Thursday, November 3, 2011

Theo Epstein: A Perfect Cub

The day that Theo Epstein was announced as the new GM for the Chicago Cubs, there was rejoicing in the streets.  He was hailed as a savior for a franchise that hasn't won a World Series in over a hundred years.  Cubs fans thought to themselves, "Things will be different now that we have the hottest name in MLB front offices."  Well, unfortunately for the North Siders, Epstein has already taken his first step in continuing the long tradition of poor decision making that has doomed the Cubs for decades.  

The obvious choice to manage the Cubs is Ryne Sandberg.  The hall of fame second basemen and Cubs legend Sanberg put his ego aside several years ago, and took a minor league managerial job with hopes to someday manage the Cubs big league squad.  He spent several years travelling on buses, staying in cheap hotels, making a small paycheck, as he worked his way up the ladder.  After several years, he won Triple-A manager of the year.  Then, in almost perfect timing, then Cubs manager Lou Pinella announced his retirement.  For once, the stars seemed to align for the Cubs, as the door was seemingly open for Cubs legend Sandberg to step in and lead the team to the promised land.  

But, wouldn't you know it, the Cubs, to everyone's bewilderment decided instead on Mike Quade (who?).  

After the failed Mike Quade experiment, the Cubs made sweeping changes, bringing in Chicago Messiah Theo Epstein to fix everything.  After dismissing Quade, Epstein had a golden opportunity to make all things right by bringing in Sandberg to manage the team.  Once again, the door seemed to be open for Sandberg.  After all, Epstein had nothing to do with choosing Quade over him.

Instead, Epstein made a Cubs decision.  Before even interviewing Sandberg, Epstein dismissed him as a candidate, preferring someone with "managerial or coaching experience at the major league level."  Good decision.  At this point, the rumored front-runners for the Cubs job are legendary household names such as Mike Maddux, Dale Sveum, and of course, Pete Mackanin.  All this from the man who brought you John Lackey at 5yrs/$82.5 mil and Daisuke Matsuzaka at 6yrs/$52 mil + $51 mil posting fee.  Here's to you, Theo Epstein, for continuing a tradition of Cubs futility.

And to Ryne Sandberg, should you become the Cardinals manager, I hope you win a championship, and then thank the   organization for bringing you what nearly two decades with the Cubs could not... A World Series ring.

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