Today, something significantly awesome happened for the Chicago Cubs, even if it’s not something you’re going to be able to see on the field, in the minor league box scores, or on the transaction wire.
Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod declined the San Diego Padres’ offer to interview him for their open general manager position.
While we all had the right attitude throughout this process – yes, it would suck to lose such an important dude in the front office, but if this was his time to shine and get a shot, then good for him – I think, given that he removed himself from consideration, it’s OK for us to celebrate a little:
Consider that San Diego is McLeod’s hometown. Consider that GM jobs are rare, and few open in any given year. Consider that everyone knows McLeod is a rock star who has a bright future. Consider that, if McLeod had any qualms whatsoever about what could happen in Chicago in the coming years, this was his chance to get out.
And he chose to stay.
That’s just so super-duper-duper. Sure, maybe he got a nice raise out of the process, but, for me, that doesn’t negate the implications of McLeod’s decision one bit. Not only do the Cubs get to keep one of the brightest executives in the game in a critical organizational role, we get the message from McLeod: Seriously, folks, things are going very well in Cubsville, and I’m not going anywhere right now, because I don’t want to miss what’s coming.
Then, to make it even more squeal-worthy, McLeod put into words the very things that were tacitly communicated by his actions.
“Obviously, I’m very humbled and flattered that the Padres were interested,” McLeod told reporters today, per the Tribune, ESPN, and Sun-Times, among others. “It’s my hometown team. It’s always been kind of a dream job of mine. But as I got to reflect on it, this is where I want to be right now. We’ve got so many good things going on right now. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this. I just really believe in the vision and direction. I really want to be here when we win.”
You’ll have to excuse me for a moment while I pass out from joy.
McLeod went on to say that he understands GM jobs are hard to come by, and he hopes to have the chance down the road. But he wants to win with the Cubs first. He complimented Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, as well as the Ricketts Family, and said he believes in what everyone is doing.
Jed Hoyer expressed “mild surprise” at McLeod’s decision, but he was obviously “thrilled.” You can read the media accounts above for more of Hoyer’s thoughts on McLeod staying, and how much he believes it says about the Cubs’ future. Those quotes will make you swoon all over again.
Cubs fans are a bit starved for good news and positive signals these days. So let yourself enjoy this one, because it’s both of those things in spades.