Jim Hendry: I Knew I Shouldn’t Have Ordered All That Champagne
September 30, 2009
(Chicago, IL) – Well, it happened. It was unexpected, and it took a long time to become official, but it happened just the same.
The Chicago Cubs have been eliminated from 2009 playoff contention.
The players are doing their best to take it in stride, but there is obvious disappointment. And Cubs fans are understandably crushed. But no one seems to be taking it quite as hard as Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. Though his extreme disappointment does not necessarily stem from what you might think.
No, it isn’t because the Cubs were so close in the previous two seasons only to be swept in the first round of the playoffs. And it isn’t because he assembled a $140 million flop of a team.
Jim Hendry is forlorn because he already bought the champagne.
“In retrospect, it was a little bit foolish to assume the Cubs would make the playoffs again this year,” Hendry said as he knocked back a glass of the bubbly. “It was also a bit foolish to order 300 cases of champagne in April because there was a really great sale.”
Hendry says he, like everyone else, expected this year would turn out a success for the Cubs, and he put his money where his expectations were.
“I really thought this was the year, so I figured what the heck, I’ll just buy the champagne now. I have a parking space I don’t use, and I can just keep the stuff there,” Hendry explained. “I had to sleep in the parking spot a few more times than I would have liked this summer, but someone had to protect the champagne. And with as tenuous a grasp as I have on my job, I can’t really be paying for a security guard.”
Indeed it was that same level of cost consciousness that urged Hendry to purchase the champagne early in the first place. The “bulk discount,” Hendry said, was only availabe in April. And his coupon expired in early May.
But now Hendry is awash in champagne that – because of what it represents and because it’s been left out in the hot sun for some five months – leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
“Seriously, now what am I going to do with it? Even a big guy like me can only have so many mimosas,” Hendry said as he downed another glass, and hiccuped noticeably. “My biggest regret is passing it out in the clubhouse once it became clear we weren’t going to be making the playoffs. Turns out Milton Bradley is a champagne fan.”
“Ultimately, if I had known I was going to be chugging most of this myself, I probably would have sprung for a better batch. Sam’s Club does some great things. Boxed champagne is not one of them.”