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Cubs fire Jim Hendry

The man who brought Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez to a payroll near you has been given his walking papers.

The Cubs announced this morning that general manager Jim Hendry, who has held the post since 2002, has been fired.

It's hard to say what this means to the Cardinals and other National League Central division teams. While it's been popular the last couple of years on the north side of Chicago to criticize him, Hendry was pretty well thought of when he arrived. And no one was complaining about he lavish contracts he passed out when the ink was still wet.

The Wee Bears seem intent on going in a different direction, stressing building through the minor leagues over crazy contracts. And it sounds good on paper. But, with 102 years of futility on their backs, there is always pressure in Chicago to try to win immediately.

Hendry continued a long Cubs tradition of going for flash over substance. Soriano is really nothing more or less than a latter day Jorge Bell -- a one dimensional player who hurts you with his glove and his strikeouts more than he helps you with his impressive homers. So, hopefully, his stamp will remain on the team for years to come as the Cubs are unable to shed the huge contracts he passed out long past the players' days of productivity.

And I am hoping the hangover of those deals remains for ownership and Hendry's successor as Albert Pujols hits free agency. There is a happy medium between Albert Pujols and the Cardinals -- as long as a wild bidder doesn't drive his price into the stratosphere.