Theo Epstein Shows His Class and Other Bullets

Albert Pujols homered three times last night as the Cardinals destroyed the Rangers 16-7 (football scores, alone, will not give your sport the attention it desires, MLB), and he was all too happy to pass credit onto his teammates in interviews after the game.

  • …which was very much unlike his interviews after Game 2. How so? Well, those interviews didn’t happen. After Pujols made a critical error in the 9th inning that led to the Cardinals’ loss, Pujols was a no-show for post-game interviews. He caught a lot of heat for that, so he wasn’t going to miss last night’s post-game interviews, three homers or not. Still, it looks a little … lame.
  • New Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein showed his class as he departed Boston. In a city known for trashing its favorite sons on the way out the door, Epstein took the opposite tack: he placed a full-page ad in this morning’s Boston Globe, thanking the Red Sox for his 10 years there, and expressing pride in all they accomplished together. The first two paragraphs: “It’s been a privilege to be a part of the Red Sox for the last decade and an honor to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated people in baseball. I’m proud of all we accomplished together. Thank you to our ownership group John Henry, Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino and their partners have a commitment to excellence that permeates through all levels of the organization and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity they gave me for their unwavering dedication to winning.”
  • The battle for compensation to the Red Sox raged on for more than a week before MLB put its boot on the two teams’ throats on Friday night and said “just get the Epstein part over with, and decide on compensation later,” so it’s unclear when that compensation will be decided.
  • Theo Epstein, himself, will probably be negotiating it with new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, but, when it comes time to finally announce the agreement, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe is already preparing Red Sox fans for what they might view as a disappointing return. “[Epstein] is leaving for a better job, so the compensation isn’t going to be something outrageous …. In the end, the Red Sox will likely get two or three prospects. Or a prospect and a guy like Jeff Baker. That’s what precedent suggests. The Red Sox will get some potentially helpful players, not a windfall of talent.” If I had to guess, the Cubs will give up a couple top 20 prospects, but no one in the top five.
  • Speaking of prospects and front office change, how about a write-up on the profound redirection of the San Diego Padres’ farm system? Two years ago, before Jed Hoyer took over as GM, the Padres’ system ranked among the bottom handful of systems in all of baseball. Today, with the help of the other guy presumably coming over to the Cubs, assistant GM (and drafting and scouting guru) Jason McLeod, the Padres have a top five system. With the draft and international signings the Cubs had last year, and the resources Hoyer/Epstein/McLeod(/Wilken/Fleita) will have available to them, I’d say it’s a fair bet they can make that kind of turnaround in two years, too.
  • Cubs’ prospect Junior Lake is destroying the Arizona Fall League, which often bodes good things for a prospect’s future – particularly when he’s a slick-fielding, 21-year-old shortstop.
  • Careful on your Lake excitement, though – for at least two reasons. First, this is the first year that Lake is really putting together the offensive side of his game. It could be the beginning, or it could be a fluke. Second, Lake is very much the level/caliber of prospect from which the Red Sox and Padres will probably be choosing their compensation for Epstein and Hoyer, respectively. It’s possible he’s not long for the Cubs’ system.
  • St. Louis columnist Bernie Miklasz spends an entire column – in the middle of a World Series that the Cardinals are leading – talking about the Cubs’ recent moves, and efforts to overtake the Cardinals in the NL Central. Mission accomplished.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

47 responses to “Theo Epstein Shows His Class and Other Bullets”

  1. Roland

    Ha Ha the Tardinals fans are worried.That is really lame they are up 2-1 in the World Series and they are talking about the cubs. This is going to be fun. Now we need Epstein/Hoyer to call out the Cardinals organization at their presser. Now that would be classic. They need to say we hate the Tardinal nation or lame birds and kick this thing into high gear.

  2. hansman1982

    HAHA, what is amazing is that the Cardinals are the Red Sox to our being the Yankees, yet they have 5 times as many championships…good days to be a CUB FAN!!!

    I do like that Theo took the ad out…if I recall Hendry never did the same…

    The beginnings of the Theocracy (hahaha couldn’t resist) just have me feeling a million times better than ever about the team…then again considering the bottom I hit in late June early July its not too difficult to go up.

  3. Cubsklm

    I just heard that the opening of Tuesday’s press conference will be a song by Beyonce:
    She will sing “put a Ring On It”

    All the Cub fans (all the Cub fans)
    All the Cub fans (all the Cub fans)
    All the Cub fans (all the Cub fans)
    All the Cub fans, now put your hands up

    I own this club (club)
    We just broke it up (Up)
    I’m doing my own lil’ thing

    Theo decided to dip (dip)
    And now Redsox wanna trip (trip)
    Cause another brother hired him

    I’m up on him (him)
    Ricketts, he up on me (me)
    Don’t pay Henry any attention

    ‘Cause Cub fans have cried our tears (tears)
    For a hundred good years (years)
    But we can’t stay mad at you

    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Don’t be sad you’ll see that we’re gonna win it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it

    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
    Wha-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Don’t be sad you’ll see that we’re gonna win it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it

    I got sabermetric tips (tips)
    Hoyer on my hips (hips)
    We’re all tighter than my Dereon jeans

    Actin’ up (up)
    Drinkin’ my cup (cup)
    I can care less what your Nation thinks

    I need no permission
    Did I mention?
    Don’t pay Henry any attention

    Cause you had your turn (turn)
    And now you’re gonna learn (learn)
    What it really feels like to miss me

    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it
    Don’t be sad you’ll see that we’re gonna win it
    Cause when you hire Theo, I gonna put a ring on it

  4. tulsa cub fan

    Have the cubs announced what time the presser will be on tuesday?

  5. ACS

    Thank you for the posts about all things cubs!
    In hope that 2012 is the year for this sleeping giant to awake. Pujols could have a tough time in Chicago because of the money he would be making. He could not have a start to the season like he did last year the media and fans would run him out. He should stay in his comfort zone in ST. Louis. Dempster said on raido he thinks this team can turn around quickly without changeing alot of players. He hopes to retire a cub and says he doesnt play for the money just a nice by product of playing the game.

    1. Montellew

      Sounds to me like Dempster has been hittin the same crackpipe that Q has been puffin on!

    2. Art

      Dempster should stop playing GM.

  6. Cliffy

    The Boston media has suggested there is a mini battle taking place as to who will have their press conference last. The 2nd news conference can refute some things said/referenced in the other teams presser.

  7. Cheryl

    Boston would refute things said no matter the order. It probably won’t matter that much. Let’s look to the future and let Boston languish in the past.

  8. LouCub

    @ Cliff, the Cubs and Theo can totally neutralize anything regardless of who goes first by not not even mentioning the RedSox except for maybe Theo thanking them like he did in the paper this AM,,The focus should be on what the Cubs are gonna do not the Red Sox, if they wanna wallow in it, let them look like shit..If the Cubs decide to announce Hoyer and McLeod on Tuesday as well, there won’t be time to even bring that stuff up i’d think,,but some douche like Shittenmeyer might

  9. johnbres2

    Bernie’s column was right on: the Cardinals are the extreme class of the division, and will be hard to overtake in any lasting manner. Nobody talks about their GM, but how do they come up with these Lance Berkman/Allen Craig kind of miracles? And how do they sign people like Matt Holliday? (And why do all players seem to look physically bigger when they are on the Cards for a while? –well, that is another question). The Cardinals are probably the best organization in baseball, in terms of overall efficiency and productivity. They are the Packers of baseball, and our misfortune is that these two teams are our most hated rivals, and the best at what they do.

    1. Montellew

      (And why do all players seem to look physically bigger when they are on the Cards for a while? –well, that is another question). —- Why do you think they hired Mark McGwire as hitting coach? he had all the sources for buying roids! LOL

    2. Kyle

      It’s a lot easier to be the class of the division when some skinny late-round pick magically turns into the greatest hitter of several generations.

      Once that incredibly fluky windfall stops paying dividends, we’ll see how brilliant they are.

  10. Fishin Phil

    “Bernie’s column was right on: the Cardinals are were the extreme class of the division, and will be hard to overtake in any lasting manner. The Cardinals are  were probably the best organization in baseball, in terms of overall efficiency and productivity.”

     

    Had to fix a couple of sentences for you. ;)

  11. Ian Afterbirth

    The sheer smugness of Bernie’s article is stunning.
    I don’t read any St Louis media and all the Cards fans I know here in New England aren’t anywhere near as arrogant.
    No wonder I’m supposed to hate the Cardinals!
    I was too busy hating the Yankees out here.
    “Mission accomplished” has a different meaning for my girlfriend and me.

  12. johnbres2

    Fishin Phil, I hope you are right. Nothing would give us greater joy than to become the class of the Central Division. I hope Ricketts, Epstein, Hoyer et. al. can get it done. It sure is a time to dream (and to have realistic dreams for a change).

  13. Montellew

    I think Dempster has been smokin from the same bag o weed that Q has been puffin on!

  14. Jiujitsu411420

    I don’t think the cardinals organization bothers me as much as their hillbilly,classless,arrogant,fans they have. I live in Springfield,Illinois which is closer to Stl then Chi so unfortunately i’m around lots of those douchebags and it seems like every time they lose you don’t hear a peep and when they win I have tons of annoying text’s on my phone when I wake up. Since their fans are supposed to be so knowledgeable about the game I asked 1 fan what he thinks about Theriot…..his response “oh man that Jason Theriot what a ballplayer bet he’s glad he left the cubs” ….. Nuff said… go get em Jason lol

    1. Zbo

      That “smartest fans in baseball” BS that gets repeated all the time is the most annoying thing to me- I guess because I’ve never really seen a shred of evidence of it. On a related note (i.e., how much the Card fans suck), my wife and I went to a game at Busch a year or two ago and we had gotten seats on StubHub. It turned out, they were in the middle of a bunch of season ticket holders. One Cub fan got thrown out of that section for saying a bad word and we were treated in a fairly hostile manner, especially when we accidentally sat in the wrong seats (compared to the relatively good natured ribbing fans get at Wrigley). Now, I realize it could have gone the other way depending on where we were sitting, but I was actually surprised. We live in Oklahoma and have many students from St Louis and the whole “salt of the Earth/Good People” thing is generally true. Barf on the Turdbirds!

      1. Katie

        Wait a minute! Someone got thrown out of a game for saying a bad word? What is that, daycare? Gimme a freakin break.

      2. Internet Random

        That “smartest fans in baseball” BS that gets repeated all the time . . . .

        I think it’s only Cardinals fans who say that. And maybe Joe Buck… but no one outside of a mental institution would take his word for anything.

        EDIT:  Scratch that.  I just learned that Joe Buck was from St. Louis, so just saying that only Cardinals fans say that suffices.  (Still, no one outside of a mental institution takes him seriously anyway.)

  15. SweetJamesJones

    That article was typical Cardinal arrogance.

    Im going to take the high road on that one though, by saying: what an ugly ass mother fucker.

     

    1. Internet Random

      Im going to take the high road on that one though, by saying: what an ugly ass mother fucker.

      Me too.  Sometimes it feels good just to be the bigger man.

  16. Montellew

    I don’t care what the Cards or their fans say about them being the smartest fans. I have sat at busch stadium and watched a man with a mic and a loudspeaker make fun of cubs fans – trying to interview us as we walk by and prove we didnt even know the number on Lou Piniella’s jersey (that was in 08) – PS: We kicked ass that day! But Cubs fans know something Cardinals fans do not. We know about loyalty – sticking with a team all of our lives win or lose – we do not get fickle and turncoat. We pay attention to every play, and we love it! We live for it even during the offseason. We ALSO know we are the greatest fans – because Steve Goodman said so!!

    Baseball time is here again
    You can catch it all on WGN
    So stamp your feet and clap your hands
    Chicago Cubs have got the greatest fans

    Keep on singing
    Go Cubs Go!
    Go Cubs Go!
    Hey Chicago, what do you say?
    The Cubs are gonna win today

    1 more thing – if you don’t know the entire song – you better learn it! Things are a changin’ in Wrigleyville, and I suspect we’ll be singing it a lot more after the games in the future!!!

    1. SweetJamesJones

      You should have quized that idiot Cardinal asshole with this question: “How many Cardinals pitchers have died in the past decade.”

      That would have shut him up.

      Of course I would fear that I would get shot.

       

  17. Dan0mite

    This opening line blew me away.

    “The St. Louis Cardinals have been so dominant in the NL Central, it looks like the rival Chicago Cubs are hiring two general managers in a desperate attempt to topple their rivals.”

    What is “desperate” about hiring two of the best GMs in the game? I’m not sure if this article is written from a place of arrogance or fear of what the Cubs intend to do.

  18. MrCub73

    I bleed Cubbie blue, but only live 70 miles east of St Louis in the midst of the sea of red.  I have always thought the Cubs Cardinals rivalry to be more civil in this and St Louis area.  Not to say there are not exceptions, but I often have fun conversations with Cardinal fans.  No matter what I want to say, the Cubs have failed to compare or compete with the Cardinals for the most part.  The Cardinals truly have gotten it done.  Every Cardinal fan says, “yeah, Cub fans always say wait till next year”  The fact is,  I cannot argue with facts as the Cubs have not gotten it done.  Now that a new Sheriff is in town, maybe we can sing a different tune about the next 103 years.  Until then, I would look like a fool to go out saying we are World Series bound, I am not one that is going to make any predictions.  I expect it to happen, but to put a number on it would only give us more criticism if it does not happen.  Just don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse.

    Regardless of what the news media was saying a couple days ago, Pujols is a real class act.  I can’t see him leaving St Louis, but I would love to see “Pujols 5″ on the back of a Cubs jersey every game at Wrigley.

     

  19. Montellew

    Pujols may be a class act in some eyes, but my ex-girlfriend used to work for the Peoria Chiefs when they were a cardinal affiliate and Pujols was playing there. She told an entirely different site of him that wasnt exactly friendly. Stuck on himself, refused autographs often, generally wasn’t a nice guy. One can only hope that on a personal level he’s changed a bit since then.

    1. Poppypants Mcgee

      i hope she didnt get pujols in her pujols

    2. MrCub73

      You may be correct!  As writers can portray a person any way they want, so maybe they have just been about building up Pujols in St. Louis.  Can’t say for sure, as I personally don’t know him.  From the stories I have seen and read, he basically became a different person after he met his wife.  In my career I have spent a lot of time around St Louis, every thing you hear is nothing but positives.  I would assume if he were still the same guy, it would have been exposed in St Louis by now.  That city loves the man, maybe its just because what he does on the field, but you just don’t hear the negative.  Either way, I would love to have him batting 3rd or 4th in the Cubs lineup in 2012!!

      1. Cubbie_Blue

        mr cub 73 i agree, i would love number 5 playing for the cubs. only time will tell. im also from southern illinois and can’t stand to hear cards fans run their freaking mouths. they talk their trash and talk their trash, o how karma has a way of finding its way!!! GO CUBS!!!!!

        1. Cubbie_Blue

          Life as a southern illinois cubs fan sucks right about now. i hope the rangers can pull this one out. i hope theo and co can turn this thing around and contend next year, i love my cubs win or lose and just cant wait to kick off the hot stove

          1. hansman1982

            if we contend next year than Theo really is a god amongst mere mortals and they should just rename the HoF to Epstein’s bitches

    3. PFK

      Not sure how that happened since the Peoria Chiefs were never a Cards minor league team.

      1. NyN

        Except from 1996 until 2004 when they were a St. Louis Cardinal’s affiliate

      2. Montelle

        PFK – like Nyn Said – they “WERE” a Cardinals Affiliate. If you still don’t believe us, google it. Here is the history of the Peoria Chiefs:

        Affiliation:St. Louis Cardinals 1953-1956; New York Yankees 1957; California Angels 1984; Chicago Cubs 1985-1994; St. Louis Cardinals 1995-2004; Chicago Cubs 2005-present

        That is from:
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Peoria_Chiefs

        So in fact, they were a Cardinal Affiliate, not once, but originally was a Cardinal affiliate from the beginning of their organization and then later became once again – for TWICE.

        You will also note from that page, that Albert Pujols was their MVP in 2000.

        1. Luke

          He still holds the single record for slugging percentage for Peoria as well.

          Number Two on the list? Would you believe Eric Patterson?

  20. Montellew

    MrCub73, I agree that a lot of time has came and gone since then and also that maybe getting married has changed him. I’m all about looking to the positive and ignoring the past when people grow. As far as him playing for the Cubs – I’d need him to give us a bigger discount than he’s offering St louis though LOL

  21. LouCub

    Pujols is out of the question…Yeah he’s a sure fire HOF ballplayer, but he’s 31 and would command a 5+ year deal, no friggin way…If he was 27 or 28 hell yeah, 32 by Opening Day. a big mistake ala Alfonso but no signing has ever been that bad

  22. Mike F

    I’m not certain I would chase him, but let’s step a moment and consider the situation. Out of the question? I’m not sure. I would have said, out of the question is Ramirez getting a 3 or 4 year deal. So is giving him say 2 years or more likely 3 out of the question, I sure as hell hope so. He’s a moody and often streaky player. He’s a bad example, He’s not much defensively anymore as he worries about the chronic shoulder. His attitude recently has worsened. And I would think here the Alfonso comparison might be more applicable.

    I then look at 1st, I personally don’t won’t to continue to pay Pena 10 M to hit 220 and strike out. Yes he’s a very good defensive 1st basement. But offensively, he’s not clutch, he’s not sound beyond power and I have to believe there are a lot of ways to do better. I guess if you could upgrade your self at 3rd, it might not be as bad. But I don’t think you can have Alfonso in LF, RF as is, and Soto or that half wit Hill behind the plate all hitting 200-240.

    So is Pujlois worth it if you can keep it to say 5 or 6 years? Well that depends. Certainly I would think he lifts his team more than Feilder, who is flakey and overweight. He hits for average, tremendous power and is clutch. I think we have to be careful, he is one of those guys who it would be unfair to compare to Alfonso. Hendry bought on a fluke. He bought without a position, at the height of the coming of a head of steroids, and he overpaid. The reaction was instant around baseball as to his sanity. I think you’ll find, whether the Yankees or whoever when Pujlois gets paid no one will question people’s sanity.

    I could see Epstein making a real effort for him. He’s got some talent in the pen, he’s got Garza, and he’s got a guy in Castro that has some talent. But Castro today is not a a guy that can carry a team. So he’s going to have fine some bridges, to take them from here to say 2013/2014, all the time hoping the cards fall into place to compete now. But when you look at the cubs system, let’s be honest, that big bat, that big arm are a long way away and will be a work in progress. Me personally, I would rather see them sign the Boston closer who is a fa, and try to add a LF say like Crawford. I think Crawford in the right place with the right manager has 5 tool talent and will for a lot of his contract. But my only point is, I think Theo will want to win now more than any of us have thought, and I think you will hear that tomorrow. I think the first sign of that will come with the ultimate firing of Quaddy,

    I have mixed emotions about Pujlois. He’s a talent and a guy who probably is going to be very good for the next 5 or 6 years, maybe a little longer. But I can’t help but think he’s one of those people who has found a way to cheat on human growth hormones. If that’s untrue, and he’s not a juicer, i don’t know how he’s not a player of interest. I just don’t know about him personally, but won’t be shocked if Theo does. He’s not going to sit on his thumbs for a year, and if he is Mike will be staying. I think you’ll see the surprise for a lot of folks is just how aggressive he will be.

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