Jim Hendry reflects on time with Cubs

Updated: November 5, 2011, 1:27 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

In the interest of getting a fresh start, recently-hired Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein fired manager Mike Quade on Wednesday.

The man who put Quade in charge of the Cubs' clubhouse -- former general manager Jim Hendry -- said Saturday that he understands the move.

"Mike texted me within an hour after Theo talked to him before it was announced," Hendry told ESPN 1000's "Talkin' Baseball" on Saturday. "We've missed each other a couple times. Basically just been exchanging texts. I'm sure he's out fishing and clearing his head a little bit. I would think sometime within the next couple days we'll have a chat. He is a good baseball man. He will land on his feet. He's been a good coach for a long, long time. I think he handled it well, as well did Theo in the exit for both of them. It's certainly understandable from Theo's side. It certainly was a classy way I think that Mike handled it too, knowing that and appreciating the way Theo went down and saw him."

Quade's hiring as skipper in October of 2010 -- he had been working as interim manager after Lou Piniella's retirement that August -- was one of Hendry's last major decisions as the head of the Cubs' front office. In August, his 17-year run with the organization ended when team chairman Tom Ricketts dismissed him as GM.

"I've been lucky enough to be here 17 years," Hendry said. "We had a lot of things change the last four or five years with the ownership sale and the Tribune going in a different direction. I got to work for and with some great people. When you get to have the jobs I had -- I ran the draft for five years, the minor leagues for three, Andy MacPhail's assistant for a couple to get me ready for the job and then nine years as GM -- I have nothing but great things to look back upon my experience here. Regrettably, we didn't finish it off the two or three times we had a chance to do it and didn't finish it off, which will obviously leave a little bit of a tough thing in your soul that you didn't get to do it.

"Like Theo talked about in his press conference and Andy MacPhail used to tell me, there's a (shelf-life) for these jobs and sometimes you can stay too long and it doesn't end the way you want it to. I was treated terrifically there. I'm so happy that it's somebody coming after me that I have such a great deal of respect for and is a good friend. I know people don't want to believe that, but it's true."

Hendry and Epstein have been longtime friends. Their working relationship has been a productive: The two worked together on the trade that brought longtime Red Sox favorite Nomar Garciaparra to Chicago in 2004.

"Theo and I are good friends," Hendry said. "Met years ago when I was Andy MacPhail's assistant and Theo was just getting started. When I became the GM I spent a lot of time with Theo when he first got the job and have been good friends since. ... I'm happy for the Cubs. I left on very, very good terms. Seventeen years at a great place. Tom Ricketts and his family are terrific. They hit a grand slam with Theo. Theo's very, very good and will do the job terrifically. [He] hired a bunch of great guys ... and is astute enough to know there's a lot of great people that were left behind when I left."

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