When Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein makes a public statement in regards to the state of the Cubs, it should be marked as National Holiday. Mainly because Epstein and the new regime of executives in the Cubs’ farm system operate with a code of secrecy. Information that is leaked or released to the media, generally is information that Epstein is trying to get to the public without having to say it himself. For that reason, lets stop highlighting Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler as the media punching bag, and take a look at what Epstein had to say about not only the Cubs but the direction of the farm system.
Hope you caught our piece in the paper and online today about the Cubs not “quitting” this year. I’ve been around a few teams that have. Team president Theo Epstein made an on-field appearance today, and I asked him about the “no quit” in the Cubs.
“For a team that’s where we are in the standings, this has been one of the best clubhouses I’ve been around,” Theo said. “They show up to play every day. They’re prepared. They work hard. Chicago’s Inside Pitch
There is something to be said for the notion that the Cubs have not quit on the 2012 season. Despite every indication being given that the focus for this season was on the farm system and turning short term assets into long term assets, the 25 men in the Cubs’ clubhouse have shown up to play every day. Yes, the Cubs have had their fair share of clunkers this season, but the team does not look like the previous teams that were led by former manager Mike Quade. Towards the end of 2011 season, it was clear that the Cubs team had lost their motivation to play. Whatever baseball insight–if any–that Quade was trying to share to the team was falling on depth ears. For that reason, it is encouraging to see that manager Dale Sveum has this team embracing each game with a fresh outlook.
“It was a pretty good year overall,” he said. “The lower levels had a lot of cause for excitement, especially at Boise. It was fun at the end of the year to look out on the field, and you literally had a prospect at every position, which is really rare from the minor leagues.”
“That was the youngest team in the league, and it came within four outs of proving they were the best team in the league. A lot of good things happened down there.”
That is the reason why Epstein’s first season as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations should be considered a success. Not only did Epstein improve the culture for the Major League team–which should not go overlooked–but he successfully began his renovation of the Cubs’ farm system. Whether it be Almora, Daniel Vogelbach or Jeimer Candelario, as Epstein said, the Cubs were able to produce a prospect at every position this season for the Boise Hawks. Look at the prospects that are going to be a part of the Red Sox next season and likely propel them back into contention, those are prospects that were drafted and developed by Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod.
Epstein may not say much in public, but when he does, he is the most interesting man in the world.