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I don’t apologize for the relative delay in today’s Theo update – I am not one to post things just to post things, and if there wasn’t anything to say, I wasn’t going to say anything. Of course, after a certain amount of time – and after yesterday’s hoopla about what would be happening today – an update is necessary, even if there isn’t much to say. And, I guess there’s at least a little to say.

  • Well, I violated my own, newly-established rule yesterday. No, not as a writer, but as a fan. The rule? Don’t believe anything about anything with respect to a Theo Epstein deal until the press conference is announced by the Cubs. But when both Dave Kaplan and Bruce Levine – the only two locals who’ve had a decent beat on this thing – say the deal is basically done and a press conference is happening, it’s hard to obey that rule. As things stand, a press conference is looking unlikely today, and the next open day is Tuesday.
  • So, what happened? Obviously Levine and Kaplan were getting their info from the same source, and that source was either overly optimistic, or openly full of shit. Other local media members are speculating that the source is none other than Cubs’ President Crane Kenney (which would certainly explain why Kaplan and Levine are typically among the first to defend Kenney, while the rest of the media abhors him for reasons that remain obscured to peons like us).
  • Kaplan provided an update just a few minutes ago, saying the “parameters” of a deal remain in place, and things are still “on track,” but because Red Sox brass are still taking things personally, they won’t finalize the deal until they’re good and ready. Though Kaplan doesn’t say it, that sounds to me like they are still holding out hope for a little more scratch. About the scratch – the compensation – Kaplan doesn’t know anything more today than he did yesterday. A deal could be finalized at any time.
  • Speaking of the other Chicago media, this issue has raised a bit of a divide between Paul Sullivan and Gordon Wittenmyer, who blame yesterday’s “leak” by Kaplan and Levine for the delay in the deal. Wittenmyer goes so far as drop this bomb: “Amid breathless tweeting and over-reaching blog posts by some Chicago media, the Cubs finished Thursday a lot like they started it: waiting for a compensation deal that has been inevitable for more than a week to get done in time to announce Theo Epstein’s hiring as the team’s baseball boss Friday.” Careful boys, this cat’s got nails.
  • The Boston media, on the other hand, is doing a great job of living into its own stereotypes. Nick Cafardo is shilling for Boston brass (“A source close to Epstein said he is prepared for whatever the outcome is. If the sides can’t agree on compensation, he would return to Boston’s front office. From the Cubs’ perspective, it would be difficult to sell anyone other than Epstein as their savior after he has been built up so much.”), and Pete Abraham is taking shots at Epstein on the way out (“You have to hand it to Theo Epstein. He has spent approximately $450 million over the last three seasons without a playoff win to show for it and got the Cubs to give him a five-year deal with $18.5 million. That’s impressive.”).
  • As I noted last night, Bud Selig has admitted he may have to get involved to force a settlement. I remain of the belief that Selig would be on the Cubs’ side (in this instance). If big market teams can start hoarding young, up-and-coming front office talent, and then demanding huge returns when other (small market, for example) teams come calling with a promotion offer, the league loses parity. Bud don’t like that.
  • As for the San Diego piece of this business, it still looks good for Jed Hoyer to join the Cubs as GM eventually, but it’s pretty clear the Epstein compensation fight is holding things up. No one has reported why – technically, Tom Ricketts could just interview and hire Hoyer – but my guess is, for reasons not perfectly clear, “interviewing” and “hiring” Hoyer is Epstein’s job. Hoyer is sticking to “no comment,” and Josh Byrnes – the man who would replace him in the GM seat in San Diego – says, “hopefully we’ll know soon.” So, we wait.
  • I also noted last night that at least one report said San Diego would be receiving compensation for the Cubs’ purloining Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod. That report is picking up steam, and the prevailing opinion is that (a) the Padres will get a couple of low-level minor leaguers (which, by the way, as a tip to the mainstream media: “low-level” doesn’t mean that the kids aren’t excellent prospects – some of the Cubs’ best prospects are currently at High A or lower), and (b) there won’t be a fight about it. Still – I’m gun shy, even if San Diego does-not-equal Boston.
  • Mike F

    I was asleep and can now end my hinger strike, I couldn’t believe when I read it on the Tribune. Best possible end to a ridiculous situation. Congratulations to Tom Ricketts and now the mud bath from the media begins along wit the hard work.

  • NL_Cubs

    I LOVE THIS MOVE. Theo as PBO and Hoyer as GM. Put a bow on it Cubs Nation!  I can hardly wait for the presser at Wrigley on Tuesday!

  • Shawn

    ESPNNews reporting it is likely Epstein and Cherington who will decide the compensation.

    • casualcubsfan

      Basically bud Chewed some butts to get this out of the news

  • LouCub

    Thank God this is over!!!! I was getting depressed!!!! Go Cubs!!!!

  • MrCub73

    What an awesome deal!!! We start with Hendry fired a few months ago, since three outstanding baseball people in so far. Who knows what all moves Theo is going to make, but I am excited about the Cubs again!!!!

  • Derek

    St. Louis just shuddered

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Great!!! Glad it’s over!!!!!

  • Lou

    Watching the documentary on Pearl Jam and found out the news now, thank god. Red Sox will be a hated team from NOW ON!

  • Fishin Phil

    Somebody should wake up Brett.  You would think the sound of rejoicing in the streets would be enough to get him out of bed.

  • Katie

    Oh yes, Dark Overlord Bud definitely had a hand in this. Enough is enough! Can’t wait to see Theo with a blue cap on. Jed is just the icing on the cake. I remember having a conversation with one of my coworkers a little over a year ago about my wish list for the Cubs. You know, the kind of shit we wish for but we know will never happen: great pitching (CC), great manager (like that prick La Russa), and great GM (like Theo). I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Now, my wish for Theo is not to get his panties on too tight and read too much in the press, especially given the number of hacks in Chicago. Cubs fans need to chill the hell out and give this thing time. What’s another year or two after all the bs we’ve suffered through? For once I would like it if Chicago wasn’t the place where great baseball careers went to die.

    I might actually hit the convention this year!

    • Fishin Phil

      ”  Cubs fans need to chill the hell out and give this thing time”

      Absolutely right Katie.  It will take a few years to straighten this mess out, but once they do… with the resources and a clear vision from the top, there is no reason they can not dominate the NL Central for many years.

      Thank you Mr. Ricketts!

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Wish I lived in Chicago right about now, thinkin a trip to Wrigley is due next year!

  • Polar Bear

    I, like pretty much all Cubs fans, am extremely grateful that this has happened. Now, they can focus on the (new) manager and who they will target as possible FAs. This was my “dream” move for the Cubs and I applaud Ricketts for the manner in which he conducted himself and stuck to his guns. When he knew Theo was available, he exhausted every angle to make it happen. That’s not something we Cubs fans are used to seeing. So now, welcome to Chicago, Mr. Epstein. A small piece of advice…don’t listen to all the hot air that comes from some of these so-called reporters that will be hinged to every move you make waiting for you to fail. There is a reason why its called the “Windy City”. Buckle up Cubs fan…it just got really interesting!!!

    Special thanks to you Brett! You kept us all going and grinded through this process with exceptional professionalism. Even when being a Cubs fan doesn’t always allow for it.

    • MrCub73

      Regarding the new manager, I have seen so much speculation regarding Sandberg, but does Mike Maddux’s name every come up as a potential manager? Not just with the Cubs, but any team? Mike seems to be very in tune with the game and has done a very good job with the Rangers. I know he was not the pitcher Greg was, but he seems like a relatively unknown guy who might be a very good manager candidate.

      • Polar Bear

        I just believe that with the rebuilding of this team and the fact that he has the prior experience of dealing with the”kids”, Sandberg is the best fit in my eyes. Not that someone else couldn’t do it. But, the town won’t turn on him if it takes 2-3 years to turn things around.

        Just for you Bret…SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I think I feel better now.

      • Lou

        Yes, or Davey Martinez (former Cub) for that matter.

  • KB

    ACE, WAKE UP!

    Well, I was holding out hope for this whole thing to fall through, so that we could hire my favorite “possible GM target” (Friedman). But let’s face it, Theo/Hoyer?…this is a gigantic positive step for the Cubs, for Ricketts, and for us fans.

    Just a great move.

  • Fishin Phil

    Oh, I almost forgot:

     

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

  • Cliffy

    Just a public tip of the cap to Brett for his great coverage regarding Theo watch 2011. Much more work to be done but we’re off to a great start.

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