Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs
Position: General Manager/President of Baseball Operations
Hometown: New York, NY
College: Yale undergrad, U of San Diego Law School
Elise’s Nursing Assessment:
With the Cubs hitting their 100th loss this season, the 3rd time in franchise history and the first time since 1966, Theo Epstein is back under the spotlight as this forgetful season comes to an end and fan’s off-season questions begin.
With 12 months under his belt as the new Cub’s GM, Epstein has had a rough first year in the drivers seat. No one expected the Cubs to be above .500 this season, but hitting 100 losses wasn’t on the radar either. As Epstein and Cubs executives continue to tell Cubs fans to be be patient and to expect at least 2-3 years before the club will be competitive, it’s difficult for Cubs fans to fathom another season like the one we just endured.
Epstein was successful in turning around the Boston Red Sox within 2 seasons of arriving as the youngest GM in MLB history, helping take them to a World Series and breaking the curse of the Bambino. But with a Cubs roster full of young, unproven talent, it would be foolish to think that the Cubs will be in a position to even make the playoffs for at least another 2 years.
RECOMMENDED PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE OFF-SEASON:
- Keep preaching patience. Cubs fans are a patient group. They’ve waited 104 years since the last World Series title, what’s another 6 months going to do?
- Continue to focus on player development in the off-season: So the Ian Stewart project didn’t pan out this season, but with talent like Rizzo, Castro and Castillo to build around and veterans like Soriano, the other young undeveloped players will have role models and help.
- Pick up a solid veteran pitcher in free agency: By trading away half your rotation this year at the MLB deadline, only Samardzija and Garza remain as reliable starters. Brining in a veteran pitcher to anchor the rotation and provide leadership to the young arms can only help.
- Continue to beef up the farm system: We saw this year how effective calling up a solid player like Rizzo can be. With young unproven talent you’ll be relying on your farm team to pump in fresh blood throughout the season.
- Work the PR machine: show up at a Bears game with your beautiful wife; bring your 5-year old son Jack to a Bulls game and sit court-side. Cubs fans are more forgiving when they can relate to the guy who is manning the ship.