Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Won't!

Rumor has it that Theo Epstein is intrigued by a potential job opening in Chicago as president of the Chicago Cubs.  This is something that was originally reported by Yahoo Sports and then was elaborated on by Buster Olney.  Once Olney picked it up, everyone picked it up.  It's an interesting topic, as college-aged baseball sycophants looking for an internship that will land them in Theo's job by 2045, females, sabermetricians, freelance private investigators, and those who don't think Julio Lugo is a borderline major leaguer are pretty much convinced that Theo Epstein will be in that position forever.  But there are many things, many of which Sean McAdam picked up on Thursday, that would lure him elsewhere. 

Lucchino's probably not going anywhere, as he's made too many enemies to become baseball commissioner.  He's already done all he could do with the Red Sox.  The Cubs job would technically be better than a lateral move.  And according to McAdam, he's a competitive guy (the broken chair incident over Jose Contreras would corroborate this) and rebuilding a franchise without the $170 million to f*** up with (or play with) would be a new challenge.  Of course, on the other hand, going to a non-competitive division like the NL Central would have an opposite effect.  So, as I like to have a little fun on Friday, I have ten reasons Theo Epstein should try his hand in Chicago.  These are, obviously, all with a certain degree of sarcasm, and it's up to you to interpret how much is in each thesis.

1.  There's already a baseline for the worst move he could ever made.  Brock-for-Broglio in 1964, when the Cubs traded Lou Brock to the Cardinals, is considered the worst trade in baseball history.  $36 million for Lugo pales in comparison with this one.
2. Fukudome, Soriano, Derrek Lee, and Big Z are some of the big, underwhelming contracts the Cubs have accomplished in recent years. Without any sarcasm, their prolonged stagnation is not completely unlike the Red Sox in the decade before the boy wonder's arrival.
3.  Theo's great at putting together a bullpen full of guys who can throw strikes.  His contract's up after the 2012 season, so it would be his job to put together the 2013 Cubs.  I heard there's a lefty pitcher from Chicago (actually a White Sox fan) who can throw a mean strike, as evidenced by his first pitch thrown at the All-Star Game.  Somewhere around January 20, 2013, he'll be a free agent.  Upon the signing of Obama, Theo will be the second most irresponsible spender on the squad.
4.  Due to Lebron James's stock taking a hit, John Henry will not be up 20% again this year.  Maybe Ricketts will be.
5.  He sees the writing on the wall, and he knows someone will take the blame on 46 leaving Boston after 2013.  He doesn't want to be that guy.
6.  Chicago has a really patient fan base who enjoys drinking Kool-Aid and listen to Theo whisper sweet sabermetric nothings into their ears.
7.  The Cubs have an uber-talented shortstop in Starlin Castro who could either win an MVP someday or could be traded to the Marlins for an injury-prone starting pitcher and a third baseman who hit .235 in the previous season.
8.  Theo and friends have a good track record with players who have instigated fights and intra-clubhouse drama, such as the Kevin Millar dog-crap incident and the Manny-Youkilis fight.  Carlos Zambrano will be a breeze.
9.  The smaller payroll won't magnify the free-agent blunders that can be hidden in Boston.  They will only magnify how much of a boy wonder Theo is.
10.  A Red Sox World Series and a Cubs World Series on the resume would qualify Epstein to puff out his chest about his own genius without citing mediocre players' OPSes.

4 comments:

Wilesthing said...

"Somewhere around January 20, 2013, he'll be a free agent."

God, I hope so.

Has Chicago pre-ordered pink hats yet? That's when you know the deal is going down like my senior prom date after her second Zima.

the gm at work said...

Wilesthing,

If I didn't hear Damon Amendolara say he was "kicking suckers like [his] name was Alcantara", your "prom date" simile would have been the best I've heard or read all week. Most weeks, you'd win. But an Izzy Alcantara reference will almost always win.

Always good to hear from you, and I'm sure the greater How Youz Doin Baseball comments section community will be encouraged by the fact that you're aligned with our right-leaning political stances.

Anonymous said...

I think in terms of former Presidents I would take George W and his laser right arm over any tall lefty. As Mr. Bush showed in 2001, he can handle the pressure of Yankee Stadium by tossing a pin-point strike to set the stage for Game 3 of that particular WS. You could even nitpick to the point of saying that WS taught us that a power righty (Schilling) is more valuable than a tall lefty (Randy Johnson), although only marginally so.

Obama might be a free agent in 2013, but wouldn't the Cubs have to hand over some compensation? Or is he not going to be a type A FA? Maybe S&P will downgrade that rating, too, before his term is up.

TimC

the gm at work said...

You gotta think the players' union would challenge that downgrade.

By the way, I believe Pat is still without power where he lives right now. Hope everyone survived the hurricane.

While we're on the topic, good for the Red Sox' grounds crew and for everyone involved in getting the whole doubleheader played on Saturday. I cannot and will not fault MLB on the scheduling and stubbornness about getting those games in, because this situation is not as bad as having Oakland come out here at the end of September. This is also something that would not have been relieved by a more balanced schedule. So no fault there.

Also, good for the Red Sox for opening the gates at the end of Game 2. I'm sure a few fools were willing to eat some hot dogs and sit under the grandstands. A revenue booster but still a fan-friendly move.