Theo Epstein With Further Comments on Sveum Decision, Search Process

cubs theo epstein uh ohFollowing today’s announcement of Dale Sveum’s dismissal as manager of the Chicago Cubs, and the attending statement, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein met with the media answer questions. Among his (paraphrased) thoughts, with links to the Twitters and reaction/commentary:

  • Although Sveum indicated that he was surprised that it had come to this and only two weeks ago (when Epstein made his noncommittal comments to the media) was the first he’d become uneasy, Epstein said that issues had popped up in the first half of the season and there were discussions around the All-Star Break. Epstein also gave Sveum a heads up that he was thinking about a change before he made those comments in Milwaukee two weeks ago. It sounds like, from these comments, as well as the prepared statement, that player development concerns drove the change.
  • Sveum was informed of the final decision last night over a few hours and “a few beers.” I suspect Epstein really does think quite highly of Sveum personally – and maybe even professionally, at another time in another role – and I’m sure none of this was particularly easy.
  • Epstein did not address (at least not in the blurbs I’ve seen so far) whether he feels like the front office made a mistake when hiring Sveum – it was a thorough process – but he did say that the first half of 2013 caught them by surprise (presumably, in terms of player development at the big league level), and he feels very confident that he knows exactly what the organization needs right now. I’m sure that latter part is quite true – after two years and this process, the front office is going to have a very clear picture of the kinds of things they need in a manager. Indeed, Epstein later added that he feels like they’re in a better position now to know what they need in a manager now.
  • The coaching staff has been informed that the new manager will make the coaching decisions, but some of them will receive a strong recommendation from the front office. Epstein mentioned that the staff and the manager have to present a united message, which suggests there may have been some communication problems or “too many cooks in the kitchen” situations going on. Sveum was a former hitting coach, James Rowson was the Cubs’ new hitting coach, and Rob Deer was the Cubs’ new assistant hitting coach. I know nothing beyond what’s said there, but it does make you wonder.
  • Epstein said that the Cubs will, first and foremost, be looking at candidates with managerial experience. Other criteria include track record, overall experience, leadership skills, and expertise developing young talent. That last one figures to be a biggy with a young roster laying ahead of the next manager, and a wave of prospects reaching the big leagues (everyone hopes).
  • The Cubs don’t feel any pressure to hire a “big name” manager, nor should they. Neither is a Cubs background a requirement, but it helps. (Everyone simultaneously screams “Girardi, Girardi, Girardi!” after reading this and the last bullet.)
  • Epstein feels like the talent in the organization, and the strong near-term future of the organization are going to be key selling points in bringing in the next manager. I’d certainly agree that I’d feel much better about becoming the manager of the Cubs today than I would have two years ago. That said, 2014 could be another rough season.
  • Although he’s not opposed to a swift process, Epstein said that the Cubs would like to have the process completed by the GM meetings (usually in early November). Should the Cubs be interested in anyone who is under contract and currently in the playoffs, the Cubs will wait to ask for permission to speak until after that team is eliminated. Obviously the goal is the get the right guy, but the sooner the Cubs can get a manager in place, the sooner they can begin working with him on player development plans, the coaching staff, offseason acquisitions, etc. And, although I know they can juggle many balls, it would also be nice for their total focus to be on the players/prospects at hand as soon as possible, rather than the next manager.

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

280 responses to “Theo Epstein With Further Comments on Sveum Decision, Search Process”

  1. Nate Corbitt

    Do you think they will ask permission to speak with Girardi before his contract is up on October 31, or will they just ride it out until then?

    1. Jason Powers

      I believe they can easily arrange to talk to him. The Yankees could be sticklers, but it won’t help their position if they tell Girardi, “No” in pursuing reasonable talks. If the Yankees haven’t offered a renewal (or they did in, informally, and Girardi, informally, hasn’t taken an action on that), then how much leverage do they have? A month until that contract runs out.

      Guess will see.

      1. Tim Mo

        His contract is until 31 October. Yankee permission will be needed until 1 Nov.

        1. Scotti

          And the Yankees will give it. They don’t want to be stuck looking for a manager after the Cubs potentially take their manager away sometime in November. They want to know asap.

    2. Edward

      I don’t think Girardi’s contract end date plays any sort of role in this. The Yankees are probably talking to him already and will either re-sign him before the week is over or inform him that they will be looking elsewhere. Either way, the situation will be resolved long before November 1st.

      1. Jason Powers

        Which is what I said. They don’t have leverage. And to be sticklers on it won’t keep him in New York.

        1. hansman1982

          I think for Girardi it’s Cubs or a break. I wouldn’t blame him either. The Yankees will be a hot mess next year.

          1. Jason Powers

            Yeah, because:
            1) Their minors are crap
            2) They have to load up on FAs (Cano, et. al.)
            3) A-Rod still will be lurking in the distance – to get the remaining cash he can
            4) Jeter’s retirement option

            Girardi probably thinks he can do better without those hassles, reasons to hate your job. No talent, spoiled FAs, terrible person, and a guy unable to let go. (And might want your job..Jeter.)

      2. Tim Mo

        You are correct but my point was Girardi is under contract until 31 October so the Cubs will need Yankee permission. If the Yankees want to be jerks, they can keep Girardi from talking to other teams until 1 November, it. They won’t and like you said it will be resolved soon.

  2. Kramden

    Player development concerns …. Bingo!

    Shouldn’t Lake have been playing EVERYDAY ?

    Why did Rizzo regress?

    What did that staff do to Castro?

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Lakes probably better in a platoon. Rizzo probably had to somewhat go through what Castro did.

      1. Jay

        Probably should have figured this out back at the All-Star break when if you wanted Sandberg he was still available. Not saying he wouldn’t have told Theo to shove it up his ass, but would have been nice to explore the option. After what we saw from Ryno every step of the way up the ladder in the minors, I’m very confident in his abilities to command respect and develop young talent.

        1. frank

          I don’t think they would’ve hired Sandberg anyway.

          1. MightyBear

            Sandberg would have been perfect for this club. Perfect.

            1. frank

              He may have been–but considering all the talk about how his philosophy of the game differs from that of the front office, I don’t think they would’ve considered him.

        2. ClevelandCubsFan

          They couldn’t talk to Ryno. He was under contract too. And he reupped before he was a FA.

      2. willis

        I don’t believe that. I think he’s better in there every day until he proves otherwise. He was playing very well before the platoon yo-yo began. Lake has as much talent as about anyone in the organization. Dude needs to get the chance to play and prove his worth or fail. Toe dipping in the water is the worst thing you can do with someone like Lake. And the last month-ish that’s what it was.

        1. Pat

          His average was dropping before the days off. They were probably trying to keep him in favorable matchups so his end of season numbers could be pointed to as a reason for optimism for next year. Which is very likely the reason for manager change as well.

          1. cub2014

            if you want too see what lake is capable of you
            continue to start him. why would you sit him to
            preserve his BA? that makes no sense, I believe
            sitting Lake was on the list of the reasons Svuem
            was fired

            1. mjhurdle

              “if you want too see what lake is capable of you
              continue to start him.”

              I remember here in STL, Tony LaRussa received a lot of praise (mostly deserved) for his ability to bring out the most in players by using them situationally at first, and gradually increasing the exposure. Obviously this is not the only way to bring up a young player, but it did serve in a way to keep the player’s confidence up while slowly exposing them to more and more challenges.

              Just my take, but i think they did limit him more towards the end so that he could finish out his strong showing without his numbers dipping greatly as his exposure increased and pitchers learned where to attack him.

              That would serve two things. First, it would help Lake’s confidence heading into the off-season. Second, it made Lake “look” more attractive as a trade piece.
              No clue if im right on that, just how i think it might have happened.

              1. cub2014

                mj I agree if you want to trade him you
                make his numbers look better. But if you
                think he can develop into a starter next
                year in the OF the FO would want to get
                him as many reps as possible. Where as, the
                manager might think he has a better chance
                to win with the lefties against righties, could be
                a contributing factor Svuems dismissal.

            2. Edwin

              If Svuem would have played Lake every day, and Lake does terrible, then fans would just complain that Svuem played Lake too much, that Svuem wore him down and damaged his psyche by letting him continue to fail, and that he shouldn’t have played as much.

              I think the Cubs know what Lake is capable of. Lake has had over 2000 Minor League PA, and 254 Major League PA so far. Another 100-150 PA wouldn’t really change his overall outlook anyways.

              1. cub2014

                But Lake was still hitting very well until
                he started sitting him every other game.

                1. Edwin

                  Was that due to his starting to sit more often, or pitchers figuring out where the holes in Lake’s swing was?

                  Plus, he was “hitting well” for what, one month? One month, even two, is too small of a sample size to accurately project future performance alone. Just look at Brian LaHair.

              2. willis

                I don’t think so. I think fans would say “well, we wanted to see him, we did and he sucked. Maybe a good role player later but definitely not ready for this level.”

                Lake was/is an enigma. Anyone who has paid attention or gone to some minor league games and seen him will agree that he’s insanely talented and very head scratching. Bringing him up would have been so intriguing to fans of this team I don’t think there would have been much backlash if he came up and flopped while playing almost all the time. JMO.

                1. Kyle

                  It’s not *that* headscratching. He’s got a ton of athletic talent but is so-so at hitting the ball.

                  1. gutshot5820

                    Good grief…I guess we should just take Kyles word for it that Lake is not good at hitting and release him now.

        2. ClevelandCubsFan

          “Lake has as much talent as about anyone in the organization.”

          Define “about”…. because there’s ABOUT 25 names I’d put ahead of him on the talented list. ..

          1. willis

            Really? I challenge you to that. There aren’t 5 guys with his tool set let alone 25 guys. I think his talent is behind only the big four on the offensive side of the ball. This is pure opinion by me, but as much as I’ve seen him in person, he just oozes talent.

          2. Bill

            If there are 25 names of prospects better than Lake, currently in the system, then the Cubs will have no trouble being a playoff team in the near future. They will likely have one of the best farm systems every put together. In 236 AB he put together a .332 OBP, and 106 OPS+. The Cubs are in GREAT shape if the system has 25 players with more talent.

  3. Brian

    Really wish someone like Joe Maddon was available. His track record with young players speaks for itself obviously.

    1. Matty V

      I completely agree about Maddon. I think if I could have my pick of any manager today for the Cubs, I’d pick him. I wonder what the compensation would have to be for the Cubs to hire him away from the Rays.

    2. Edward

      Yeah, any chance Cubs could pry him away? Seems like a perfect fit.

      1. X the Cubs Fan

        If he were a “free agent” this off-season I think the Cubs would be all over that.

  4. Craig

    Jed Hoyer should manage since Theo and him are thinking alike. Then Jason McLeod becomes GM. Also even if it costs 5 years/90 million, we need to sign Choo. A .424 OBP at top of order could solve a lot of problems. I don’t think his age will kill his OBP the next several years either.

    1. Jason Powers

      Tall order to expect them to pony that up.

      As I stated yesterday, Ben Zobrist is pretty fair option to pursue. Tampa Rays have 7M club option ($2.5M buyout) to consider. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/z/zobribe01.shtml

      This is a versatile player corner OF, 2B, SS that I’d trade for. Tampa has quite a few of FAs to consider on, plus Price to pony up more money on.

      Just an offense idea.

      1. Edwin

        I think the Rays will pick up that option pretty quick. I wanted Zobrist too, but someone else pointed that out.

        1. Jason Powers

          They are a judicious with finances organization. So, we make the trade for him. We do have some chips they might find appealing, if, for nothing else, their cost management.

    2. Professor Snarks

      I like Hoyer, but GM and Manager require two different skill sets.

    3. MightyBear

      They need somebody to play CF. Shoo’s defense sucks in Center. Ellsbury is the fit, especially if your going to go 5/90.

      1. Jason Powers

        It’s been argued before (I wanted Ellsbury) but his agent, Scott Boras, seems determined to get him around 6/110 (if Hunter Pence can get 5/90, it is not a stretch that Choo and Ellsbury will get some love in that 90-110 million range.)

        Money! Money! Money!

        1. Cubswin

          I’ve heard numerous people say comparing Pence to Ellsbury is apples to oranges because of Ellsbury injury prone history and reliance on speed for a lot of his game.

          1. Jason Powers

            And you think Scott Boras won’t argue against that characterization? (Someone will give him a pretty comparable to Pence contract…because he’s younger, has a better OBP, best base stealer (by % in the AL), and plays plus defense. And Boras will have add more to that argument…)

            Jacoby will be attractive enough in a weak FA class…But we shall see.

      2. Edwin

        What if you stick Choo in LF, though? He and Lake could even platoon LF. If the Cubs can get Choo for a 3 year deal, I’d be happy. But I don’t what kind of deals Choo will get on the market.

    4. YourResidentJag

      He has splits that concern me though. Against a LHP as a LHB his career stats are:

      G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
      523 1128 975 237 46 5 13 85 104 270 .243 .340 .341 .680

      You’ve got to consider this factor when giving someone $100 mil contract.

  5. X the Cubs Fan

    I don’t think the Cubs would’ve fired Svuem without a plan. Whoever they have their eyes on must be pretty good.

  6. MichiganGoat

    So who besides Girardi is out there that matches the managerial experience with a good track record requirements.

    1. Matty V

      If we’re ok giving compensation for someone already under contract, I’d go for Joe Maddon. If we aren’t ok with more compensation drama, I’m not sure who else out there really stands out.

      1. X the Cubs Fan

        I am not completely sure what you give for manager compensation. Money, players, prospects?

        1. Matty V

          In 2002 the Rays gave Seattle Randy Winn to get Lou Piniella as manager. In 2011 the Marlins gave the White Sox a minor leaguer for Ozzie Guillen as manager. In 2012, the Red Sox gave the Blue Jays Mike Aviles for John Ferrell as manager. I’m not sure if any of those examples are helpful for going after someone like Maddon. I would think the Rays would want WAY more than what came back in any of those deals.

          1. X the Cubs Fan

            We’ll give them Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters. (:

            1. davidalanu

              it’s the rays. offer em money.

        2. MichiganGoat

          Any of the above trading for a manager is just like trading for a player, both teams agree to the trade, but typically it happens when one team is done with a manager and other team what him. Ozzie G with Miami was the most recent. It doesn’t happen very often.

          1. hansman1982

            Typically a team has to be sick of their manager. The odds that the Rays part with Maddon are less than the odds I have of breaking Bonds home run record.

            1. Blublud

              And you say my analogies or hyperbole is crazy. I sure under any circumstance, you have less chance of breaking Hank Aaron’s (barry gets no acknowledgement from me) record then Maddon leaving the Rays, even if those chances are slim to none.

          2. X the Cubs Fan

            But seriously, Goat, what do you think it would take?

            1. X the Cubs Fan

              So you’re saying we have a chance?

              1. MichiganGoat

                Oh I’m guessing the Rays would ask for Baez or Bryant.

                1. Blublud

                  I thought a manager doesn’t really matter. Why would the rays expect that much, and why would the Cubs consider it.

                  Also, Maddon is not as valuable as Theo and Theo cost considerably less. There is no way the convo even starts around those 2.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    Geez are you unable to read sarcasm? Of course he’s not worth Baez and the Cubs would never make that move but Maddon is valuable to the Rays so if a team calls of course you ask for something nobody is going to give up.

                    1. Blublud

                      I’m thinking something in the back half of the top 10 that’s not a pitcher. Maybe Vogs.

                2. Scotti

                  They wouldn’t ask for Bryant because they know he can’t be traded until one year after signing his first contract. They’d probably ask for Baez or the Ron Santo statue.

            2. Matty V

              I don’t think the Rays would part with him for any less than a serious player haul. Possibly the same kind of asking price they’d have for David Price.

              1. X the Cubs Fan

                Maybe they would for a few projectable arms like Dillon Maples, Paul Blackburn and Ryan McNeil.

        3. Boogens

          Compensation would only matter if Maddon really wanted to come here. Nothing out there suggests that he would.

  7. Robert

    I would like to have seen Gardenhire but looks like resigned with the Twins this morning.

  8. jmc

    how many wins a year are attributed to the manager?

  9. Jason Powers

    I think the Rolodex (how old am I?) has plenty of names to pursue. Likely, if they have development in mind, they have to know the short list they are looking at prior to the firing.

    And who they think can take 3-4-5 potential future stars (hey, we can dream) and turn that into a reality, quickly.

  10. CeeDeeVee

    I like the idea of Alomar, but can anyone explain why he’s so highly regarded?
    And also, I definately want Girardi as a first choice but a lot of Yankee fans have said that he manages the bullpen very poorly. Anybody know if this is accurate? Or are the fans being whiny as usual?

    1. Jason Powers

      Yeah, he managed them badly.

      As Joe had the best closer in baseball history to fall back on. (Looking at 2009 it looks like he went with the best options that did not give up hits and got strikeouts…http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/2009.shtml#team_pitching::none)

      Fans that whine. Gotta have something to complain about to keep their reason for existence more tolerable.

      1. CeeDeeVee

        Thanks Jason and yea I have wondered what he would do with a pen like the Cubs’ where they’re isn’t a Mariano to rely on.

        1. CeeDeeVee

          There**

          1. Jason Powers

            Just what I can discern. Yeah, having a closer that is that money certainly keeps people from playing Monday morning QB every day of the week.

            He’s not a fool. Knowing what to do, and having the tools to do it with, are 2 different things.

    2. Funn Dave

      I can’t speak to how well Girardi specifically manages his bullpen, but I can confirm that no matter what a manager does with his bullpen, he’s always going to be second-guessed.

      1. CeeDeeVee

        Yea you’re right about that. Also, when a manager leaves his pitcher in too long or takes him out too early.

  11. X the Cubs Fan

    @ESPNChiCubs Theo: “Outside of the city, the story around baseball is the Cubs are coming fast and the Cubs are coming strong.”

    1 hour ago

  12. DocShock8

    My prediction:

    Bob Brenly! (just kidding)

  13. Funn Dave

    In terms of “whether [Epstein] feels like the front office made a mistake when hiring Sveum,” I don’t think that they did. I think they signed Sveum to a three-year contract knowing that was about how long it would take them to assemble a somewhat respectable baseball team, so it wasn’t really necessary for them to have an excellent manager at the time. Now that some of the youngsters have come up, with more on the way next year, it made sense to reevaluate the manager role in light of the upcoming season. It didn’t make sense to spend big $ on a serious managerial candidate at the time; now, it might.

  14. Chris S

    I’d like to see them bring back Dusty Baker..

    **ducks**

  15. MightyBear

    The Cubs next manager – Ozzie Guillen

    Bwahahahahaha!!!

    I almost couldn’t type that with a straight face.

  16. ssckelley

    Theo said that they were going to inquire and start asking for permissions as soon as tomorrow morning. I think they are going after Girardi and I think it gets done quickly.

    1. Scotti

      That and the “not adverse to this getting done quickly” says they have a #1 candidate and, if everything comes together, they’d gladly pull the trigger.

  17. Chris S

    Bobby Valentine might be available?

  18. Yohler

    What ever happened with the possibility of Mike Scioscia being on the hot seat? Is he a possible fit?

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Well he hasn’t been fired (yet) and I don’t think he would really be a fit.

      1. Mike F

        He is an old school situational manager. He is not going to stand for any micro management. You can rest assured he is not on any short list and won’t be.

        1. Scotti

          I would hope that, whomever they go with, the FO does not micro-manage.

  19. Professor Snarks

    “Epstein feels like the talent in the organization, and the strong near-term future of the organization are going to be key selling points in bringing in the next manager.”

    Does this mean Theo isn’t looking to trade our top prospects?

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Not the ones that fit.

  20. Professor Snarks

    When was the last time we could speculate about a new Cubs manager and a government shutdown all in the same day?

  21. Jason

    Bill James will be the next Cubs manager.

    1. Jason Powers

      Could you imagine his people skills with these players (someone would Dibble him before the first month.)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hplZ6-5l6MA

  22. Roggan

    Is there a link to epsteins further comments other than 30 differant hashtag/abbreviation filled Twerts?

    1. Funn Dave

      hahaha

  23. Jdubfla

    Come down to Tampa and watch Madden over manage and over think everything. Without the pitchers he was given this team is nothing. And what young talent has he developed with the bat?. And Jim Hickey is the brains behind the pitching staff. Must win game this weekend he sat His rookie of the year candidate!!! Please look elsewhere for the new guy.

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      I would hope if we got Maddon, Hickey would come with.

  24. mjhurdle

    Is there anyway we could trade for a really good manager and the team he manages as well?
    It seems that most of the time, a manager just happens to get “good” when his roster gets more talented.
    Probably just a coincidence, but just to be sure i think we should trade for the manager’s team too…

    1. Jason Powers

      Hawthorne Effect: One book to investigate on the subject is http://www.amazon.com/BILL-JAMES-GUIDE-BASEBALL-MANAGERS/dp/0684806983

      One theory promoted in it, but not named:
      1) Old manager gets fired because he someway clashes w/players, FO direction, etc.
      2) New guy is “different” from old MGR; players formerly “unhappy” respond to him immediately; he’s seen as change. New players have no reason to hate him yet; so if you turnover the roster, the dynamic is significantly changed – performance improves out of knowledge the Front Office “did something” about it
      3) Team success follows for as long as the talent is there and produces, and the manager does not create too many “new” enemies
      4) A Bad season, or a bad FA fit, or some other such conflict then happens (or ADAPT to the new-now-old manager approaches)
      5) Manager is then axed
      6) Cycle repeats.

      Also known as the Hawthorne Effect…As the players know they are being measured, a change is introduced (in Hawthorne, lighting in plant), and the short-term improvements in productivity.

      So that’s food for thought.

      1. Mike F

        As to the Hawthorne effect, I think people are less rational, and less likely to act in predictable ways than when that landmark study was conducted. Clearly the bang over recent history from firing is less. And as to the cycle, isn’t that pretty much the definition of insanity.

        Clearly they have to look for experience at the Major League level, winning at some level, and a track record with young players. In this instance, probably someone who will let them fiddle. This is likely to be more difficult than most think.

        Then again, the guy at Cubs Den as does Kaplan says it is further along with JG than we think.

        1. Jason Powers

          Well James made that the pathway to gains from managers…

          Billy Martin, for example, would get huge gains out of his initial year at the helm (and he bounced around because of his demons, then Steinbrenner), then players got annoyed, or upper MGMT got peeved, and off he went. He found another gig pretty quickly.

          I THINK it has changed, but still some juice to be squeezed from the “making change”. Interpersonal relationships – that which drives deeper than the “lighting” – do make a difference. People respond to change, and challenges, as opposed to status quo with things that have not produced the desired results.

          I agree people are not rational always. But, people do behave certain ways, given the environments and manipulations. Think about it this way: When you go to Vegas, they’ve created an environment with:
          1) No windows
          2) No clocks
          3) Turn up the sensory overload
          4) So as to make time go by – and you spend money at the tables

          In Jails, the lights never go off (protection and to wear down their jailed subjects.) No comforts. Overcrowded. Water problems. Psychological effects right to the courtroom. Judge stand is much higher – power positioning, above all. Most plead out before the trial – proof of guilt or innocence is rarely the goal. Just take the deal…

          The effect of winning/gaining money rewards the same part of the brain that cocaine stimulates. (Andrew Lo, MIT professor -http://www.argentumlux.org/documents/Lo__2011__-_Fear__Greed__and_the_Financial_Crisis-_A_Cognitive_Neurosciences_Perspective.pdf)

          So, there is a plenty of research, and causation to how to improve performance and take human beings, and enforce certain results.

          NLP is a technique too.

          1. Mike F

            Believe me I understand. A couple of things though. First, manipulation in a lab setting in the sports setting today are probably very limed in terms of what would be tolerated. Second, money more than anything has made it more difficult. Lastly, Theo hasn’t placed nearly enough emphasis on winning. He’s made it seem like it is a distant concept. Castro said something yesterday, that epitomizes the attitude that is too pervasive on the Cubs, something to the effect that he and Rizzo would be the answer when the Cubs start competing in 2 or 3 years. He sees nothing unacceptable in his performance. Theo has started to make him self captain of the country club. Maybe some negative consequences for players would be in order.

            1. Jason Powers

              I mentioned money. Some receive a high from that – its their addiction. (You must know people that are easier to satisfy if you just mention money first…)

              We all have our own SORT order for what is important to us: success, family, respect, monetary gain, legacy, friendships, equality, fairness, personal recognition – all are things we want, just some more than others, prioritizing what we WANT MOST, first.

              Ballplayers are NOT that much different, aside from their long-developed talent to crush a baseball or throw it 95MPH. They have buttons to be pushed. Figure out which ones to push, and adapt accordingly.

              I’ve said too FOR YEARS the Cubs lack a killer instinct. And don’t have guys on the field that would not remotely scare me to face at the plate. (Not every year…but many of them.)

              It’s an interesting study to say what makes an ideal circumstance.

              The stories of teams that won multiple championships with CONFLICT daily in the dugout. At some point, they galvanize based on talent, and directed goals by management, and their competitiveness, but some, are more mano y mano, than team v. team.

              Theo & Jed need first the talent, the manager to fine tune it, then the coalesce of a goal: win the F-ing thing. Fight for it.

              JMHO.

              1. Mike F

                Yes, absolutely, call it killer instinct, call it an undeniable will to win, call it character, its the it factor. It is why so much attention to Castro is so idiotic. He has never displayed the “it”. Ozzie as SS had it, Bowa had it, and Castro just hit .245 and seems many think he got his manager fired and he is very satisfied with his performance. Why would he suddenly develop urgency? He is the face of the organization and apparently no one has had the guts to tell him he isn’t good enough.

                And yes, it is true many of the Yankee teams hated each other and Billy Martin. And the most famous are the dysfunctional A’s. We’ll have to see, Theo has said a lot of incredible things today and we’ll have to see how it all plays out. I think Theo has a lot to be ashamed for including the condition of the roster. Now I think it is time to really adjust the core and that starts with a new core and face, one that doesn’t need to see the wizard for a brain and heart. And yes, that would be trade or de-emphasize Starling Castro. He has failed this year anyway we cut it and they and he need to own it, And I am a Theo guy, but he hasn’t handled Starlin well, he has to make Castro understand his play isn’t good enough.

    2. Brains

      Sabotage the team, defer to the future, find a scapegoat. Theo studied political history well.

      1. DarthHater

        Perhaps Theo has made mistakes that have screwed up the team. But to say that he has sabotaged the team is an immensely stupid remark.

        1. Brains

          You always find the silver snark lining.

  25. Jiujitsu411420

    Tony La Russa ???

    1. X the Cubs Fan

      Would be awesome.

  26. Blublud

    I would love to have Mike Maddux. He was my 1st choice in 2011, and I would love to get him now.

  27. Joker

    Since we are throwing out names, how about:

    1) Mike Scioscia
    2) Matt Williams
    3) Chip Hale (Oakland’s Bench Coach)
    4) Mike Maddux (obviously a preferred candidate but could he be in line to take over the Rangers gig if they let Ron Washington go)
    5) Dave Martinez (Maddon connection, hot candidate last year, former Cub)

    1. MichiganGoat

      The only one on that list withMLB managerial success is Sciosia.

    2. YourResidentJag

      Matt Williams may require a look.

  28. cub2014

    we need to put a winning team together in 2014
    it’s important for many reasons. most importantly
    is for these core young guys

  29. Terry

    Ikeep hearing the name Brad Ausmus come anyone else hear that.

    1. jon

      I think there are many connections between Theo and Ausmus that would make him a likely candidate.

  30. cub2014

    david price pitching tonight. i was wrong last week
    prices velocity is down 2mph from 2012 but only
    1mph from 2011. Getting older so 1-2mph isn’t huge
    in my book, certainly cautionary though.

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