I will take Kurt's points, and see you a thousand
They fired the hitting coach.
This isn't even "deck chairs off of the Titanic", this is more like "ice cubes out of a cocktail glass off of the Titanic". What exactly DOES a hitting coach do in the majors, anyway? But before you send the Perry family any condolence cards, keep in mind that this is June 15th and we have a three-way tie for the team lead in RBIs. Derrek Lee, Mike Fontenot and Alfonso Soriano (....and this really should be foreboding since the best of them is hitting .250...) all at 27. On June 15th.
This is where the biggest question you have to ask is: is it a blessing or a curse that we are only 2 1/2 games out?
I think the starting pitchers deserve the benefit of the doubt, and have earned the right for Jim Hendry to be a BUYER this July, and try to get us somebody that can hit. On the other hand, every other aspect of the game - hitting, running, relieveing and fielding - along with coaching, has been suspect at best, and utter rubbish at worst.
I think anybody acting entirely in a vacuum would realize that this team, as constructed is not going to win a pennant in 2009 - hence, it makes sense to fix everything that is broken. This would most likely begin with the suddenly old and befuddled guy who wears Number 41 and stands around in the dugout looking like he is suffering the throes of advanced constipation. However, this is absolutely NOT going to happen, and it isn't because management is deluded enough to believe that the Cubs have a shot this year.
It is because Hendry has already hired Dusty Baker, allowed him to finish his contract, yet did not retain him. Then he hired Lou Piniella. In the baseball biz, most GMs are given 2 field managers to prove their capacity to do their OWN job. Most GMs are not given the luxury of hiring a third manager, without a championship under their own belt. If a third manager is necessary, most owners will insist a new GM be the one to do the hiring.
Of course, we are unique (naturally). Our owner doesn't WANT to own us, and has been trying to sell us since the day he bought us. Of course, he wants ridiculous profits, and obviously does not have the gumption to fully check out the new buyer of his team. (Hey, I can offer 900 mill for the Cubs - think Zell would have sold them to me?) This clusterflop might go on for years, and Zell doesn't care enough to go through a search for a new GM. Hell, he cares so little about us, he probably doesn't even know about the "2 hires" rule in baseball, and he'd let Hendry bring in a new guy without asking a single question outside of "what's he gonna cost me?"
However, Hendry is not always as dumb as you might think, and he won't want to try to slip a fast one past Zell. So he'll stick with old Uncle Lou as long as he is willing to squeeze himself into his uniform and stand in front of the mikes and issue the same tired excuses he's been tossing at us since Game 1 of last year's NLDS.
I honestly believe if Hendry wanted to trade for a guy, regardless of his salary picture, that Zell could care less. So if that Offensive Savior was out there, Hendry could go get him, even if we had to eat Fukudome's $25MM, or Bradley's $25MM, or even Soriano's $91MM. But who, exactly, would that be? Like the Easter Bunny and Saddam's WMDs, the Offensive Savior does not exist.
Besides, even if one Offensive Savior came, that doesn't mean the other 7 guys in the lineup would start hitting, so what we really need is the Manager Savior, who will motivate and compel Soriano to hit like he did with Washington, for Fukudome to hit like he did in Japan, for Bradley to hit like he did with Texas, for Lee to hit like he did in 2005, for Fontenot to hit like he was a real starter, and for Soto to hit like he did when he was skinny.
So, yes, I fully expect to hear any day now that Lou Piniella is going to "retire", so he can go back home to Tampa and wait for a Steinbrenner to call him, and for Hendry to announce the hiring of our new "Managerial Savior"...
Dear Lord...let SOMEONE buy the Cubs soon. Until then, we're no better than we've ever been...still hostages of mismanagement.