Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein opened up a bit today about his team’s atrocious start to the 2012 season, and the message, succinctly, was: chill out, we knew the team was going to struggle, and let’s think big picture.
“You never want to start out poorly,” Epstein told reporters today. “There are a lot of things we can improve upon, and we will. But you also don’t want to read too much into one homestand and one road trip. Certainly crystalize some areas we need to continue to strive to get better at.”
Epstein gave advice to folks who are getting antsy over the Cubs’ 3-10 start.
“You have to view every situation, every move, through the same lenses we discussed this winter,” Epstein said. “What’s going to help us maximize our competitiveness in 2012, and then bigger picture is how to we build a championship caliber organization? That’s going to be a longer term issue. When those two interests butt up against each other we will defer for the long term.”
This “two lenses” theme was offered throughout the offseason, and, indeed, Epstein and Jed Hoyer always noted that the longer-term goals would trump near-term ones. But it’s becoming more and more clear that, well, there really aren’t too many near-term goals anyway.
“There are things we can do, smaller moves that we can make and probably make over the course of this season to try and put together a club that can be more competitive,” Epstein said of the near-term. “We’re also looking for the best long-term interest of the organization. You have to keep the big picture in mind sometimes …. Baseball is best understood from bigger samples and from a distance sometimes.”
In other words, keep reminding yourself: this is a process, and the first step is a long one involving a painful re-jiggering of the roster and the farm system.
Of lesser import, Epstein also shared today via text to Jon Heyman* that he wouldn’t be heading to Fenway Park this weekend for a 100th anniversary celebration there. There were some festivities before the game for which all “uniformed” current and former Red Sox personnel were invited, but Epstein did not get invited to that one (the Red Sox explained the non-vitation by noting that they didn’t invite any other former executives). He got invited to the game tomorrow, but he did not receive his invitation (phone call) until today, apparently after CSNNE noticed Epstein wasn’t on the guest list and asked owner John Henry for comment.
The situation is being given a fair bit of attention, but I don’t see a whole lot there. No other executives were invited to the festivities, and I’d say it’s pretty understandable why the Red Sox would be reluctant to invite Epstein to the game (and why he would decline).
*Theo and Jon have a texting relationship? Very interesting. Cub-related rumors from Mr. Heyman will have to be regarded more closely.