Theo Epstein's Success Depends on the Chicago Cubs Becoming the Yankees

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMarch 26, 2012

ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 27:  General manager Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox celebrates in the locker room with the Championship trophy after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in game four of the World Series on October 27, 2004 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What's the first thing you think about when you think of the Chicago Cubs—"lovable losers?" Theo Epstein was brought in to change that way of thinking, but for his tenure here to really be successful, the Cubs need to be thought of as the New York Yankees of the National League.

When you think of the Yankees, you think of championships. All told, they've won the World Series 27 times, far more than the St. Louis Cardinals, who come in second with 11. They have 40 American League pennants.

Since 1995, the Yankees have made the playoffs 16 times, failing to make the postseason only in 2008. They won five World Series in that time, along with appearing in two others. They also played in two league championship series and won their division 12 times. 

As a Cubs fan, isn't that what should be expected from your team moving forward? Shouldn't the goal be to strive to be the best, and not just compete in the division, which was the teams' mantra for so many years?

It may sound greedy when they haven't won the series since 1908 or even appeared in it since 1945, but is anyone going to be happy with just one?

The Chicago White Sox had almost as long a drought as the Cubs, not winning since 1917. Everything went right for them in 2005, but you're not hearing too many happy Sox fans in Chicago these days.

They're glad the manager who led them there, Ozzie Guillen, is gone, and they're not too happy with the guy who built the team, Kenny Williams.

Winning once only lasts so long.

Millions of Cubs fans will rejoice like there's no tomorrow when that magical season happens, but if they don't get back there, the thought will turn to, "What have you done for me lately?"

This idea came to me while listening to sports radio and hearing someone say that the Cubs wouldn't be turning into the Yankees. My immediate reaction was, "Why not?"

It's not like the Cubs have to compete with the Yankees to get to the series. Who's the dynasty in the National League?

You can say their division rival Cardinals. They have won 18 pennants and 11 World Series titles. They have appeared in the postseason eight times since 2000.

The Cards have played in the World Series three times, winning two. They also played in the league championship series three times during that span, and finished first in the division six times.  

But shouldn't the Cardinals reign be over? Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols are both gone. They lost one of the best managers and best players in the history of the game.

Is there any other dominant team in the league?

The Cubs are still at least a few years away from becoming a contender, but with Theo and the crew running the show, shouldn't expectations be that they're in the playoffs every year, along with bringing home a few titles in the process?

They may not have Yankee money to spend, but there's no excuse for them to be outspent by anyone in the NL, and certainly not by anyone in their division.

They spent money before, but now that they have someone with a plan who won't just throw foolish dollars out there but spend it wisely, are my expectations too high?

Would one championship satisfy the masses, even if the team sinks back into mediocrity afterwards?

Shouldn't Cub fans expect a little bit more, especially after waiting so long?

Isn't it time our thoughts turn to Cubs' playoff baseball every October instead of Halloween?

That's not such a scary thought, is it?