So much for that vote of confidence last week, huh?
Jim Hendry has been fired as the Cubs general manager, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. The termination is effective immediately. Kaplan reports that Hendry is currently meeting with the Cubs in the clubhouse, presumably being thanked by the players for all of those ridiculous contracts he handed out like so much candy. Randy Bush is the interim GM.
Hendry has been on board since 2002. It has been a surprisingly long tenure for someone with such a poor track record. The Cubs under his watch managed a decent season here or there, but they are currently hamstrung by bad contracts and poor roster construction. With $30 million coming off the payroll after this season, it’s a fine time to give someone else a shot. And that’s what Tom Ricketts is doing.
UPDATE: Hendry is currently speaking to the press, which you can see at CSNChicago.com. Some crazy stuff going down. Hendry says that he was actually fired on July 22nd, but that he was held on to get through the trade deadline and the signing of draft picks. If you’ll recall, the Cubs had a profoundly quiet deadline, moving no one of the many players many of us thought they would or at least should move. Hendry just touched on that saying that “those moves are for the next guy.” Certainly explains a lot.
Also worth noting that Hendry is really, really emotional, crying through the presser. Ugh. I know a lot of Cubs fans were waiting for this day, but there isn’t much joy to be had here.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.