It's Simple: Jim Hendry is not a good GM

Give me a $120-plus million and I'll give you a mediocre team, too.

Okay, perhaps I'll give you more than mediocre.

Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry has done less with more since getting the green light on turning around a championship starved franchise that recently won back-to-back division titles before promptly getting swept in the first round of the playoffs each time.

Everyone was lauding Hendry for the moves he made resulting in said championships but any idiot with deep pockets can make those moves. Looking back on it, he was actually lucky that the moves that panned out for him actually did.

Pitchers Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis surprised me when they had a decent amount of success for the club when they probably shouldn't have succeeded.

Lilly was a fly ball pitcher going to hell (Wrigley Field) essentially and Marquis couldn't even crack the post season roster with the St. Louis Cardinals the year before he signed with the Cubs.

Furthermore, Lilly never had an ERA under four in a full season before posting a 3.83 and 4.09 ERA respectively in consecutive seasons with the Cubs in 2007 and 2008.

This year Lilly has been throwing the ball well with an ERA of 3.77 but Marquis' contract cannot be viewed as a success.

He posted two consecutive years of ERAs in the mid-fours and punched his ticket out of town for reliever Luis Vizcaino.

Which leads me to my next point. What has Hendry done to fix the bullpen?

Far and away the biggest problem with the Cubs is this year's verison of the bullpen which grew thinner after letting closer Kerry Wood depart and replacing him with a closer without an out pitch (Kelly? Kevin Gregg).

Three regular relievers have an ERA over five this season and they don't have a lefty that can get anyone out.

Big issues.

And it isn't helping that starter Ryan Dempster, he of the newly minted contract, is flirting with an 5.00 ERA.

Dempster is another guy that shouldn't have worked out for the Cubs but did. He had an epic year in a contract year and he's a guy with a track record of being average.

It probably would have been best to let Dempster leave for draft pick compensation to replenish a middle of the road farm system and trade whatever spare parts they had for San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy.

Letting super utility man Mark DeRosa go hasn't panned out either as the money saved was spent poorly on a rickety designated hitter playing outfield (Milton Bradley).

Bradley isn't as bad as his Mendoza line average indicates but this isn't a guy who can stay healthy (physically or mentally) for an entire season anyway.

Instead of paying the same amount of cash or less to veteran winners like Bobby Abreu, the Cubs decided to blow their cash on a guy who hasn't been part of a winner before.

But some of it really isn't Hendry's fault. Take the injuries for example.

Star players Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden and Aramis Ramirez have spent time on the disabled list this year which is going to kill clubhouse continuity but two of the three injuries should have been expected and thus planned for.

Zambrano has thrown a ton of innings in the regular season coupled with extra innings logged in the playoffs while Harden seems to be injured for at least a couple weeks every year anyway.

The key for the Cubs may be an explosion from Pinella if the slide continues and getting their stars healthy.

Unfortunately, the Cubs have plenty of leap frogging to do to get back in the race but their talent overwhelms their peers so there's still hope.

If not, do what you always do.

Wait till next year.