At the end of each season, Chicago Cubs Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts writes a letter to fans, summing up the state of things from ownership’s perspective, tying back to the season that just passed.
As you would expect, this year’s version applies the expected positive gloss and the appropriate love for Joe Maddon, but also includes some key lines that I think fans should hold onto throughout the offseason.
Here’s the full letter, with emphasis added by me:
In a season full of ups and downs, we are grateful for your incredible, ongoing support. While we enjoyed several exciting wins at Wrigley Field and solid individual performances from many of our players, we struggled to deliver as a team in the moments that mattered most. Falling short of our potential and failing to make the postseason for the first time in five years was extremely disappointing for all of us. We share your desire for change and are committed to building our next championship team.
As we look forward to creating our future success, it is important we also take a moment to honor a vital part of our past five years. I join our staff, players and fans in offering a heartfelt thank you to Joe Maddon. Joe’s leadership and dedication helped ignite one of the greatest eras in Cubs baseball. He guided us to the most postseason victories in our franchise’s history and helped bring the World Series trophy home to Chicago. We are forever grateful for Joe’s immense impact on our organization, fans, and city and wish him continued success and happiness.
As Theo shared during his end-of-season press conference, we are focused on strengthening our roster, defining our team identity and fostering a culture of accountability to help us return to championship-caliber form. Selecting our new manager is just one of the many actions we’ll take. While it’s premature to predict the extent of change, we will be open-minded, thoughtful and thorough as we explore new opportunities and evaluate all levels of our operations to identify areas of improvement. I’m confident our Baseball Operations staff will make the right decisions to maximize our opportunity to win now while also ensuring our long-term success.
Whether we’re working to field a competitive team or preserve Wrigley Field, we keep you at the heart of everything we do. We don’t take your support for granted and will continue to find impactful ways to enhance your experience and provide best-in-class service at our ballpark and Gallagher Way.
While we’re already working to address our challenges, we understand October should be a time for meaningful baseball games not promises of offseason action. We appreciate your faith in our team and look forward to enjoying more division titles and deep postseason runs together. We believe that’s what we’re capable of and what you deserve.
None of this is especially new, relative to what Theo Epstein already said in his season-ending press conference, but the ideas being pushed by the organization heading into the offseason:
- Change is needed (yup)
- And the manager is only one part of that (yup)
- The team did not come through in the biggest spots (yup)
- The team needs more of an identity and more accountability (interesting)
- The organization is going to explore a wide range of possible changes at all levels (yes, please)
- The organization wants to win during this window, but doesn’t want to have to do a full rebuild after that (I dig it)