It appears to be becoming a Friday thing; some Chicago Cubs general manager search bullets for your consumption…
- Theo Epstein is catching a great deal of flack for his Red Sox’s September crumble, which – assuming you don’t also think he’s an incompetent boob – could be great news for the Cubs. You can literally Google “Blame Theo Epstein,” and the number of articles doing just that in the last week is incredible. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan absolutely excoriates Epstein for, among other things, leaving the Sawx without adequate pitching depth.
- SI’s Jon Paul “George Ringo” Morosi does the same, and adds this bit at the end of his piece:
Meanwhile, the Cubs’ search for a new GM is playing the role of Oz in this late-season Rays-Red Sox drama — unseen but always there. Epstein is viewed as a possibility, along with Tampa Bay’s Andrew Friedman, and there would probably be a 50/50 split within the industry as to which of them is better.
Epstein has been associated with more bad contracts, but that’s not really a fair comparison. We’ll never know if Friedman would have made some of the same signings, because his payroll didn’t allow him to consider those possibilities. (Big-market GMs have an inherently harder job than small-market GMs, who are able to say, “Sorry. Can’t do it. Too expensive.”)
At the same time, there’s no denying that Friedman has developed more top-end pitching than Epstein. That is why the Rays still have a chance. So maybe Epstein and Friedman should put a gentlemen’s bet on the wild-card race.
Winner goes to the playoffs. Loser takes over the Cubs.
- Ken Rosenthal says Epstein might explore an opportunity with the Cubs regardless of his team’s struggles, depending on how much power the Cubs would give him.
- Jon Heyman says he’s hearing that the Cubs are indeed taking their time with the GM search so that they can have a crack at the big guys like Epstein, Andrew Friedman, Brian Cashman, and Billy Beane after their teams’ seasons end. Heyman also listed Ned Colletti among them, but it stuck out so embarrassingly badly that I tried to save Heyman the shame and embarrassment by glossing over it. Oh. Wait. Oops.
- Phil Rogers dotes on Andrew Friedman as a possible Cubs’ GM. Drools even.
- Bruce Levine had his weekly chat, and discussed a bit about the Cubs’ GM search. He thinks the Epstein-Cashman-Friedman triumvirate is at the top of the Cubs’ list, but doesn’t think the Cubs can land any of them. If not one of those three, he’s guess one of Rick Hahn, Ben Cherington, Mark Shapiro and Billy Beane.