Jim Frey lost the struggle for control of the Chicago Cubs yesterday and was replaced by former Chicago White Sox general manager Larry Himes.
Frey, who took over as general manager after the 1987 season, had seen his power erode in a battle with former club president Don Grenesko. Frey, who has one year remaining on his contract and will report to Himes, was forced by Grenesko to fire manager Don Zimmer, Frey's close friend.
"I've had better days, I've had worse," said Frey, a former Baltimore Orioles coach. "There are good changes and bad. I have great memories in Chicago."
Himes built the White Sox into a contender, but was fired after the 1990 season. He was given the title of executive vice president of baseball operations while Frey was demoted to senior vice president.
"It's probably the first time in history that a general manager was dumped by one organization and had an opportunity to stay in Chicago with another," Himes said.
The Cubs, who finished fourth in the NL East at 77-83, still don't have a manager or president. The president's job opened Oct. 17 when Grenesko was promoted to chief financial officer of the Tribune Co., the team's corporate parent. The manager's job opened a day later when Jim Essian was fired. Grenesko had forced Frey to fire Zimmer on May 21.
"I want a guy who has the personality to step in, a guy who, I feel, will be here for a long term," Himes, 51, said. "The manager will be the high focus of the team, not me."