It’s been a crazy adventure for Theo Epstein since joining the Chicago Cubs. After bringing a title to Boston, another storied franchise that had been in a title drought, the expectations were high. ARE high. But Theo and the Cubs front office have continued to pitch one thing.
After 106 years of no championships, it’s hard to imagine fans being able to swallow that. Some have, some have not. But over the last few weeks, more and more are starting to jump on and understand why they needed to be patient. The young Cubs are beginning to make their way to Chicago, and it’s injecting excitement not only into Cubs Nation, but within the organization, and on the field.
From day one, the plan was to rebuild from within. To restock the system with talented position players who could wow at the plate. I’d say for he and general manager Jed Hoyer, that’s mission accomplished.
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So many new faces have made their way in, including Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks, Arismendy Alcantara, and now Jorge Soler. These have been the standout names, but several others have given us a glimpse of the depth and talent the Cubs front-office is building. And Theo thinks it’s time for people to start paying attention.
"“We’re going to be must-see TV,” Epstein said in an interview with Barry Rozner and Matt Abbatacola on 670 The Score on Thursday morning."
One of the biggest reasons for the optimism is payroll. The Cubs, with such a young team, have some great deals on the books. And with the new TV deal coming soon, the Cubs patience and their finances may be coming into perfect alignment.
Epstein has stressed building from within from the start, and then using free agent money to fill in the gaps. Clearly pitching in on the forefront, and the Cubs have tested the waters a bit by putting a waiver claim in for Cole Hamels prior to the trade deadline. A deal never materialized, and the Phillies pulled Hamels back. But it’s a sign Epstein is confident the Cubs are about to turn that proverbial corner.
I won’t make any insane promises about what’s to come the rest of this year. But to me, this already is must-see TV. Next year may be a “Breaking Bad” sort of addiction.