Longtime Cubs executive Theo Epstein is joining the Commissioner’s Office.
The Cubs are currently going through an inevitable change. In mid-November, Theo Epstein announced his resignation, passing his president of baseball operations title to Jed Hoyer. The unfortunate news marked an end of an era during which the team emerged as a powerhouse.
Change is still occurring within the organization and, until now, Epstein’s future was in question. At the time, he had expressed no interest in taking on a similar role. His focus was more on his family given all the time he had to spend away from them.
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Some Chicago fans even wondered if Theo would be interested in working his magic with the NFL’s Bears. Considering how the current Bears front office has managed the team over the years, it wouldn’t have been a terrible idea.
To our (Bears fans’) disappointment, Epstein will not be taking his talents to another professional platform. Instead, the 47-year-old future Hall of Famer has his eyes set on making a league-wide difference by joining the Commissioner’s office.
Rather than focusing all of his time and energy on one team, Epstein will serve as a consultant in regards to on-field matters or rule changes. While Theo’s previous title had him working hands-on with structuring winning teams, his new job is right up his alley.
The man possesses one of the greatest minds in professional baseball history — possibly the best in professional sports history in general. A decision to work within the league is something baseball fans should be excited about.
"“As the game evolves, we all have an interest in ensuring the changes we see on the field make the game as entertaining and action-packed as possible for the fans, while preserving all that makes baseball so special,” Epstein said in a statement. “I look forward to working with interested parties throughout the industry to help us collectively navigate toward the very best version of our game.”"
Last season, Major League Baseball implemented several new rules ahead of the shortened 2020 campaign. Fans and players alike have been on the fence in regards to universal DH, a three-batter minimum for pitchers, extra innings beginning with a runner on second base and seven-frame doubleheaders – many of which will return in 2021.
Thankfully, the Cubs did not lose Epstein to another team. There were plenty of possible suitors for Epstein’s marvelous mind as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies were potential hot spots.
One could hope that Epstein’s move to the Commissioner’s Office will one day lead to him becoming head of the league. Many players and fans have expressed frustration with how current Commissioner Robert Manfred has handled things over the years.
He and the NFL’s Roger Goodell have been labeled as two of the worst commissioners of our time. If anybody is capable of saving the game we love, it’s the man who is responsible for erasing two of the longest championship droughts in sports history.