By In Baseball



From SportsWorld:

Which leads back to the question of how much Theo Epstein is enjoying the ride. He says that he is enjoying it, but he says it without his voice raising even a little. He tells a cool little story. Every day, he walks back to home after games – he lives fairly close to the park.

“There’s a difference from three or four years ago,” he says. “First of all, I did not have that much company walking back with me then. But it felt like part of the ‘Walking Dead’ walking back. There was no energy coming from the game, from the park. It was all about, ‘What are we doing next?’ And that was painful. That was tough, seeing all those long faces. People did recognize me and they gave lots of advice or they questioned what we were doing.

“Now, walking back, you feel like you’re part of a party on the sidewalk. People are floating home from the ballpark, really happy. You walk back and you’re walking with a Bryant jersey or Rizzo jersey or Schwarber jersey. It’s a collective experience.”

Front Row Seat: Theo and the Cubs

14 Responses to Theo-logy

  1. MikeN says:

    If the Cubs win the World Series, does Theo make the Hall of Fame?

  2. Dave says:

    As I lifelong Red Sox fan who lived through the incredible Theo years, I could not be happier for the Cubs. Great city, great fan base, great history…you would be hard pressed to find a group of fans anywhere who deserve a champion more. I wish them the best. And I will absolutely be rooting for them.

  3. Wilbur says:

    I only wish my father was alive to witness this resurrection. His favorite player was Stan Hack, the best player on their last penannt-winning team.
    We both suffered through several decades of miserable baseball and late-season collapses. This group seems to be doing it the right way.

  4. Carl Berndash Omniart says:

    The Cubs are my first love, but I divorced them six years ago when I moved to Seattle and became a Mariner’s fan. (Nice timing, huh.) I am happy to see the Cubs execute an intelligent rebuild.


    The narrative of the Chicago Cubs has always been too easy to write. They’re lovable losers, yes, but they have rarely been hopeless. In my lifetime, the Pirates went 20 years without a winning record. The Royals, as you well know, went without a winning record 18 out of 19 years. And more than the win-loss records, those teams for so long never looked like they were on the path to rebuilding. Those teams were hopeless.

    In my lifetime, the Cubs have had up and down stretches. Good times in the 80s, bad times in the 90s, good times in the 00s. In my lifetime, they’ve had the best record in the National League three times (1984, 1989, 2008). They’ve had Hall of Famers like Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, and Greg Maddux. They’ve had Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa and Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano. They had Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game. They had Derrick Lee’s 2005 season.

    They are one of the most popular teams in one of the largest cities. Teams like Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and Tampa Bay would kill to have the financial resources that the Cubs have.

    I know, I know. 1908 and the hundred some years of not winning a World Series. 1945 and Wrigley Field never appearing in the World Series on color tv. And the losses in 1984 and 2003 hurt bad. There is bad luck here. There is a gripping narrative.

    Winning the World Series is a challenge for any team, but, narrative aside, the Cubs are not a special challenge. They should be one of the dominant teams in the National League, and it’s nice to see some good management actually using resources wisely.

  5. Perry says:

    “He loves this team. He came out on the road with us to four games, and it seemed like we won every one of them on a walk-off hit.”

    A team that can win walkoff games on the road — now THAT’S a team.

  6. Gesge says:

    I think I speak for all of Cardinal Nation when I say we’re looking forward to watching our team crush these dreams.

    Assuming the Cubs don’t get bounced in the Selig Game, of course.

    • MikeN says:

      Do I have it right that two of the top 3 teams will face off in the play-in game?

      • Perry says:

        Two of the three teams with best records, yes — but since the divisions play vastly different schedules, you can’t really say they’re the top teams.

        • MikeN says:

          And then the winner of that game will play the top team?

        • Stephen says:

          In this regard–it’s interesting to look up the Pirates’ and Cubs’ records this year against the Mets, Dodgers, and Giants, the other NL three teams outside the Central with any realistic shot at the playoffs.

          They’re a combined 30 wins and 7 losses against these teams.

          I know, I know, small sample size and all that…

          Another way to look at it: the Pirates and Cubs are a combined 34-30 against the bottom dwellers in the Central, the Brewers and the Reds; they are 26-14 against the bottom dwellers in the East (ATL, MIA, and PHIL). Again, may mean nothing at all, but the implication is that if the Pirates and Cubs had gotten to play the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies 18-19 times each instead of the Reds and Brewers, their records might be even more impressive than they actually are.

        • MikeN says:

          Sure you can, unless you are implying that the Reds and Brewers are unusually weak and feeding wins to the other teams.

  7. wordyduke says:

    The labors of Hercules, H. W. Longfellow, Theo inside and out, the Cubs job in perspective. Thanks, Joe.

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