Chicago Cubs: Top Tricks Up Theo Epstein's Sleeve

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Chicago Cubs: Top Tricks Up Theo Epstein's Sleeve
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Theo Epstein signed a five-year deal but the Cubs want everyone to think they're building for later.

It's a ploy. The Cubs will compete in 2012.

You think Epstein will spend two or three years fielding a loser, when his contract only goes through 2016?

You think Cubs fans are happy rooting for a team that can't contend?

You think fans want to pay top dollar for a team that can't beat Pittsburgh?

Theo is smarter than that.

Who said rebuilding means a team can't compete?

In a big-market town, with big-market resources, you don't just rebuild.

You rebuild and compete.

And Theo knows if the Cubs aren't competitive inside two years, he should have never spent $3.25 million on property in Lakeview.  

Because when Jim Hendry's teams didn't contend, he was on the hot seat. And Epstein gets no break because he's the new guy.

Theo's the new guy because the old guy didn’t win enough games. Welcome to the majors, Mr. Epstein.

Here's the thing, the NL Central isn't stacked with great teams. Albert Pujols already left St. Louis and Prince Fielder isn't going to stay in Milwaukee

The race is so wide open, the Reds believe they've got a chance.

So if you think the Cubs hired Epstein to lose for two or three years, or that he'd be OK with that plan, think again.

Fortunately, the biggest trick up Theo's sleeve is convincing everyone the Cubs are out of contention, lowering expectations and putting a winner on the field anyway.

Here's how.

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