June 11, 2016 |
The Chicago Cubs departed Citizens Bank Park late Wednesday afternoon with the best record in baseball, another bit of evidence that team president Theo Epstein's plan to reinvigorate a sad-sack franchise is working. When Epstein left Boston and arrived in Chicago in October 2011, the Cubs had failed to make the playoffs for three straight seasons and were nine years removed from winning a playoff game. Of course, we all know about that little World Series drought on Chicago's North Side, too. It remains to be seen if Epstein can work the same magic with the Cubs that he performed as a young general manager with the Boston Red Sox, but at the very least he is on the right track.
May 7, 2015 |
CHICAGO - It's not always going to be an oil painting. That's the line Joe Maddon has used since his hire as manager of the Chicago Cubs last October, before the wintry weather made a mess of bleacher reconstruction and various other planned upgrades for 101-year-old Wrigley Field. She's a mess right now, the old girl, with fans forced to use Porta-Pottys and such, but the browned ivy on the walls is beginning to come to life again and with a little imagination, you can see where it's all headed.
April 7, 2015 |
AS THE CUBS were preparing to open the season with a nationally televised game against the Cardinals, the Braves were busy trading the best closer in baseball for a solid but unspectacular pitching prospect and salary relief. We like to talk about rebuilding as if it is something that can be achieved with an instruction manual and some elbow grease. A linear, mechanical process with easily identifiable steps. Yet, as the Phillies prepare to take on the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park on one of the most anticlimactic Opening Days in their history, the Cubs and Braves remind us of just how varied the journey can be. Down in Atlanta, general manager John Hart spent the offseason deconstructing a roster that won 94 games in 2012 and 96 games in 2013 and had won at least 86 games five straight seasons.
February 27, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Last week, Pat Gillick sat in the lobby of Bright House Field and said the "A" word. He did not scoff. He did not swear. He did not speak in tongues or smoke at the ears. The question was simple: What role will advanced data analysis play during the Grover Cleveland era of the Phillies presidency? "Let me put it this way: I think analytics certainly have a place," Gillick said. "I think it is something that should be paid attention to, just like all information.
November 14, 2014 |
PHOENIX - When teams are uncertain whether a player fits into their future plans, or have to make a decision on said player's contract status, their front office evaluates the player and his worth, both to their own team and to others, and then makes a calculated decision they feel best suits the team. Sometimes that means trading a popular pitcher who has served as the face of the franchise. "That's one of the reasons we traded [Jeff] Samardzija when we did," Cubs president Theo Epstein said yesterday.
January 17, 2013 |
THEO EPSTEIN traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford following pressure from Boston Red Sox owners to build a "sexy team," according to a book co-authored by former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Epstein, who left as general manager after the 2011 season to become a Chicago Cubs executive, said Boston owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino made the team's image a priority, according to excerpts released Tuesday by Sports Illustrated . "Francona: The Red Sox Years" is co-written by the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy and is scheduled for publication Jan. 22. "They told us we didn't have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle," Epstein is quoted as saying.
August 17, 2012
Major League Baseball has caught up with another big-time cheater - All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera, who on Wednesday was suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for testosterone. Cabrera, who is in his first season with the Giants, had 51 hits in May, batting .429 with three homers, five triples, seven doubles, and 17 RBIs. For the season, Cabrera is batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big-league career. That is a great improvement from 2011, when he hit .305 with 44 doubles, 18 homers, and 87 RBIs for the Kansas City Royals.
February 28, 2012 |
BOSTON RED SOX manager Bobby Valentine yesterday denied that his clubhouse alcohol ban was a public-relations move, and pitcher Josh Beckett blamed "snitches" for leaking the story about players drinking beer and eating fried chicken during games while the team was plummeting to an unprecedented September collapse. Valentine instituted the ban in response to postseason reports that Red Sox pitchers, including Beckett, hung out in the clubhouse on their off-nights eating and drinking instead of sitting in the dugout with their teammates.
October 28, 2011
Observations, insinuations, ruminations and unvarnished opinions . . . AS THE PHILLIES tiptoe into what promises to be a daunting offseason of adding and subtracting, healing bodies and mending fences, one pervasive fear seems to be gripping the fans. Manager-in-waiting Ryne Sandberg will be managing somebody's big-league ballclub in 2012. And it will not be this one. Many of you immediately concluded that Sandberg was gone the minute former Red Sox child prodigy Theo Epstein was hired to use his big Harvard brain to awaken the Chicago Cubs from 103 years of stony sleep.
October 19, 2011 |
THERE IS still no sign of Theo Epstein in Chicago. It has been more than a week since word leaked that Epstein was headed to Chicago to join the Cubs after 9 years with the Boston Red Sox. It may take even longer for an official announcement. Major League Baseball prohibits major news announcements during the World Series, which kicks off tomorrow in St. Louis as the Cardinals host the Texas Rangers in Game 1. A person familiar with the negotiations has told the Associated Press Epstein agreed to a contract with the Cubs with a year left on his general manager contract in Boston.