Theo Epstein already had a special place in baseball history when he turned the Boston Red Sox into a World Champion. But Epstein went all next level with it last night, not only punching his ticket to Cooperstown, but they may as well just waive the waiting period and let the dude in right now. This cat is now right in the middle of snapping two of the most famous droughts in all of sports, hell in the history of the world.
And when baseball fans look back — especially as this thing sets up for an epic Chicago run — they’ll think back to these words from Cubs owner Tom Rickets five years ago.
Because Epstein delivered on that and more. And he has this team set up to be a new Evil Empire, a young Cubs nucleus that could turn these lovable losers into another dynasty.
Because you look at that lineup and nobody, who matters, is going anywhere. Because Fowler, Schwarber, Bryant, Rizzo, Russell and Baez sure look a helluva lot like Bernie, Jeets, Jorge, and Paully Throw in a starting staff and the cash to go fill some holes in the bullpen and a young farm system that’s turning out studs and spending in the international market, and this thing is built for the long haul.
Theo has some perks. He can go drop 184 million on a right fielder who turned into a pinch runner / motivational speaker and get away with it. He can gamble on a guy like Chapman — risking his clubhouse chemistry — because if it doesn’t work, ownership has his back and he can just throw more money at something that will.. And that’s what makes him so dangerous. And not, they didn’t buy that world championship. Sure, money helps. A lot. And it nearly impossible to win big without it, but having doesn’t guarantee jack.
He’s not just a numbers guy, or a or a moneyballer. He’s a who is beloved by players, trusted by ownership, revered by his staff. And he’s a guy who was probably like a million other baseball fans last night — hanging on every pitch, yelling at the baggy friends who were lighting up his cell phone as he’s living and dying on every pitch.
And he’s going to now do what a whole lot of people in Chicago already started doing. GET HAMMERED.
“I told Jed (general manager Jed Hoyer) he’s in charge for the next month. I’m going on a bender. He’s Al Haig — wake me up at the winter meetings.”
Do it, Theo. You deserve it.