What Theo Epstein Means to Chicago

Theo Epstein's official Chicago entrance guarantees the Cubs will be run by modern adults

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Oct. 12, 2011: Boston Red Sox GM has reportedly reached five-year, multi-million dollar deal with the Chicago Cubs. (Published Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011)

    "C'mon people don't you look so down, y'know the Rain Man is coming to town."

    While Jim Morrison was probably referencing something else and no one has ever called Theo Epstein the Rain Man, that's how I feel today. I know some people, due to the dragged-out nature of the negotiations and the over-coverage, have slightly soured on Theo's hiring, but it is a day Cubs fans should rejoice.

    Because it's not just Theo. A true baseball think-tank is coming here.

    Jed Hoyer is no dummy and was in charge during that brief hiatus when Theo was wearing a gorilla suit. In that time, Hoyer brought Josh Beckett to Boston. There's going to be a true baseball operations department at Clark and Addison now.

    Theo Epstein Spotted at Wrigley

    [CHI] Theo Epstein Spotted at Wrigley
    The new Cubs president arrived at the shrine. (Published Monday, Oct 24, 2011)

    Does this guarantee a Cubs World Series? Of course it doesn't. Getting to the Series these days takes far too much luck and good fortune to guarantee that.

    Even Theo's two champions would have no rings if Dave Roberts was a fraction of a second late to second base or if the Indians didn't melt down 3-1 in 2007. Baseball's postseason doesn't have much to do with who the best team is since the number of games is such a low percentage of the number of games teams spend proving who was best in the 162.

    What is guaranteed is the Cubs will be run by modern adults. Adults who know what bandwidth and OPS and WARP mean. This is how things are done these days. It means the Cubs will almost certainly draft well. It means that holes will be plugged from within regularly. It's been so long since the Cubs had even three homegrown products in their everyday lineup.

    It also means the Cubs probably will occasionally make the bad free agent signing, and people need to stop harping on that. Every big market team makes mistakes when they have the money to do so. The Yankees have AJ Burnett and Rafael Soriano. The Mets have ... the Mets. The Angels have Vernon Wells. The White Sox have Alex Rios and Adam Dunn. No one is perfect in this scenario.

    It's a big step, just not the final one. The Cubs will be a real organization now. It starts today. It has a better chance of ending where we've all dreamed than it has in 100-plus years. But only a chance. In the uncertainty is the excitement.