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Blog Entry

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: October 25, 2011 5:32 pm
 


By Evan Brunell


Theo Epstein was introduced as the new leader of the Cubs during a news conference at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday as Cubs' president of baseball operations.

"It feels truly great to be a Cub today," Epstein said in his opening remarks. "I'd like to thank Cubs fans for being so incredibly welcoming to me and my family already. ... I was ready for the next big challenge, and this is the ultimate challenge."

Prior to the conference, owner Tom Ricketts said the club sought commitment to player development, a strong analytical background and someone from a winning culture with a strong record, Alex Speier of WEEI relays. Epstein himself concurred, saying he wouldn't be in town without Rickett's "commitment to the fans and long-term vision for the organization."

In Ricketts' opening remarks, he said, "The major goal is to win a World Series. Today we take a major step towards acheiving that goal with the hiring of Theo Epstein."

"We look forward to going to work, because we have the best fans and the bast ballpark in baseball," Ricketts added, also noting that Cubs president Crane Kenney was "critical" toward bringing Epstein to the team. Kenney is expected to transition to overseeing the business aspect of the team with Epstein's arrival. "We look forward to saying that we have the best team in baseball," Ricketts said.

When Epstein began his remarks, he gave a shout-out to his former employers on top of his brilliant his op-ed piece published in the Boston Globe Tuesday morning.

"[A] quick thank you to [ex-Red Sox manager] Terry Francona and all the players and fans [in Boston]," Epstein said. "I'm really proud of what we accomplished, and I wish you all the best. ... I wouldn't trade my time with the Red Sox, but it was time to move on, and they're in great hands."

At the end of the press conference, Epstein admitted he would probably still be with the club if Francona hadn't left. That's interesting, given reports that he recommended to ownership in the late summer that Francona had lost the team and it was time for a new voice.

But this press conference was about his new role with the Cubs, and much of the conference was based on what is to come in Chicago.

"Baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with fans that care, baseball is better during the day. Finally, baseball is best of all when you win," Epstein started off saying. He also promised the Cubs would be playing in October "regularly" and will win a World Series, a lofty goal that Epstein will be judged by his entire tenure in town. He promised "sustained success".

"When we win a World Series, It won't be because of any one person. It'll be because of all of us," Epstein said. "It'll happen because a scout drove the extra six miles to see a prospect. It'll happen because a minor league pitching coach took the extra time to work on a young pitcher's change-up... it will happen because of all of us."

Epstein spoke about "The Cubs Way," which should certainly mirror "The Red Sox Way" he instituted in Boston that led to two World Series rings. That way should be expected to include strong defense, a discerning eye for hitters and a strong bullpen along with a rotation that minimizes walks.

When asked "What makes you think you can do what nobody has done in 103 years?" Epstein didn't blanch. (Naturally -- it's not as if he had any opportunity to win with Chicago in 1940.) "It'll be all of us doing it," Epstein responded. "When I got to Boston, they hadn't won in 86 years, and we didn't run from that. We embraced it. And part of that is bringing in players that care more about each other, and more about winning, than any of those external voices."

When asked about incumbent manager Mike Quade, Epstein said that the manager, coming off his first full season as skipper, "seems like a great guy," and the two will speak in the coming week.

As for the question of compensation, Epstein seemed to skirt the issue and admitted a third party would probably be needed to finalize compensation.

Ricketts jumped back into the fray to note that he "talked to about 20 people in baseball who I trust -- people who could tell me who I should be looking for. And at the end of the process, it was apparent that Theo was the right man for the job." The owner also made it clear that Epstein is reporting directly to him.

In further remarks, Epstein referenced his op-ed piece and brought up Bill Walsh again.

"I mentioned in the article, and I cited Bill Walsh, on the theory that he and others have had that says that most coaches or executives gets about 10 years to make an impact. After that... it's time for a new challenge," Epstein said. "And that happens accross the board. You'll see that university presidents see their peak effectiveness in the first 10 years before they move on."

The discussion then shifted to how Epstein will approach putting together a team.

"My personal approach is that it's best to use non-traditional scouting and objective analysis," he said. "When you can use these at their best, you can view the player in an accurate lens... but when you put both together, that's when you get a really accurate picture." He did refuse to speak specifically about payroll and a couple of onerous contracts, such as Alfonso Soriano's. "I have a personal policy never to comment on player payroll issues," he said.

But Epstein did speak as to the best age to have a player in the fold.

"I think that there's a prime age for players. Maybe from 26 or 27 to 32, when you get the best production and bang for your buck," Epstein said. "If we do our job in the right way, we should have the most players in their prime, hopefully home-grown players moving in to their prime. And there's certainly a role for veterans, but we'll pay for future performance, not for past performance."

One could argue Epstein didn't do this in Boston, when he handed out large contracts to John Lackey and Carl Crawford. Crawford will only get two of his prime years in town and one of them was a disaster. However, Epstein didn't say he was going to follow that line of thinking completely -- only have an overall emphasis on it. That remained true in Boston, even with the signings of Lackey and Crawford, among others.

You can expect Wrigley Field to eventually undergo changes much like Fenway Park. Epstein hinted that upgrading the stadium would lend itself to more revenue.

Near the end of the press conference, Epstein references the movie Office Space as to what his last two weeks were like in Boston. "I felt like the guy in the movie Office Space, who kept showing up and nobody told him he didn't work there anymore," Epstein said. "So, I did end up in the basement with my cubicle and stapler, and I knew it was time to go to Chicago."

Stay tuned to Eye on Baseball as Boston will have its own conference at 3 p.m. ET to announce the ascension of Ben Cherington to Epstein's vacated GM spot.

Read up on the Theo Epstein madness here.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Comments

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

Wow, what a horrible job of typing! Chicago, please don't send hit men after be because of the incredibly stupid way I spelt your city's name!



Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

As with any decision, and hiring around the leagues in baseball, all the fans will have perfect 20/20 hindsight, and hold one person or another  to blame for the hometown team's ills. Truth be told, all those poeple bashing Theo for all the bad trades he made, have something Theo didn't have, and that's the luxury of looking back, and saying "that's a bad choice".

I did not agree with the signing of either JD Drew, or Lackey, but I could see why Theo made the choice and moved on. Without the benefit of that 20/20 hindsight, who could come oout perfect in decisions - unless of course you are a fan, who knows everything because of your extensive experience in the food service industry.

Chocage, you will like things about Theo, and you will dislike things about Theo. You will aree with thinngs he does, and yoou won't. The bottom line is - Theo knows baseball, and is good at what he does. You could have done a whole lot worse for the Windy City than having him on board. Enjoy it, and hope that your "curse" is banished during his tenure as it was here in Boston.


tripingtripo234
Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 6:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

Mike Cameron .. Old and washed up and complete BUST

Julio "Luisa" Lugo .. one of the worst signings in MLB history and not only that, we paid his final years with no service, not that anyone minded

JD "Nancy" Drew .. Horrendous contract, and we had to endure 5 years of it.

Scutaro .. Guy had ONE good year and cashed in, only to prove to be average at best

Lackey .. SUCKED at Fenway before getting there .. sucked worse when he got there, and now he's done for 2012

Jenks ... absolutely USELESS

Daisuke "BB" Matsuzaka  .. Duped by a mysterious "Gyro ball" ... $51 million posting .. nuff said

Schilling ..  After his prime ... signed to a 1 year $8 million contract only to play ZERO games

Trading Justin Masterson for a RENTAL player in V-Mart ... only to let V-Mart walk for NOTHING later on.

The Gagne deal for Gabbard, Murphy, and Beltre (not Adrian)

Renteria ... instant gag reflex on this one

About the only trade he had that was worth anything was the Adrian Gonzalez deal, but anyone can throw $$Dollar signs$$$ at a wall and pray it sticks.

Theo is beyond OVER-RATED folks ... good riddence.   




Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

Let's see what Theo Epstein can do at Wrigley Field for the Cubs.  I'm hopeful that shining a new light on the organization will help end the World Series drought.  Even if Epstein made some very questionable moves over the last few years he still was part of the movement to get the Red Sox their World Series win.  It will be interesting to see what kind of front office moves come about over the next few months then the reshaping of the roster.  



Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:43 am
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

Who are you telling to Shut UP! know your facts, David Ortiz was brought in to back up Jeremey Giambi at 1st base,  Theo had know Idea he would be is good as he Turned out! it was only that Giambi could not hit his weight, did they make the change, and it was Kevin Millar who went on to play 1st base. who Theo also brought in, so he should get credit for that , because Millar had a few good seasons with the Red Sox. Theo made some good decisions, early on with the Red Sox, and as time went on, he was Brutal! Cubs Fans you may not want to hear it, but go to Baseball Reference .com, and see for yourself, check out Red Sox transactions since 2003! Theo was hired 11/25 2002, now his strong point, maybe player Developement, for the cubs fans, lets hope he holds on to the young players      



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:25 am
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

"Baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with fans that care, baseball is better during the day. Finally, baseball is best of all when you win," Epstein started off saying. He also promised the Cubs would be playing in October "regularly" and will win a World Series, a lofty goal that Epstein will be judged by his entire tenure in town. He promised "sustained success".
Can you even read English?
The writer is paraphrasing. I saw the announcement and the word "Pronmise" was never mentioned by Epstein. Either way, comparing Epstein to Dallas Green is moronic. If you were generalizing, then I guess he could be compared with every incoming president of baseball operations that was ever hired by every team .
True, the word "pronmise" was never mentioned by Epstein, probably because it's not a word. That notwithstanding, the writer wasn't "paraphrasing" - he was identifying a promise for what it is - a declaration assuring that one will or will not do something. Again, please learn English before you make an even bigger fool out of yourself here.

As to the parallels between Green and Epstein, they are self-evident. Both are much-ballyhooed new GM's brought in after achieving success with organizations that had been longtime failures. Both were given a free hand to bring in their own guys, and both brought in people who were considered the cream of the crop at the time. Both are arrogant, although in different ways. I just hope that whatever clown Epstein brings in to manage can provide us with something as memorable as Lee Elia's tirade.

Now go home and get your shine box.



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:09 am
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

To all Cubs fans out there BE HAPPY....for better or for worse it is a CHANGE FINALLY....and it can only be for better looking at Epstein's resume.  Under he regime the BoSox won 2 titles and consistently contended.  He has developed players and made some great pickups...do we forget Big Papi was one of his forst moves?  All anyone is now saying is the Crawford deal...well comeon the dude is a annual .300 hitter and has all the tools to continue it but has a bad season.  We as Cubs fans should be happy, we have a young energetic leadership tema that is hungry for success.

To all the non Cubs fans out there shut up.  This is our team.


I'm with hafdolla on this. And I'm disappointed with the reaction of some of the so-called Cub fans on here. People, this is a step in the right direction. Theo put together 2 winners in Boston. Many thought that too was impossible. BUT IT HAPPENED ! The guy obviously knows what he is doing. What is he supposed to have done, have the Red Sox win 10 championships in 10 years ??? As a long-time Cubs fan, I'm excited for once !! He will develop plenty of young talent and that's what many Cubs fans have been clamoring for for years. Knock off the gloom and doom forecasts or go find another team to root for.

And as hafdolla says, all the non Cubs fans can shut up. This team belongs to Cub fans.



Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:06 am
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

The guy sounds like a complete cheeseball - no surprise Boston hired him in the first place.



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2011 12:05 am
 

Theo Epstein announced as new Cubs president

"Baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with fans that care, baseball is better during the day. Finally, baseball is best of all when you win," Epstein started off saying. He also promised the Cubs would be playing in October "regularly" and will win a World Series, a lofty goal that Epstein will be judged by his entire tenure in town. He promised "sustained success".
Can you even read English?
The writer is paraphrasing. I saw the announcement and the word "Pronmise" was never mentioned by Epstein. Either way, comparing Epstein to Dallas Green is moronic. If you were generalizing, then I guess he could be compared with every incoming president of baseball operations that was ever hired by every team .




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