Since the 1960′ the Chicago Cubs have brought in very successful baseball men as general managers and managers, which Theo Epstein will apparently be the next. Just to name a few: Herman Franks, Dallas Green, Leo Durocher, Dusty Baker and Lou Pinella. And what were all these successful, knowledgeable baseball men able to accomplish on Chicago’s north side? Absolutely squat! Will Theo Epstein just be another one in a long line to fail?
Theo Epstein – Boy Wonder
Theo Epstein was the youngest general manager ever hired by a major league ball club when the Boston Red Sox hired him 2002 at the age of 28. He went on to help build a team that would win 2 World Series. What needs to be said is the Boston organization had been competitive for decades prior to hiring Theo Epstein, and gave Theo Epstein an open checkbook. Now the Cubs, with few exceptions, have not been competitive for decades. It is also not certain that the purse strings will open for Epstein to aggressively seek high priced free agents.
Theo Epstein – Will the Cubs Ruin His Career
Many good baseball men have tried their hand at turning the Cubs around to their glory days in early 20th century. None of the succeeded. Given the track record it would be foolish to bet on Theo Epstein’s future with the Cubs as being a successful one. He is just another Chicago Cub’s fans glorious delusions of seeing their team win a World Series.
Here is a great article by Steve Rosenbloom from the Chicago Tribune sharing similar thoughts on Theo Epstein.
Theo is perfect — for a lot of the wrong reasons
October 12, 2011|Steve Rosenbloom | The RosenBlog
This seems like the perfect hire.
The best thing ever.
The smartest move you could dream of.
But it’s the Cubs. So, it will turn into a disaster. That’s what the Cubs do.
Somehow, some way at some time, the hiring of Boston general manager Theo Epstein will splatter all over the team, the fans and the North Side like the seagulls at 4:30 every summer afternoon at Wrigley.
It’s not a done deal, which means it could still blow up in the Cubs’ faces. Tom Ricketts is Baseball McCaskey, after all.
But it might not be Ricketts. It might be a nut owner in Boston wanting to look like a hero and save his boy wonder.
For now, though, the storyline has the Cubs thisclose to hiring Epstein, who is fresh off presiding over the greatest late-season collapse in baseball history.
Perfect Cub, indeed.
And that collapse wasn’t just a collapse, by the way. It was nuclear and laughable — the kind of choke for which they build statues at Wrigley Field.
The Boston Globe details Epstein’s collection of players drinking, eating their way out of shape, and neither the manager nor veterans able or even wanting to stop the madness.
The Cubs’ best hire would’ve been Andrew Friedman, a similar boy wonder who did more with less in Tampa Bay than anybody anywhere, and whose team overtook Epstein’s Red Sox during that sparkling 7-20 September, a time when character shows, and what showed was that Epstein’s Red Sox didn’t have any.
The case will be made that Friedman hasn’t won a World Series. He put together a team that reached one Series and came in second. He didn’t win it, while Epstein did. Twice, in fact, in 2004 and ’07. A ring for each hand.
Just like his reported steroid user for each hand.
Epstein, see, has yet to win a Series without a juiced-up middle of the order.
You’ll recall that the Red Sox got clutch hit after clutch hit from Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. They got big hits from others — even J.D. Drew, if you can believe that — but it all stemmed from the power of Ramirez and Ortiz.
And that power reportedly was aided by ‘roids.
I guess Epstein gets credit for that. The Cubs tried the ‘roids thing, but never won a pennant with Sammy Sosa.
And I give Epstein credit for combining the kind of big payroll Jim Hendry had with the kind of farm system that Hendry couldn’t harvest. But Epstein had his Alfonso Sorianos and Milton Bradleys in the form of Carl Crawford and John Lackey. General managers who get the chance to spend a lot of money inevitably will spend some of it badly. The trick is to do it less than Hendry.
Oh, and about that general manager thing: In order to lure Epstein, the Cubs will have to promote him to president or CEO or something bigger, but all you want him to do is build a baseball organization as a GM. But the Cubs will use him as one of the point men to sucker the mayor and city into $200 million worth of improvements for Wrigley. That will take him away from what he has done best.
We’ve seen that movie before. Everybody dies in the end. The Cubs did this with Andy MacPhail in 1994. Say hello to Ed Lynch, everybody. Someone gets promoted above the reason you really want to hire that person. So Cub.
I want Epstein to succeed. I’d love for the Cubs to win a World Series just to see whether that indeed marks the apocalypse.
But it’s hard to get past the idea of the most embarrassing franchise in sports empowering the man in charge of the most embarrassing death spiral in baseball
Can Theo Epstein bring a World Series Championship to the north side of Chicago? If by some miracle he pulls this off he will never have to by another meal or drink in the city for the rest of his life.