Before I begin, the Chicago Bears are real damn good.
Thanks to the wonderful work done at Goat Riders of the Apocalypse, there's a transcript of this afternoon's press conference.
And I take back what I said earlier, MacPhail got canned.
Reading through the transcript, this John McDonough fella is sure saying all the right things. Let's cherry-pick some quotes:
"My goal is singular. The purpose of why I have been asked to do this job is for the Cubs to win the World Series. Not win the wild card or win the division or win the pennant, but it's time to win. It's time to win the World Series. And I think we need to reward these tens of millions of fans who have waited for a long time."
"It's pretty simple. Jim Hendry and I have known each other and have worked very closely together and we've been very close from day one. I have great respect for Jim."
"As Dennis said, I think my response to things is to be aggressive. I do know what I don't know. I think I ask very good questions, and I am a results oriented person."
"The greatest fan experience is winning. It's not about marketing. It's not about being creative it's not about bringing people into the ball park or the seventh inning stretch or any of these other things. It's all about winning. Winning is the greatest marketing idea of all time.""
"So, from the standpoint of being aggressive. That is my style. It's important that I listen and I understand parts of the organization that I'm not familiar with and I plan on doing a lot of that in the next few weeks."
"Well, Realistically, you want to go into every season thinking you are going to win the World Series. Our goal is to win the World Series next year and the year after that. I think you have to be careful and realistic, but with the resources we're given and with the decisions that need to be made. I think that the Cubs will win the World Series, and I think the Cubs will win the World Series soon."
"We need to reward these people. These are the greatest fans in the history of sports. We have not won the World Series in 98 years. We have a terriffic General Manager in Jim Hendry. Jim will get all the resources that he needs. It's time to win."
"If you're talking about the farm system, my philosophy, and this is again a guy that hasn't spent any time overseeing a baseball operation, is that championship teams are built from the ground up. You have to have a fertile farm system. You have to draft well, you have to develp the players you draft. and You have to see them on a Major League field, and then build around that. That's the important part of any successful organization."
Who knows what this will ultimately mean for the Cubs, but how can't you get excited after hearing that? And by aggressive I hope they mean, whatever players we target in free agency, we will not rest till they're wearing Cubbie blue.
And doing a bit of reading between the lines, I find it interesting that Jim Hendry came through pretty much scot free. Not only is he keeping his job, he gets a bit of praise from McDonough. Makes one wonder if McPhail vetoed some moves over the last few years that some others in the organization disagreed with, in particularly high-priced free agents. Taking it a step further, we know MacPhail is buddies with the MLB power-that-be as he's helping negotiate the new CBA this year. Throw in his past with the low market Twins and the baseball family he comes from, I think it's a solid guess that he's against handing out obscene free agent contracts as he probably thinks they're bad for baseball. I just wonder if there was some friction there among the front office folk. Just speculation on my part and I doubt it was the ultimate reason for his demise, but let's say I could see that being part of the equation.
The 2006-2007 off-season couldn't have started any better.