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theo epstein about thatNotre Dame fans have to be squirming: it’s being reported that Brian Kelly is taking a second meeting with the Eagles. It was fair to figure that he was just leveraging for a little bit more money from Notre Dame (his “dream job”), but now you’ve gotta wonder.

  • Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein participated yesterday at the Hot Stove Cool Music charity event in Boston, the proceeds of which benefit the foundation he started with his brother. He spoke at a roundtable with Ben Cherington, Buck Showalter, and Peter Gammons, and obviously, being in Boston, the focus was fairly Red Sox heavy. Further, because the write-ups so far all come out of Boston, we might not get too many detailed quotes on the Cubs. A couple that have been written up focus on Epstein’s comments that he doesn’t want the Cubs to be seen as lovable losers after this season, and everyone wants to win as soon as possible. He also said that the Cubs are hoping to upgrade their facilities (indeed), and that having mutual trust with your players is important.
  • More Theo from Vine Line, which has an interview with him in this month’s edition of the magazine. You can see a snippet of the interview at the Vine Line blog, and here’s the piece that caught my eye: “One thing to keep in mind, in previous years, the payroll had been artificially high, where there was sort of a habit of signing players like Carlos Peña and deferring a lot of the money into future years’ payrolls. Last year, for example, we were paying a lot of Carlos Peña’s money, even though he was playing for the Rays. And when [the Cubs] signed draft picks a lot of times, a good portion of that money was pushed off into future years’ budgets. Next year, we’re going to be paying for drafts from a year or so ago. So we’re really trying not to continue that practice.” Those aren’t huge chunks of money being deferred – for Pena, it was $5 million, and for draft picks it couldn’t have been much more than that in total – but it all adds up. There is a financial advantage to deferring payments when done thoughtfully (taking advantage of inflation, or of anticipated down years in expenditures), but I’ll agree with Epstein that it isn’t a great idea to make it an annual practice.
  • It sounds like Theo Epstein played the role of matchmaker between the Red Sox and Ryan Dempster, as he was asked about Dempster’s character by the Sawx, and was asked about playing in Boston by Dempster.
  • Carrie Muskat does her inbox thing, and of particular note is her response when asked about the lack of an official Carlos Villanueva signing. Carrie pointed to the full 40-man roster, and said the lack of the signing is “most likely” due to the need to first open up a roster spot. Obviously we’ve known that that was one of two primary possible explanations (the other being a hold-up with his physical (either indicating a problem, or just a logistical issue)), but Carrie’s obviously got a slight view to these things, so I’ll take her guess as being as good as anyone’s. And, if the 40-man is in fact the hold up, that tells me the Cubs are working on some things behind the scenes with broader implications than merely designating a random player for assignment – because that could happen at any time. If those “things” don’t work out, then they can DFA a guy if they have to.
  • Vine Line with a short profile on Alberto Cabrera, who continues to start in the Dominican Winter League. He’s expected to be a starter at AAA this year after spending last year in the bullpen at various stops.
  • With the Cubs Caravan schedule announcement this week, and the lack of a Peoria stop, a lot of folks were asking me if the Cubs had cancelled the previously-announced (and ticketed) Peoria visit. According to this article, that visit is still going to happen, on Wednesday at the Exposition Gardens.
  • Former Cub Milton Bradley is charged with doing some awful things, and I hate even giving him any additional attention.
  • bluekoolaidaholic

    I doubt if anyone is terribly surprised about Milton and his continued unhappy life.

  • Oswego Chris

    Uh-oh…football talk sorry….I would not blame Kelly at all for leaving ND…there is a real good chance he has already reached the apex of what he can do there…

    • King Jeff

      Honestly, after the way he and his staff were completely out-coached in the title game, I didn’t think anyone in the NFL would be interested. It’s really crappy that he came out the day before the title game and said he had no interest in leaving, and then went out and had an interview with the Eagles.

      • Spencer

        Just like Nick Saban with Miami. And Lane Kiffin. It’s really disturbing how little integrity high profile college coaches have. Props to Chip Kelly.

    • willis

      It’s an SEC world. And even if best case, ND continues its success, they will just be embarassed at the end of the year by a far superior SEC team. So if he has a chance to jump, especially to a pretty good organization, he has to take it. He can’t go further at ND than he has this year.

  • ichabod

    saw that the blue jays have signed hank white. hell yeah henry.

  • wilbur

    Deferred payments be they in baseball, your personal budget, or by a government rarely work out well.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It worked for J. Wellington Wimpy.

      • Cas-castro

        I would gladly buy a hamburger today and pay you on Tuesday….classic.

        • Cas-castro

          actually, I think it went: I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today..

          • Cas-castro

            In Wimpy’s case of course, Tuesday never came..

    • Internet Random

      Millions of homeowners and leveraged “buyouters” disagree.

  • Jim

    I realize that Theo spent a lot of time in the Boston organization, but does anyone else find it a bit unsettling that he seems to be spending a lot of time at Boston events, involved in Red Sox business, and hanging with Ben Cherington? Or maybe my love of the Chicago community is the same that he has for Boston …

    • Cas-castro

      Not at all. I’m sure a lot of PBO’s spend time with other PBO’s in other organizaitons at times for newtorking reasons. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we dont know about. They could be close personal friends or could be discussing trade possibilities. I dont think its anything we need to concern ourselves with. If we see a trade with Boston pop up in the coming weeks, this could make total sense. Or it could just be a complete non story.

    • MIkeL

      Jim–

      I was thinking the same thing! It sounds like he is awfully home sick and has a hard time staying away from Boston. I am a little concerned that he is thinking more about the Boston franchise than the Cubs.

      • @cubsfantroy

        I think you guys are reading to much into it.

        • Jim L

          I agree with Troy.

          • arta

            Ditto.

      • Internet Random

        I think he’s acting as a double agent whose true loyalties lie with the Red Sox. Do you?

        • http://Casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          You’re right, he is secretly acquiring players so that in year 5 of his contract he can trade them all back to Boston so when he goes back to work for them he has Rizzo and Castro and Baez and Soler and Almora playing for them.

          I am glad he is such a genius that he can run two organizations.

    • TakingWrigleyToSãoPaulo

      He´s from Boston…

      I live in another country and still go home all the time.

  • ActionJackson

    If you guys would read the top it says it was a charitable event that he started with his brother

  • Crazyhorse

    That is silly- Theo has strong ties to the Boston area. .Acting like a jilted girl or boy friend. is funny. .Some people are private. Some people like the publicity and others attract the limelight.

    What Theo does in his personal life should be off limits his charity work should always be viewed as a positive and his family respected.

    Praise or complain about his performance not his private life.

  • MIkeL

    Calm down.

    I didn’t suggest he was going to quit the cubs and move back to Boston. I am just correctly pointing out that he has been spending a lot of time in Boston and spent a lot of his time talking about the Red Sox.

    Jesus.

  • Crazyhorse

    I never suggested that he would quit the Cubs in that statement . He has family and charity events back east. I guess when he is in Boston the local media will always ask about his opinion about the Redsox and it would be rude not to answer those questions . Since you replied and i answered Why does it bother you? Where Theo spends his personal time. And Why would it upset when other media outlets asks him question about his former team?

    • MikeL

      Can you please tell me where I said “it really bothers me that….” ???

      Once again, I was just simply stated a fact and that yes, it would not be crazy to think he might be a little home sick. That wouldn’t be crazy, since he spent most of his life there and has many friends and family there.

      That is all I was saying.

      Seems like you guys looked waaaaaay too much into the comment and you really wasting time discussing it.

  • Jim L

    re: Brian Kelly, I’ve been an ND fan for 40+ years and while I was happy with how they played this season, it was still hard to get behind Kelly after the Declan Sullivan incident. I hope he goes to the Eagles.

    • frank

      Not to mention the tasteless and poor handling of the case where the young woman committed suicide . . .

  • Paul Popovich rules!

    If Epstein tries to trade Rizzo and Castro for the Red Sox batboy and a 2 pound lobster maybe the tales of him being a secret Red Stockings agent are true.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    It says Theo is there because of a charity event for a charity he and his brother started. I would think the newsworthy event would be if he did not show up.

    regards,
    5412

  • Crazyhorse

    ” I am a little concerned that he is thinking more about the Boston franchise than the Cubs.”
    Next week is the Cubs convention I am sure he will talk lot about the Cubs
    “:but does anyone else find it a bit unsettling.”…………… that he seems to be spending a lot of time at Boston events, involved in Red Sox business, and hanging with Ben Cherington? …

    No i do not find it unsettling and it sound like a jilted boyfriend

  • MikeL

    Crazyhorse –

    Don’t ever puts words in my mouth (or on my fingers) that aren’t mine.

    The second comment you quoted me as saying (“a little unsettling”) wasn’t mine (and you knew that) but Jim’s, thanks for playing. Don’t doctor what I actually said in order to help prove your point, because that can potentially show someone that you lack total class and integrity, thanks.

    Just some friendly advice.

    Now, back to the original comment:

    I did say it concerned me a bit because I am not talking about just one event, I am talking about the fact that he has appeared at several Boston related events and has been talking to many members of the Boston media. In the end, it could be that he spends a lot of his time in the Boston area during the winter and holiday seasons. I really don’t think it is as big of a deal as you are trying to make this, and in the end, who gives a shit???

    • Crazyhorse

      Sorry Mike l you are correct those comment should have been directly under JIm L comments. You have my sincere apology, somehow i got confused with the authors no excuse in that lapse..

      • MikeL

        It is all good. I am apologize for coming off as a bit harsh in my response to that. I just hate it when people put words in people’s mouths, quoting people out of context, or tying a quote to a person who really didn’t say that quote. You were right: I did say “I am a little concerned” which might have been a poor choice of words, but my only purpose was just to simply point out that Theo has been spending a lot of time in Boston. In the end, I would think that Boston will always truly be home to him and he will always be a Red Sox fan. However, I am sure that he is currently 100% committed to building a world championship team on the north side of Chicago.

        • Crazyhorse

          You and I both- i am a very vocal of this front office. but i do respect Theo charity work and i do think his family is off limits unless to give compliments Honestly it is always nice to hear people in leadership giving back to the community.

          Next week we can discuss , debate what Theo says at the convention about the cubs – that is not off limits once again i am sorry to you for confusing the authors and making emotional dumb remarks at the end.

    • Crazyhorse

      What Theo does in his personal life should be off limits his charity work should always be viewed as a positive and his family respected.- crazyhorse is the theme – anybody that complains about the time factor in Boston or when discusses topic about the redsox acts like a jilted girlfriend or boy friend – is how i view both of you in general
      I could care less about your opinion of class and integrity

  • DarthHater

    Brett:

    The site gave me a pop-up ad survey for Summer’s Eve feminine products. Not interested in either the products or the pop-up. FYI.

    ;-)

    • MichiganGoat

      Admit it – you just aren’t as fresh as you use to be ;)

  • Toby

    Brett – good info, thanks for you treasure hunting!

  • DPRagen

    Theo back to Boston? The Cubs have never been that lucky ever!

    • wdcock2

      Personally I like what Theo and Hoyer are doing with the Cubs, but I like to hear other’ s opinions. Would you be willing to state why you dislike what they are doing? Such as signings/draft picks you don’ t like, and players you would have signed/traded for (amount, years, players given up).

      • arta

        they told us what their plan was so i knew year 2 was not going to be good. i’m also a believer in “why not”, lol. 2014 will be the year they should show big improvement. 2014 should be the year we go after top FA pitching. that being said, i wouldn’t be surprised to see this team improve a lot this year. JMO.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          When exactly did they tell you that they planned to not be good in year two?

          • DarthHater

            He didn’t say that they plan to not be good in year 2. He said that, based on the plan, he thinks the Cubs will not be good in year 2. So the appropriate question is: What is about the plan that makes it likely the team will not be good this year?

  • gocatsgo2003

    MLBTradeRumors says the Mets are looking for outfielders… Any chance there’s a match for Soriano?

    • arta

      i don’t believe he wants to go anyplace.

  • melrosepad

    Brett or Luke, any chance the Cubs look at someone like Thomas Neal who was just released? He looks like someone who would be a nice upside pickup who could replace LaHair.

  • Sam Rash

    I love that Theo got some revenge on the Red Sox by dumping them with Dumpster.

    • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)

      “Oh yeah, Ryan is a dream to work with…”

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    Some hard facts here.

    - there is no inflation.
    - nobody wants soriano.
    - Bradley was a horrible human being when Henry signed him and is the same person or worse today.
    - no obscure player dumped by another team that has failed his whole baseball life should be signed or even brought up in conversation.
    - Sosa will never be in the hof and houldnt even be allowed in this country.
    - the minor league players that are constantly brought up will most likely all be busts and a player you have never heard of will likely have success with the cubs.
    – no one should say that we’ll sign a bunch of free agents in 2014. The good players don’t hit the free agent market any longer and if one does they go to the high profile winning organizations.
    - after this years debacle posters will start referring to 2015 as the year the cubs will turn it around.

    • Turn Two

      …his name is hendry. Normally i would not mind but you have spent two huge posts explaining why you think he is the reason for the cubs current situation and in both you call him Henry, you should at least know his name.

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