The Chicago Cubs finally did the inevitable on Friday, announcing the firing of general manager Jim Hendry a mere one month after actually firing him.
According to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Hendry was actually canned on July 22. However, it somehow took until August 19 for Hendry to turn in his office key. That particular factoid raised a lot of questions amongst Cubs fans, and cynics might note that Hendry wasn’t formally pushed out the door until the team headed into a series with the Cardinals as his career record teetered exactly one game over .500.
However, we’ve discovered the real truth behind the delay. That’s right, Rumors and Rants has acquired exclusive access to recordings that capture the details of Hendry’s firing, and we’ve decided to share the transcript with you.
JULY 22, WRIGLEY FIELD
CUBS PRESIDENT CRANE KENNEY: (shuffling through paperwork) Jim Hendry.
CO-OWNER PETE RICKETTS: Who’s he?
KENNEY: You know, doughy looking guy, overpays for free agents a lot…
PETE: Oh, yeah.
KENNEY: Yeah, we can’t actually find record of him being a current employee here.
OWNER/CHAIRMAN TOM RICKETTS: Come again?
KENNEY: I looked into it more deeply and found out that what happened is he was actually fired after last season and no one ever told him about it; but through some kind of glitch in the payroll department, he still gets a check. So we fixed the glitch.
PETE: So, uh, Jim has been let go?
KENNEY: Now wait just a second there, professor. We, uh, fixed the glitch. So he won’t be receiving a paycheck anymore. It’ll just work itself out naturally.
LATER THAT DAY
Jim Hendry shows up for Cubs play-by-play man Pat Hughes’ birthday party. Hendry gets himself a piece of cake.
CO-OWNER LAURA RICKETTS: Now Jim, don’t be greedy, let’s pass it along and make sure everyone gets a piece.
HENDRY: Yeah, but last time I didn’t receive a piece, and I was told…
LAURA: Just pass.
HENDRY: [nearly inaudible] The ratio of people to cake is too big… (passes along pieces of cake until none remain for him) I could re-sign Milton Bradley.
Tom Ricketts enters Hendry’s office.
TOM: Hey Jim, what’s happening?
HENDRY: Umm, I, I didn’t receive my paycheck this week…
TOM: Ahhh, you’re gonna have to talk to payroll about that. Jim, we’re gonna have to go ahead and move you downstairs to Storage Room B. You know, the one with the cage near the media room and the umpire’s dressing room. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get.
HENDRY: But, but, there’s no space…
TOM: So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move down there, that would be terrific, OK?
Ricketts leaves the room.
HENDRY: Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…
Hendry is on the phone with assistant GM Randy Bush.
HENDRY: And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Tom that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Crane too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll re-sign Milton Bradley…
LATER THAT DAY
Hendry is upstairs to figure out why he has not received his paycheck in a month.
HENDRY: Mr. Ricketts told me to talk to payroll and then payroll told me to talk to Mr. Ricketts and I still haven’t received my paycheck and he took my stapler and he never brought it back and then they moved my desk to storage room B and there were jock straps from 1938 on it…
Ricketts visits Hendry in his new office in Storage Room B.
TOM: Jim, what’s happening?
JIM: Um, I was…
TOM: I’m gonna have to ask you to move your desk as far back against the wall as possible. That way we can get as many bags of fertilizer and things that we need to get in here. So if you could get to that, that would be great… (Ricketts sees the red stapler on Hendry’s desk). There it is…
Ricketts turns out the lights and leaves.
JIM: That’s it. This is the last straw. I’m gonna re-sign Milton Bradley.