A sight for sore eyes, that is what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were this past week.
I kind of missed seeing them I must admit. Not because they are ivy league handsome or affable with the media. We all know that already.
It was just a nice reminder that someone is still driving this bus. It came as no surprise that Theo and Jed would reappear during this huge home stand. It wasn’t so much a big home stand baseball wise, whom are we kidding here?
However, it was a big one for the organization for many other reasons. Let us count the ways.
You had the front office executing their first draft here in Chicago, and executing well according to most experts. The Cubs then made a big yet not shocking change at hitting coach to fit their long-term philosophy. Then you sprinkle in the interleague success of the Tigers and Red Sox fans invading Wrigley Field and making the home stand a huge success for the Cubs at the gate.
Top that off with the huge signing of Jorge Soler and the Boston media reunited with their once golden boy Epstein. Finally there are the Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza rumors igniting as the summer fully begins.
There has been much written about Epstein and just how magical he is or isn’t this past week. I’ve personally learned from painful experience there are no magical GM’s or coaches in sports. There are some who have plans and have executed them with success in the past such as Epstein though. Was he perfect? Not even close, but I firmly believe he has learned from his past mistakes and successes.
One of my favs, Jon Greenberg, points out Theo made some big mistakes in Boston and shouldn’t get too comfy in a long rebuilding process in such a big market. There is a lot of truth to that, but Theo knows this isn’t Kansas City.
On the flip side I’ve heard radio shows talking about the Cubs becoming competitive at the end of Theo’s 10-year deal. Seriously people? I have to roll on the floor laughing at that ridiculous notion.
Theo and Jed may not have the secret formula anymore but they do have a proven one. They also have a weapon like Jason McLeod and Tom Rickett’s money at their disposal very soon. There is much money coming off the books soon, and there is about to be an influx of more prospects to the system after they deal Dempster and Garza.
Theo and Jed may not have much to show for in their dealings this far, but the stars are aligning for them to be holding the cards at the right time (deadline). In an expanded playoff hunt there are teams desperate to get back into the playoffs.
That isn’t to mention Garza and Dempster just might be prize #1 and #2 respectively on the pitching market. There are not many things going right on the field these days but how could Ryan Dempster ever pick a better time to have another career year so far?
I don’t doubt for a minute that Theo and Jed will get the return they are looking in return for these two pieces. It seems to be very much in vogue to try and discredit Theo for some of the success he enjoyed in Boston lately and paint him as lucky even.
I’m not buying that for a minute. Once again, I don’t believe in magical front office people.
I do however believe in smart ones.
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