The Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc. moved into a new era and in the right direction Tuesday as Theo Epstein was officially named President of Baseball Operations.
Tom Ricketts introduced Theo Epstein to the Chicago (and Boston) Media and the Faithful by stating the organization is taking a major step toward creating a culture of winning with the hiring of Theo Epstein. Ricketts said he could not imagine a better person for the job.
Epstein talked about building an organization from the ground up with the goal being to build a consistent winner over time, one that will play consistently in October. Epstein acknowledged it will take a lot of work. There is a gap between where they are and where the Cubs want to be … and one person will not turn the organization around.
Epstein talked about developing a “Cubs Way” of playing baseball throughout the entire organization … just not at the Major League level. The Cubs will have a “Player Development Manual” with the appropriate way to play defense at every position that includes expectations that the Cubs have for players just not defensively but offensively as well. Epstein explained once the foundation is built, players up and down the system would be on the same page as to what the organization expects from them.
The Cubs appear to have a basis for a plan moving forward and how they want to build a winning organization …
Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod
Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are on their way to join Theo Epstein in the new Cubs front office. The hiring of both Hoyer and McLeod has been known for quite some time and should become official no later than Monday according to ESPN Chicago.
Hoyer spent three days in Chicago (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) before reportedly returning to San Diego on Tuesday night. Epstein is expected to name Hoyer the Cubs GM shortly after the completion of the World Series. McLeod will be named assistant general manager shortly after Hoyer’s press conference.
Mike Quade and Managerial Rumors
After Epstein and Hoyer are officially in charge, their first line of business is expected to be Mike Quade and his coaching staff. Epstein said Tuesday that he has spoken to Quade over the phone and is expecting to meet with him over the next week. Epstein said, “We’ll get together and decide where we go from there.”
Most feel that Quade will not return to manage the Cubs.
Bruce Levine mentioned Epstein’s statements regarding the Cubs defensive problems and the bad approach by the Cubs at the plate during the session with the media following the press conference. Levine thought Epstein’s statements were indictments of both Quade and his coaching staff and he doesn’t think Quade will be around much longer.
During the same session with the media, Barry Rozner (Daily Herald and 670 the Score) asked Epstein about Quade’s future. Epstein said that he and Hoyer would decide Quade’s future before he realized Hoyer was not yet the team’s manager.
Rozner got the feeling from Epstein that he would like Hoyer to find his Terry Francona …. Basically a younger manager that can grow with the organization and the GM. Rozner thinks the Cubs are looking to hire a manger that will stick around for more than just three to four years at a time. Rozner thinks there is a one percent chance that Quade remains as the team’s manager.
According to the Sun-Times, “many close to Ryne Sandberg believe he would not rule out a big league coaching job if he doesn’t land a manager job.”
The Blue Jays released a statement Tuesday concerning the John Farrell rumors. The Jays are no longer going to allow permission for teams to speak with their employees about lateral moves. Speculation was that Epstein and Hoyer could be interested in Farrell for the Cubs job due to the Red Sox connection.
Tidbits, Rumors and Other Info
According to Paul Sullivan, Theo Epstein plans on speaking with Carlos Zambrano before deciding on his future with the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs might be players in the free agent market according to the Sun-Times … but not necessarily interested in the big name, high dollar first basemen. Epstein said, “The free agent that requires a long term, substantial commitment – there’s a time and a place for that type of investment. And I think it is important to understand when that right time is.”
According to a report from the Sun-Times, sources have indicated the Cubs have moved their annual organization meetings back to February … a week before pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park.
Theo Epstein Video Links
Audio Link to the entire Theo Epstein Press Conference
Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.
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