President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and current Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum have made their intentions for the 2013 Cubs very clear:
They’re are going for glory this season. Every game, every play and every out that’s made will be with a winning mentality. Epstein spoke about his commitment to success:
It’s postseason or bust every year. That’s what our goal is. That said, we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can expect to get into the postseason every year.
No doubt that the Cubs’ will be considered underdogs in the NL central this season. Even with the revised wild card rules which allow for two teams to play off for a post season birth, the Cubs will likely have to play some seriously good baseball on a consistent basis to make the post season. Epstein doesn’t see any issue with being an underdog:
Behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made. But as far as 2013, you can define it as a success or failure by whether we make the postseason, and ultimately whether we win the World Series. But absolutely. There are stories every year about teams that don’t necessarily look like the favorites on paper that find their way playing meaningful games in September, playing into October, playing into deep October. Baltimore, Oakland last year, they are great inspirations for teams in our position.
What Epstein is saying is exactly what any good GM would say. He instills confidence in his team and never changes the expectations based on the team’s perceived skill on paper. Do I subscribe to what he’s saying? Not entirely, but it’s impossible to fully discredit the Cubs from a playoff spot before any team takes the field.
I believe as much as anyone the Cubs will win the World Series in the next 5 years, maybe even more than once – but to say that the Cubs have a strong chance of making the playoff this season seems a foolish statement.
Dale Sveum isn’t scared of making his team work hard either, stating that being a .500 team this season is “unacceptable”. He firmly believes that this younger lineup has the tools to make it work this season:
The one thing you hate doing is saying .500 will be good, because it’s not good. It’s not 101 losses, but .500 isn’t getting you to the playoffs. Just getting in the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.
Sveum also is also fully subscribed to Epstein style baseball and praises the front office for their off season acquisitions.
If we don’t get Edwin Jackson, we miss out and still have $54 million in the bank. Going in to the offseason, we did a very nice job for the dollars we had- an incredible job, as far as I’m concerned.
This is where the new brass and bench staff truly shine. Their commitment to winning is obvious and they’re not afraid to make it public. Theo Epstein had the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series after only 2 seasons at the helm, but considering the Boston system was in much better shape when he was hired, it seems a repeat with the Cubs is unlikely.
Don’t lose faith, Cubs fans. These statements are bold but it’s exactly what we want to hear coming from the leaders.