Chicago Cubs: 3 Reasons They Need Theo Epstein as General Manager
The Chicago Cubs have been sputtering for ages. They've signed exciting power/speed players like Alfonso Soriano, imported Japanese greats like Kosuke Fukudome and even brought back stars of old like Kerry Wood.
Dusty Baker has burnt out young superstars and Moises Alou has chastised fans. They've seen it all in Wrigleyville.
But they still haven't seen the World Series since 1945. Forget winning one.
The Northsiders need a game changer. Theo Epstein is their man.
Chi-town needs some good publicity right now. After ESPN's airing of Catching Hell, Chicago has been doing just that. The media has torn the city apart for their appalling reaction to Steve Bartman's completely human reaction to a foul ball.
Simply put, they need a hug. "Trading" for the GM that broke the curse in Beantown would brush all other news aside and bring a positive vibe to Cubs baseball. After all, Theo has dealt with the Boston media without issue; one can see him doing the same in the Windy City.
He's got two rings that say: "Sit down, shut up and do as I say." At least for a little bit.
It's pretty clear that the Cubs' current roster is not going to get the job done. Especially their pitching.
The Chicago staff ranked third-to-last in the NL in ERA and converted fewer than two-thirds of their save opportunities.
It's tough to win games that way when your lineup is only average. Top it off with a non-existent run game and a National League worst .978 fielding percentage and it's not hard to see why they finished fifth in the NL Central with 71 wins.
Epstein has had practice in building championship rosters in a high-expectation city. Just this past season he was able to bring Padre superstar Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox. Throw in other names such as David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre and clearly Epstein knows how to bring in the talent necessary for winning.
Obviously a World Series appearance may convince St. Louis to pay him, but if not, it certainly can't hurt to have Epstein in your corner when trying to sign the game's best player.
Act Like You've Been There Before
The number one reason the Chicago Cubs need Theo Epstein: He's done it before. Who better to break the curse than the guy that brought two titles to Beantown?
No, Chicago doesn't have the same payroll as Boston, but they're working with more than Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh. Theo will have plenty of cash to unleash his sabermetric system on the Cubs organization and compete right away.
Not to mention, as tough as the NL Central may be, it's not the AL East; we're not talking about bringing the Orioles to the promised land. One or two key moves and an attitude adjustment will work wonders in the 2012 season.
Last but not least, there's some incentive for Theo to succeed. He could be the GM behind breaking baseball's two biggest curses. He would be a instant legend.
How's that for some motivation?