CHICAGO -- New Chicago Cubs general manager Herman Franks has suggested the team may make some trades before the June 15 trading deadline in order to shake the team out of its miserable 6-28 start.
Franks, who replaced Bob Kennedy on Friday, also indicated he would review the free agent market at the end of the season and submit his requests to team President William Wrigley, who has shunned the free-agent waters.
It was out of what Franks labeled as 'loyalty and friendship' to Wrigley that prompted him to return to the team he managed for nearly three seasons. Franks resigned as manager in the final week of the 1979 season after saying he was fed up with the players.
Franks, 67, who will serve as 'acting interim' general manager, insisted he was taking the attitude to let bygones be bygones and would not let that interfere with the possibility of trades.
'It is possible we could deal before June 15,' Franks said. 'I really am not as informed about the personnel on the team because I haven't seen them since spring training.'
But during spring training, Franks had a premonition of what would occur.
'I saw them in the spring and they're better than they've shown,' Franks said. 'But I knew that they weren't that good.'
Wrigley, who has kept a low profile during his leadership of the Cubs, emphasized he was allowing Franks to come in and take total command of a franchise which hasn't produced a pennant in 36 years. Franks in turn said he agreed to the job only with the understanding he would have complete control of the operation.
'All of us are distressed with our current won and loss record. There is no question it is downright embarrassing,' Wrigley said. 'With the possibility that I may be too close to the forest to see the trees, I have decided to bring in someone from the outside who is also familiar with the organization.'
Franks said he told Wrigley the current ownership would have to make a commitment to 'stay in the business.
'I told him he had to make the decision whether to get in or get out,' Franks said. 'I'm here to make this team into a winner and I know I have the backing of Mr. Wrigley.'
Several of the Cubs players, including Bill Buckner, who was at odds with Franks in 1979, were surprised at both Kennedy's resignation and the hiring of Franks.
'I was a little shocked; I wasn't expecting it,' Buckner said. 'It was no big deal. Most of the players back when Herman was here aren't around now.'
Shortstop Ivan DeJesus said the ultimate responsibility for the Cubs' record lies with the players.
'We need to do it more on the field. The answer's not in the front office,' DeJesus said.
Kennedy, who served as general manager since Nov. 30, 1976, stayed away from Friday's news conference and was not available for comment.
'Bob is one of the finest and most dedicated individuals I have ever known,' Wrigley said. 'He felt that the way the season has gone so far, a change would be beneficial to the organization and, on that basis, I accepted his resignation.'