Blog Entry

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:16 pm

By Matt Snyder

Late Friday night, news broke that the Cubs had hired Joe Bohringer as director of pro scouting (ESPN Chicago). And the praise on Twitter soon followed. Keith Law of noted the Angels were also after Bohringer's services. Baseball author Jonah Keri said "Joe is GREAT, Cubs fans should be thrilled." Baseball America's Jim Callis noted it was "another tremendous hire by the Cubs." Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus said it was a "fantastic" hire.

The hiring possibly completes the major front-office moves in Wrigleyville, where they've added president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod and now Bohringer. Already in place were assistant general manager Randy Bush, scouting director Tim Wilken and personnel director Oneri Fleita.

One takeaway from the Bohringer hire is how much a Mickey Mouse operation the Cubs were previously running. Bush had reportedly been pulling double duty, serving as both the pro scouting director and assistant GM. This coming from one of the biggest money-making teams in the bigs. What a joke. But the laughs are beginning to subside now.

Allow me to formally apologize to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. Back in early September I said that Ricketts locking up Fleita could possibly sabotage his search for a general manager -- namely that it took the possibility of a "home-run hire" off the board. Boy, was I wrong. It could be argued Ricketts has hit several homers these past few weeks.

Epstein won two World Series with the Red Sox. Hoyer and McLeod have left the Padres' farm system in great shape and had helped Epstein build the Red Sox foundation (say what you will about spending, but Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard -- just to name a few -- were homegrown). Bohringer has 21 years of scouting experience (after graduating from MIT) and has been a lead scout for the Diamondbacks since 2006. Fleita was being courted by the Tigers before the Cubs re-signed him.

Obviously, front office personnel don't immediately pay on-field dividends nor do they necessarily equate to championships in the future. Further, these hires don't necessarily mean the Cubs have the smartest front office in the bigs. But the fact is that the Ricketts family has done absolutely everything they could possibly do this offseason to put a brilliant baseball brain trust in place. Success is not even close to being guaranteed, but simply seeing the effort is a departure from how things have been throughout Cubs history.

Now Cubs fans just need to be patient with the new brain trust -- as it's going to be a long process -- in hopes that on-field history is made as well.

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

Since: Nov 19, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:10 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

Way to step up, Mr. Snyder, and admit that you jumped the gun by declaring the re-signing of Fleita as the death knell for the Cubs' front office aspirations. I suppose a century of foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders can cause even the most level-headed journalist to react impatiently.

At any rate, kudos again to you sir.

Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:00 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:57 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:15 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

Another step in the right direction. I dont think for one mites that next season will be a so called "rebuilding season". As some might think. Theo and company will right the ship. Feild a  team that believes it can win on a daily basis then that cahenges the culture. Starts at the top. I think we're in for some winter. The ownnership is not going to stand pat and take moral victories. That was the tribunes policy. It's time to get after it.

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: November 6, 2011 10:11 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

Just maybe instead of celebrating the players from 1969 for finishing in SECOND. Who knows we just might be close in celebrating a team that actually wins the whole thing. Time will tell.<br />

Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: November 6, 2011 9:27 am

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

Another fine move by the Cubs!  This has been the Cubs' major problem over the years, a terrible front office that just got pieces together that would fill the seats, not win championships.  The "old" front office got lucky a few times and put a good team or two together, but made huge blunders to kill the momentum.  Got to rebiuld from the top.  Now give these guys a couple years and we will get competitive again.  A few more years and we will have a farm system to support the major league team for the long run.  Then I will be able to be proud to be a Cubs fan again.

Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 9:31 pm

Best Management argument

When teams gather in spring training and everyone begins the arguments of, "best rotation" and "best hitting team," the Cubs wont be in any of those arguments, but may now have one of the best management teams in all of MLB. Being a long-time Cubs fan, I appreciate that Ricketts is changing the way the team is run from the top down. It may not equate to instant success, but it has to make you believe the organization is heading in the right direction. Keep in mind three years ago the Cubs had the most wins in the majors, so it might not be to far away. Go Cubs Go! 

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: November 5, 2011 5:12 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust


I just don't think there's enough for 2012, but by 2013 that could easily change. And if you've read me in the past, you would realize I'll be right there with you celebrating a championship. I come from an entire family of die-hard Cubs fans.


- Matt

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 4:57 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

I agree, but I hate how everyone is writing off next year's Cubs team and maybe those in the near future. If anything, year-in and year-out, baseball proves to us that ANYTHING can happen over the course of a 162-game season. Getting the right people in the front office, getting the right people to lead the team on the field, and changing the culture of the organization may be what this team has needed all along. Crazier things have happened in baseball, and I would love to see some of these "experts" eat their words next October when streets of Wrigleyville are jammed with people celebrating a long-awaited championship.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 1:27 pm

Cubs continue rounding out brain trust

The Chicago Cubs are putting the business side together nicely.  They have also made some baseball names in charge of the Cubs where no structure seems to be before.  We can't guess how many wins this equates to but it show a solid foundation to be layed for for the organization going into the 2012 season.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or