Only die-hard baseball fans would be able to name these three men, yet those who can also recognize that happier days wait for the fans who call Wrigley Field home.
Jason McLeod, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are finally in Chicago, signed, sealed and delivered, making many fans as giddy as 13-year-olds at a Justin Bieber concert.
But the championship banners and pennants should be left furled and packed as this organization is nowhere near becoming a World Series Champion just yet.
While it may not happen next year, a three to five year grace period is all that it may take to turn the Loveable Losers into unstoppable winners.
All that the trio of Epstein, McLeod and Hoyer asks for is patience and the North Side will be rewarded with its first title in 103 years. The following three reasons are why the Power Trio should be trusted and welcomed:
Track record: These are the three saviors who brought not only one championship to the Boston Red Sox but two, in 2004 and back in 2007. Two years after arriving in Boston, Theo Epstein exorcised the so-called “Curse of the Bambino.” Besides the two World Series titles, the three presided over 839 regular season wins, five playoff appearances and 34 playoff victories, all in a 10-year span. Had it not been for the Red Sox spectacular collapse in September, it would have been six playoff appearances.
Drafting and scouting: Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod all believe in traditional scouting of talent combined with the “Sabermetrics” aspect, something the Cubs under old management ignored. They also put much more emphasis on drafting and developing players from within the organization, rather than overspending on yearly free agents, another clear departure from the Jim Hendry era.
Dustin Pedroia, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester were all drafted and developed through this approach, which is why the trio had so much success reaching the playoffs.
Recent champions: Excluding recent champions like the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, to a certain degree, the majority of the teams won because of the drafting and retaining of their own players.
The San Francisco Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox and the Florida Marlins are all teams known for building a champion from within the minor leagues and the MLB draft.
The approach of getting on base any way possible and taking walks is starting to become a signature of teams throughout baseball including Theo’s trio. Sabermetrics isn’t just a trend anymore; it is necessary in order to compete for a world title.
Be prepared for another miserable year of bad baseball, Cub fans, but just know that the horizon is not as bleak as it once was.
– Anthony Garcia, Staff Writer