Notes from an Interview with Jim Hendry on Baseball 365 – ESPN 1000
Jim Hendry was on Baseball 365 (ESPN – 1000 / Chicago) Christmas Eve morning with Bruce Levine and Bryan Dolgin. They started the interview by saying they cannot talk about other teams players because of tampering. Hendry started by saying the Cubs never feel like they are finished trying to improve the Cubs and they will continue to make improvements before Opening Day. Levine asked Hendry about how tough a job it is when player’s names are mentioned in trade talks. Hendry responded by saying his players know he is doing everything possible to make the team better. Hendry said the Cubs have a line-up in place if the season were to start today. He said the Cubs are better defensively and both Ronny Cedeno and Matt Murton are a very big part of the Cubs plan for 2006. Hendry said Cedeno and Murton will be everyday players in 2006. Hendry did keep reminding Levine and Dolgin that if he can make moves to improve the Cubs he will and he is not afraid to make moves he feels would help the Cubs.
Levine brought up the trade in 1965 between the Reds and Orioles that sent Frank Robinson to Baltimore for Milt Pappas (pitched for the Cubs from 1970-1973). Robinson won the Triple Crown in 1966 and from that point forward whenever Levine wanted to mention Tejada he referred to Tejada as Frank Robinson. Hendry said he would like to trade Levine.
Hendry said the best trade is the one that helps both teams and brought up the Phillies/White Sox trade earlier this off-season. Hendry said in truth he does not know if the Cubs will make any trades this off-season.
Levine and Dolgin asked about Felix Pie being ‘untouchable’. Hendry said Pie has won and played well at every level after he was signed (by the Cubs) at 16 years old. Hendry said the Cubs have had trouble developing position players and Cedeno, Murton and Pie could change that. Levin asked about Angel Guzman and he said Guzman has had a good winter and brought up how well Ronny Cedeno has played. Hendry said Cedeno has a chance to win Rookie of the Year in Venezuela and he is third in the league in batting average.
They talked about the Cubs having the most diverse line-up since the 1930’s. Hendry brought up the fact the Cubs will have 4 new position players out of 8 and they will be more athletic and he still has two months to improve the team if they can.
Levine asked about the farm system and Hendry thinks it is still productive but it lost a lot with the Pierre trade. Hendry said in order to acquire a player like Pierre; they knew they would have to give up a lot. Hendry was impressed with all of the prospects the Marlins have picked up this off-season. Hendry brought up the fact they missed on Juan Cruz.
Levine asked about the ‘Frank Robinson Trade’ and they all laughed. Hendry said he does not feel any deal is imminent. Hendry said he does not get up in the morning to ‘shop guys’ and nothing is close to being done.
It was a good interview.
Levine later said the Cubs are ready to make the trade and a report said Peter Angelos is about ready to release his people to make the trade. Levine said he would like to see a trade happen that would bring Barry Zito to the Cubs. They talked about Erik Bedard and mentioned he had Tommy John Surgery in 2003 and missed 9 starts in 2005 with a sprained knee.
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