Wow. Who would have thought a month ago that the Red Sox would miss the playoff, and that their manager and general manager would leave Boston? I don't think anyone saw that coming.
The template I used was from the Cubs 1999 All Century Team. If Theo does what he's hired to do, he'll earn a place on the All 21st Century Team
And now, Theo Epstein comes to Wrigley Field. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that. Anyone that has crafted a team that won two World Series titles in the past seven seasons must know a thing or two about what he's doing. Right??
He's coming to the Cubs....
...and we have heard this story before.
In the fall of 1981, Dallas Green was hired as general manager. He came from the Phillies, where he led them to their first ever title. Surely he would lead the Cubs to the promised land. "Building a New Tradition" was the theme he launched. Unfortunately, the new tradition wasn't winning a title, it was flopping in the post season. Dallas lasted through the 1987 season.
In September 1994 the Cubs hired Andy McPhail to run the team. He came from the Twins, where he led a small-market team to two World Series titles. Surely he would lead the Cubs to the promised land. If he could win in a small market, winning in Chicago should be a breeze. He stuck around 2006 and all he had to show for his efforts were two post-season disasters. He left town as Andy McFail.
Two proven winners couldn't do it with the Cubs. Can Theo do what all the others couldn't? I sure hope so. One big advantage Epstein has is new ownership. Tom Ricketts is not corporate Tribune Corporation. Despite saying otherwise, I think all the Tribune wanted to do was make big bucks. Profits trumped wins, and as long as fans kept the turn-styles spinning, that was good enough.
Ricketts is a smart businessman. But he's also a fan. He wants to win. Hiring Epstein shows that. Now I hope he disappears into the background and lets Theo do his thing. And then he hopefully will lead the Cubs to the promised land!