with someone new as an Asst GM. What would really shake the place up would be Ryno as GM. Or, Brenley.l Stone would be an interesting person in some rolebut don’t think that’ll happen. A manager who knows baseball would be a relief, especially someone who know how to use pitchers.The choices that were made in the draft indicate well on that person’s part. l hope Ricketts isn’t looking for a yes-man. How about Cushman from the Yankees? Any chance he’d be interested?

  • http://twitter.com/cornerlots Marvin Ferguson

    Somebody has to take the blame for the Cubs 8 game losing streak. Rumor has it that Kenney  is not a “baseball man.”