Monday, August 15, 2011
Players await comments from Ricketts
By Bruce Levine
HOUSTON -- As Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts tours the minor leagues, things are looking up for the North siders, who have won 12 of their last 15 games.
Ricketts is expected to address the team’s current and future plans within the next 10 days, according to a source, and reliever Kerry Wood, who earned his first save since June 2010 on Monday, is looking forward to Ricketts’ comments.
“Obviously we’ve disappointed (ownership), ourselves and the fans,” Wood said after the Cubs 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros. “We expected to be better than we’ve been, but we are now seeing what we can do. There is talent here, we’ll just have to see what direction (Ricketts) wants to go. Obviously there’s going to be moves made, and things are going to happen.”
It’s unknown what topics Ricketts will cover when he talks about the state of the Cubs. However, he’s sure to address the situation at the top of his baseball department.
Jim Hendry has been the general manager since 2002 and still has one year remaining on his deal. It’s unclear if two disappointing seasons in a row, where the team has only been over .500 a total of two days, will impact Ricketts’ decision on what he’s going to do with the baseball operations department.
“I’m not sure what he’s thinking, or how he wants to make this organization better,” Marlon Byrd said. “I know he wants to win. And Chicago is a big market here. He’s taking his time. He’s seeing what we have in the minor leagues. He’s made his minor league tours. I’m sure his whole process is to do what he has to do to make things better around here.”
It’s also unknown if Ricketts will address the Carlos Zambrano situation, as it appears that the players association and Major League Baseball will be involved in figuring out a solution to that mess.
“You hate to see that happen to (Zambrano),” Wood said. “Baseball aside, Z is a good person, a good guy. He has a good heart. Unfortunately he’s had a history of not controlling his emotions. He’s well aware of it and the people around him are well aware of it as well. There’s always been a double-edged sword for him because some of that emotion is what he used to make him great.”