Theo Epstein is the Cubs new “savior” – sort of. Epstein will serve as the Cubs President of Baseball Operations under a 5-year deal that will pay him just under $20 million. Theo brought the Red Sox 2 World Series titles during his tenure as Red Sox GM and Tom Ricketts and Cubs fans all over the world hope that he do the same for the north siders. Theo is clearly talented and he gets it, having experienced the same pain and agony that Cubs fans have felt for 103 years and counting. Theo said all the right things during his Tuesday press conference – here are a few snippets of some great lines from the day:
“To me, baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with history, baseball is better with fans who care, baseball is better in ballparks like this, baseball is better during the day. And baseball is, best of all, when you win.”
“I firmly believe that we can preserve the things that make the Cubs so special and over time build a consistent winner, a team that will be playing baseball in October consistently and a team that will ultimately win the World Series.”
“I’ve waited a few weeks to say this, but it truly feels great to be a Cub today.”
“I don’t believe in curses, (and) I guess I played a small part in proving they don’t exist, from a baseball standpoint. I do think we can be honest and upfront that certain organizations haven’t gotten the job done. That’s the approach we took in Boston. We identified certain things that we hadn’t been doing well, that might have gotten in the way of a World Series, and eradicated them. That’s what we’ll do here.”
And when asked why he thinks he can bring a championship to the Cubs even though no one else has been able to do that for 100+ years, you have to love his confidence, focus and tenacity: “When I got to Boston they hadn’t won in 86 years. We didn’t run from that challenge. We embraced it. We decided the way to attack it was to build the best baseball operation that we could, to try to establish a winning culture, to work as hard as possible and to bring in players who care more about each other and more about winning than the people around them thought or the external expectations, the external mindset. That’s something that is going to be important to us here as well. We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”
San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Assistant GM Jason McLeod have also been in Chicago the last 3 days working out their deals and ESPN’s Bruce Levine anticipates that we will have an announcement on their hires within the week.
Gotta love it – obviously there are NO guarantees, but when you put the right people in charge, and those people know how to put the right pieces together, you have a great chance to succeed year in and year out. It may take 2, 3 or even 5 years, but if they do build another “powerhouse” organization in Chicago with a team that wins every season and with a team that competes for the post-season each and every season, Cubs fans will have a lot to cheer about. And who knows, maybe they’ll even get to hoist that World Series trophy at Wrigley Field…