Theo Epstein (Essentially) Rips Jim Hendry and Other Bullets

I’m as impressed by his performance as anyone, but I’ve probably now heard my lifetime quotient of “Kung Fu Panda” and terrible “Pandamonium” puns. Also, how about Barry Zito?

  • Bruce Miles, who consistently “gets it,” once again goes to the trouble of printing Theo Epstein’s full comments on a variety of underreported subjects from his press visit on Tuesday. I gave you the gist yesterday, but it’s good to see his thoughts on Ian Stewart, Chris Volstad, and plate discipline problems in their entirety.
  • On the latter, his comments were borderline excoriating of the prior regime. Why would you not want to print this: “If there was one thing that I was surprised by in a negative way it was how pervasive the lack of plate discipline was in the whole organization, at the major-league level, upper minors, lower minors, draft decision making and protocol. It’s just something that has not been a factor for a long time, and we’re paying the price for that. It’s embedded. It’s institutionalized, so we have to be really, really vigilant in turning that around.” Whew. I mean, Theo just blasted the prior regime for essentially ignoring plate discipline (something we, as fans, have seen and griped about for 10 years). I want to make sure everyone sees that.
  • Part of the reason it’s surprising to hear Theo state this so plainly is that he and Jim Hendry are considered friends (the MLB front office universe is a small town). I’m sure Theo didn’t mean his comments to be a direct rip on Hendry, but let’s be perfectly plain: they were.
  • It sounds like MLB Network’s Dan Plesac is indeed interested in the Cubs’ open color gig. The issue there, though, is that he just signed a new deal with MLBN, and it’s unclear how willing WGN would be to try and buy him out (or how interested Plesac would be in contributing to that buy-out fund). This remains the issue with Rick Sutcliffe, as well, who is under contract with ESPN.
  • Doug Padilla’s review of the 2012 Cubs concludes with the front office, and it goes about as you’d expect: good moves, bad results, long process, and we’ll see what the future looks like.
  • Paul Sullivan does a Q&A, and, to his credit, accepts and prints a question that is designed to do little more than (unfairly) rip him (for not saying enough positive things about Ian Stewart, which, um … ). And then he answered the question without taking a shot back at the reader.
  • If you didn’t have a chance to check out the site’s first podcast (me, together with Sahadev Sharma), here’s your reminder.
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    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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