Theo Epstein expects a World Series out of Chicago's North Side. But not necessarily in the first year and not because of one person.
"We're going to have to grind our way to the top, and we must do so together," Epstein said Tuesday after Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts introduced him as the team's new president of baseball operations.
Cubs fans recently have held up the former Boston Red Sox GM wunderkind as the key to ending the team's losing streak. Even Ricketts couldn't be more excited about Epstein's potential.
"When my family introduced ourselves as the new owners of the Chicago Cubs almost two years ago, we stated our No. 1 goal was winning a World Series Championship," Ricketts said Tuesday in an email to season ticket holders. "Today, we took another big step toward that goal."
But Epstein sought to temper that enthusiasm Tuesday, reminding reporters that a World Series win takes the effort of staff, players and fans. Still, he aims to focus on scouting, player development and a culture change in the front office to create sustained success.
"To me, baseball is best of all when you win, and that is ultimately why I'm here today," Epstein said.
Changes are on the horizon for Cubs staff, Epstein said, but he was mum on a manager change. He said he looks forward to sitting down with Mike Quade and sharing their respective team vision. From there, the team will decide where to go, he said.
Negotiations between the Red Sox and Cubs took days of back-and-forth talks after Epstein reportedly agreed to a five-year deal with the Cubs worth more than $15 million nearly two weeks ago.
Even after the deal was done, no financial details were released, and baseball commissioner Bud Selig gave the teams until Nov. 1 to agree on compensation for Epstein. If not, Selig said he would intervene.
Ricketts said he's prepared to give Epstein the resources necessary to win.
"In his new role, Theo will be given the resources and opportunity to build a strong foundation and the winning culture that our organization and fans deserve," Ricketts said in an email.
Reports have said San Diego GM Jed Hoyer is expected to leave the Padres to become the Cubs' general manager, but questions remain about who -- Ryne Sandberg, perhaps? -- will be hired as manager.
It's too soon to tell if Epstein can bring the Cubs to a World Series, but one thing's for sure: The North Side team is under new management.
"It truly feels great to be a Cub today," Epstein said.
"As a fan I'm truly excited for the future of this team," Ricketts said, "but now i'ts time to go to work."
|One-on-One With Epstein|