The Dominos Start to Fall

Late Friday night, Bud Selig apparently had enough of the Cubs and Red Sox distracting from what now appears to be a real good World Series and the two teams sent out press releases saying Theo to the Cubs is official. The issue of compensation still needs to be resolved, with talks picking up after Tuesday's press conference and they have until November 1st before big bad Bud has to settle it for them through a game of RBI baseball.

- Theo stopped by the Cubs' offices today and the press conference is Tuesday at 11AM. On his way out, he fired everyone (well I'm sure he really wanted to).

- Boston Herald has a nice rundown of the Theo years. Here's a good one of Jed Hoyer by Tom Krasovic.

- The Sun-Times has some nice things to say about Randy Bush (and more bad things to say about Crane Kenney). One of those, "thanks for all the info over the years, hope this helps your future job search" articles.

- I wonder how the Theo jerseys will sell.

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Comments

They'd sell better if they said "Theo" on the back instead of Epstein.

Glad to see they picked #12. This means his first order of biz is to trade Soriano to Boston for Lackey and Drew. If they had gone one number up, then it might mean Starlin was a goner.

At least we know Drew will spend most of the year on the DL.

Isn't Drew a free agent?

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2011/10/24/basebal...

But, all in all, he has become a hard listen. Al Michaels*, in explaining the art of broadcasting, said that he sees the game as the music and the announcing as the lyrics. And by that he means that the lyrics need to fit the music, they need to enhance the music, it must blend together. The worst thing an announcer can do is jolt the viewer out of the moment, stop them cold, take them away from the game. McCarver does that to me way too often now. I find myself 20 times a game taken away from the ballgame and wondering if what I just heard was (1) True; (2) True but misleading; (3) Significant in any way.

lol.

Now do Buck!

I despise Joe Buck

I'd rather listen to the Simpsons announce the game than Buck and McCarver. I don't care which Simpsons, either. Homer, O.J., makes no difference to me.

Patty Buck and Selma McCarver?

http://imgs.sfgate.com/blogs/images/sfgate/sf...

With Troy McClure as the field reporter? That would be awesome...

"Now let's bring in Troy McClure who has an update on the Cardinals."

"Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You might remember me from such driver's ed films as "Alice's Adventures Through The Windshield Glass" and "The Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot."

http://insidethepadres.blogspot.com/2011/10/h...

I added this to the post, but a good take on Hoyer.

Above all, he is energetic. If his salary was pegged to hours worked and time spent thinking about baseball and potential trades and signings, the Padres got their salaries' worth. I doubt any other GM will outwork him.

Hoyer showed himself adept at gathering and sifting information from a variety of sources. He struck me as deliberate. He never sounded sentimental when talking about Padres players, a good thing. When talking baseball, he gave vivid examples from both the statistical and the scouting realms. He's a baseball junkie. When he talks about baseball, the effect is that of torrents of information competing for expression.

i now realize someone already posted that link, apologies.

That's really surprising he isn't sentimental about the Padres players, being that he had spent all that time in the organization.

He's a baseball junkie. When he talks about baseball, the effect is that of torrents of information competing for expression.

That ought to describe everybody who works in the development and management aspects of the baseball business.

yep, Drew's contract was 5/70 and ended after the 2011 season.

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2004/12/bost...

So it might take Dice-K (and/or Jenks) and Lackey to dump Soriano's motherload. Theo might do better to look elsewhere.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Trib's article with fascinating video of Theo walking.

The Phillies declined options on Lidge (yawn) and Oswalt today.

Team USA beats Cubs 12-10 in Pan-Am semifinals to advance to Gold Medal Game.

doesn't appear Jackson or Beliveau played...actually Jackson hasn't started in any of the games, foot injury must have been worse than originally implied. He did get one pinch-hit AB vs. Mexico in the game before they played Cuba.

Beliveau pitched 1 scoreless inning vs. Mexico with 2 K's.

they play winner of Mexico vs. Canada for the gold.

"...injury must have been worse than originally implied."

I'm certain I've heard that somewhere before.

Towel Drill'd

Team USA beats Cubs 12-10
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the Cubs last loss before the Theo era begins?

damn keyboard configuration

New Sully article RIPS Crane Kenney, all kinds of stuff in there...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

Kenney wants to be commissioner, refused to give Ricketts the largest office at Wrigley, etc.

I don't care what Kenney's title has been or what his role is supposed to be post-Epstein. The fact is that this crap falls entirely on Ricketts. It's a matter of how long Ricketts wants to put up with Kenney and his act.

The print and broadcast media in this town have had Kenney's number since 2008. It's not a well kept secret that he has been VERY involved in on-field, baseball business despite his supposed role.

I really don't see Epstein putting up with any of Kenney's crap, and he would personally have to get Emanuel to lead $200M of funding to rebuild Wrigley Field for Ricketts to keep him on the payroll.

Personally, I think you could put Kenney and a couple of hand grenades without the pins in the same room, and the worst thing you'd lose is shrapnel. In other words, he is worth less than zero. I would have fired his ass 3 years ago.

Wow! That's pretty harsh, George.

You must really not like Kenney, I am sensing...

3..2...1...

What's taking crunch to long?

i can't believe everyone is caught up into kenney fever without a shred of proof of him effecting the product on the field.

he owned ARZ, but all people care about is that he pisses off sportswriters...some of the same sportswriters people bitch about.

people can pretend he's running things, but it doesn't make it so.

so much has been written about so little without much being said.

---

"Perhaps the biggest blot on Kenney's resume was the "Greek priest" episode of 2008."

oh no! what a f'n criminal! i bet he's the one that signed soriano and broke mark prior and gives ronnie woo free tickets to annoy people so they can be tandem-annoying.

I was gonna say that this dead horse was starting to smell, but actually, after reading that article, I see your point. There are many annoying details but no tales of "baseball" decisions gone wrong thanks to him that I can see.

What he appears to have the power to do is affect the narrative, which stinks, and which is partly Kenney's fault and partly the media's. To wit: If Kenney tries to interfere with Epstein & Co., and causes distraction or annoyance or angst or malaise, I will be really mad. If Sullivan makes it his season-long business to suggest (over and over again) that Kenney is interfering with Epstein & Co. and consequently we are all DOOOOMED, I'm going to be furious.

it helps that kenney is a redsox fan, i guess.

well, he's a cubs fan as long as they employ him. he was busted for being a "fake bleacher fan" back when he was on the board of the trib...stretching the truth of his involvement in going to games and hanging in the bleachers when people couldn't remember him. he didn't even know how much a beer cost at the game.

There are many annoying details but no tales of "baseball" decisions gone wrong thanks to him that I can see.

"...overruling Hendry on more than one occasion because Kenney felt outside pressure to reel in high-priced veterans."

he was prez when they signed Soriano, so even if it was McDonough's idea, he signed off on it against Hendry's advice.

I'd say taking credit for anything baseball related would also not really inspire the folks below you to do their best work.

fwiw, Kaplan and Levine seem to like to defend him, must give them good scooops.

the fact that Ricketts felt the need to reel him in these last 2 seasons says enough about how detrimental he was to the organization. But yet he still has a job, so he must be really good at squeezing money out of folks, or give great blowjobs...maybe both.

who pressures kenney over money? owner(s).

fine, he told the GM he couldn't sign someone because they already had too much money tied up. there is nothing unique about that part of his job to the cubs, kenney, or most any organization that's not the yanks. trade first, sign later...lot of teams have to work under that constraint unless they have something they know they can shift. it makes some of hendry's payroll-relief trades make a little more sense, though...he's shifted guys just to nickle-and-dime a few million some years even when they still had use.

hell, even pinella said in that linked article he barely had to deal with him because he's not involved in baseball operations.

your presumptions stated as facts amuse me to no end.

if all you have is "he signed off on soriano's extra year" you're reaching.

who else would pressure the president over long term contracts and money? seriously?

on the chain of money he's pretty much the first step out of the board room and/or owner(s).

I didn't see the language you quoted in the Trib article linked to above, which is what I was writing about. The quote is from a Ringolsby column that I hadn't seen or read before. It's also unsourced, and it contradicts previous reports/rumors to the effect that it was McDonough who drove the Soriano deal (http://bit.ly/sLQFgg).

And if it goes beyond the Soriano deal, I need to know who Ringolsby is talking about. Fukudome? Bradley? The latter has always been acknowledged as a Hendry deal (as far as I know), and if there were some way to connect it to Kenney I can't imagine the media would pass it up (same goes for Fuku really).

If true, the stories Sullivan tells are upsetting. I still gnash my teeth about the priest incident, all of it. I also consider the source, though. This is the same Sullivan who takes time out of nearly every story he writes to skewer Zambrano somehow, and who dishonestly edited a quote to make the hapless Quade seem like a raving lunatic (the "we might not have a Cy Young winner, but we're pretty good one to five" incident). Funny thing for him to revel in calling Kenney a liar, in light of that.

I just have a feeling I'm being set up here, that however true any of these stories about Kenney might be, the media's point in telling them is just to do another variation on their theme: "Excited, Cubs fans? Happy about a new development? Yeah? Well, DOOOOOOOOOOM. There is always something that will louse it up. Trust us, we know, and we will pick at it all season. Have fun."

so because it contradicts, it's wrong? You don't think it's possible, even likely that him and McDonough decided together(even if McDonough spearheaded it) that they would go against the advice of their baseball people and get the Soriano deal done at all costs.

that being said, I don't know the exact details, this isn't Woodward and Bernstein and there's isn't gonna be a smoking gun, a signed memo or audio files revealed, unless Hendry or some soon-to-be-fired employee decides to sing on the record.

If true, the stories Sullivan tells are upsetting. I still gnash my teeth about the priest incident, all of it. I also consider the source, though. This is the same Sullivan who takes time out of nearly every story he writes to skewer Zambrano somehow,

Sun-Times, WSCR, few national writers as well have been on Kenney, even some of the Boston ones now. Could be the same source or two recycling stories, could be a lot of different sources..we don't know. We do know it keeps coming up.

and let me make this clear, in no way is anyone even insinuating that he is the sole reason for the Cubs mess the last 3 years, just one of the guilty parties and one that does more harm (some) than good(almost none) on the baseball side. He's certainly done enough to draw the ire of quite a few people in the know (not crunch) and to think taking credit for stuff, or representing the baseball side of things when he shouldn't be, and generally impeding and interfering with the baseball folks is all harmless is naive.

"in no way is anyone even insinuating that he is the sole reason for the Cubs mess the last 3 years, just one of the guilty parties and one that does more harm (some) than good(almost none) on the baseball side."

That is the essence of my problem with Kenney. Unless he was the person who got the AZ Complex done, unless he is going to be the man to get public financing for the Wrigley re-do, then why does he still have a job?

Theo and his staff should put a piece of white tape on the floor, and give a security guard instructions to kick Kenney in the balls if he ever crosses over to Theo's side of the offices.

he still has a job because of your 1st paragraph...and why he still has one on owner #3.

he did an awesome job with ARZ, even lobbying the citizens for a tax/bond issue after MLB slapped down a tax he had the government sold on...the ARZ government...sold on a tax... -blink-

the bond and the hotel/bed tax passed...by voters.

I'm sure he has strengths on the business side, Ricketts wouldn't keep him around if he didn't.

It's good he's been reassigned and hopefully he respects that reassignment.

so because it contradicts, it's wrong?
Jeez. C'mon. When you have two conflicting stories, it is difficult to know which is true. There are people who spend their entire careers dealing with this problem. You and I can surmise that it was a joint McDonough/Kenney production, but that doesn't make it true. I'm therefore back where I started: not knowing what the hell happened other than that the Cubs screwed up (again).

I know you're not saying Kenney is Cubs President Evil. I'm not at all saying that Kenney is a delicious cake made of rainbows. I'm not even saying he's tolerable. Nor am I naïve about the heavy burden a disruptive, me-first coworker or superior can be. I just think the on-the-field evidence of his baleful influence is rather thin, and I deeply suspect the media's motives here and all the time.

Bah. All I care about right now is that ultimately Kenney was not an impediment to the Theo hire, about which I remain throughly geeked.

Except that rumors are that his incompetence has been an impediment to the Theo hire...

perhaps, but it ultimately got done, or done enough to give rise to the SINGLE DREAMIEST PRESS CONFERENCE IN CUB HISTORY *swoon*

...so I'm happy enough.

he's not been very involved on field...he's been involved in pissing off sportswriters and bugging others.

he's been very inovolved in ripping off ARZ's local government and is about to do the same in chicago.

so much has been written that calls out his credit taking, credit distracting, and talking too much...NOTHING has been written about him shaping the team.

nothing.

he annoys people...he also rips money from governments and business.

he's on owner #3 and it blows people's minds he's still around...it shouldn't.

Chicago Press Corp vs. Kenney...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHhx_-r6Kmg

but all people care about is that he pisses off sportswriters...some of the same sportswriters people bitch about.
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so he's got that in common with Milton Bradley.

but all people care about is that he pisses off sportswriters...some of the same sportswriters people bitch about.
---
Yoda: The sportswriters, particularly whiny lot are they.

they don't appreciate being fed b/s or half-truths. the upper office don't appreciate kenney being the human-info-leak-machine.

that said, annoying people isn't building a team or signing players. he's busy raising revenue and playing civic government twisting. it seems some fans think he's running around making the cubs roster and holding people back from getting cubs-related things done.

"president" doesn't mean what it used to...we're about to have a president that's really partial-GM and some of his presidential duties shifted to sub-president-whatever. nolan ryan isn't out there trying to talk the state of florida into financing a tax on a new stadium.

Still, you have to give Sullivan credit for at least trying to turn this non-story into his first Pulitzer. Maybe then people won't notice that in three weeks of Epstein rumors and leaks, Sullivan's sources, such as they are, didn't give him a single tip. He should have consulted the priest.

TEX up 3 games to 2...go not-STL.

Let's go Rangers!

*clap* *clap*

Let's go Rangers!

it would be nice to see the Rangers break open the non-alcoholic bubbly on the Busch Stadium turf.

it would be nicer if they broke it over Tony LaRussa's head.

Or Pujols. I really, really hope we get Fielder instead of Pujols both because of age as well I just cannot stand Pujols and do not want to root for him.

fielder also puts a team leader in the clubhouse. i wonder what role k.wood has in the clubhouse since his return besides hardcore respect from pretty much everyone.

byrd is a vocal guy, but he's more of a guy keeping others loose and positive...same for dumpster.

seems dumpster is the closest the team has to a leader right now, though...or at least he's the most vocal about the pulse of the team's feelings outside of the clubhouse.

I think Byrd is a team leader in a pretty similar way to how Todd Walker and Michael Barrett were team leaders. Except Byrd has bigger biceps and he dives more.

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/68842-lackey-v...

well that would explain a lot.

Is it true the douchenozzle Kenney has his own Cubs uniform that he actually wears in the dugout during games? Really?

Yes # 1. I heard it's hanging in office.

In the article it says he goes into dugout to get water bottles during games.

Since he's got a uni, does that mean he can be the PTBNL in the deal for Theo?

Why Theo left Boston (in his own words):

Football legend Bill Walsh used to say that coaches and executives should seek change after 10 years with the same team. The theory is that both the individual and the organization benefit from a change after so much time together. The executive gets rebirth and the energy that comes with a new challenge; the organization gets a fresh perspective, and the chance for true change that comes with new leadership. This idea resonated with me. Although I tried my best to fight it, I couldn’t escape the conclusion that both the Red Sox and I would benefit from a change sometime soon.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_o...

(page 2)...

All of a sudden, we found ourselves needing to pick a new manager, a decision with long-term implications and one best made by someone who could lead the Red Sox baseball operation for the foreseeable future. Then the Cubs asked permission to interview me. The Cubs - with their passionate fans, dedicated ownership, tradition, and World Series drought - represented the ultimate new challenge and the one team I could imagine working for after such a fulfilling Red Sox experience.

Gotta Love controlling the strike zone and grinding at-bats...

The Cubs new vision:

Beyond the results on the field, I believe the (Cubs will) Red Sox came to stand for certain things over the last (next) decade. Pride in the uniform. Appreciation of our history. Controlling the strike zone. Grinding at-bats. Having each other’s backs. Rising to the moment. Never backing down. Connection to the fans. Hard work. Playing with passion and urgency. These concepts were taught in the minor leagues and reinforced at the big-league level by our homegrown players and by Tito, a selfless leader who always put the Red Sox first. These principles united the organization and came to define us.

...but the 12-year-old in me will be rooting for the Red Sox (except, of course, when they play the Cubs in June).

Articulate. Thoughtful. The next decade should be awesome.

Good job Tom Ricketts. Timing counted and although he had been criticized for moving too slowly on the decisions regarding Jim Hendry, this scenario /opportunity could not have opened up without the Red Sox September collapse. TE and Francona would have stayed in Boston one more year had they gone to the playoffs. Just like one of those Star Trek episodes where the timeline changes.

This is going to be really fun. Someone on the radio this morning said as far as baseball management goes, this is not your father's oldsmobile.

Grinding at bats?

That alone is enough to make me happy.

And I agree on the kudos to Ricketts. I also am acquiring enough faith in Ricketts -- based on this big change and the way he adroitly handled the Hendry thing, that I assume he feels Kenney offers something worth keeping. I'm not worried about his influence on the baseball side at this point, not with Epstein around.

Timing counted and although he had been criticized for moving too slowly on the decisions regarding Jim Hendry, this scenario /opportunity could not have opened up without the Red Sox September collapse. TE and Francona would have stayed in Boston one more year had they gone to the playoffs. Just like one of those Star Trek episodes where the timeline changes.

---

I'm pretty sure I saw Q standing in the corner at the press conference.

...and drinking beer in the clubhouse with a bucket of chicken. (speaking of overblown...heh).

i do like how beckett said something along the lines of "yes, it was inappropriate and stupid of us in retrospect, but it ultimately didn't put the game in danger." stupid, yet harmless, imo.

that said, it reflects a little negatively on their ex-manager...perhaps unfairly.

As most everyone else I'm very excited about Theo and company coming in. I was very dissapoined in Rickets and was wondering if he was the right owner. All has been forgiven. He took a business like consevative approach to study and then acted swiftly and brought in a dream team. I will be OK with anything Theo wants to do excpt one thing - Q has to go. If he keeps Q it will be a huge damper on an otheriwse extremely upbeat time.

Let's not fellate him too much too soon. His dream team consists of one president. I'll be more excited when the dream team includes a team that can hit and pitch. I do like what he's done so far, too, though.

as long as we get jason veritek hanging around 3+ years too long i'll be happy. he's like k.hill only with less D and more power...and millions more dollars.

wonder if we can get tim wakefield, too...

Let's not fellate him too much too soon.

That's right! He won't have any motivation then. I know I never get any work done after a good round of fellating.

So true. He's needs that insentive, a bone if you will.

If he wins us a championship, when he strikes up the band, I'll be first in line to play the slobbery blues on his meat whistle.

Johann's Mom'd

Thanks for that CUBSTER.

I think the majority of us here have mostly been on Hendry's ass for seemingly having no "plan" or a system-wide philosophy in which to hang your hat on.

I am looking forward to this changing.

Here here

When my family introduced ourselves as the new owners of the Chicago Cubs almost two years ago, we stated our # 1 goal was winning a World Series Championship.

Today, we took another big step toward that goal by announcing today that Theo Epstein has joined the Chicago Cubs as the new President of Baseball Operations reporting directly to me.

In his new role, Theo will be given the resources and opportunity to build a strong foundation and the winning culture that our organization and fans deserve.

We are energized about our future and hope you're equally excited for the possibilities ahead.

Thank you for your tremendous support this year and I look forward to seeing you in 2012.

All my best,

Tom Ricketts
Chairman, Chicago Cubs

Theo press conference starting on Comcast Sports Net (and I'm sure ESPN News and other outlets for you out of towners). Also, Kaplan just said Theo will be a guest on Chicago Tribune Live tonight at 5:30 (also on CSN).

Or CSN Chicago, which also should have video tonight of Theo's appearance on CTL.

http://www.csnchicago.com/

Crane Kenny... seriously... wth is he all about?

himself and an overblown sense of self-importance to the organization.

plus, he's really good at talking government/business into giving up stuff.

"We're gonna have to grind our way to the top, together"

Watching the presser.

Plus a half hour of off-camera stuff where talent didn't know that stream was going out hahaha!

CSN JUST CUT OFF!

BACK

Going to work on "Paralell Fronts" with minors from the ground up, while also addressing the MLB club.

Will set the tone in the front office, and winning culture message will be carried forth at every level.

Understanding that "winning is the most important thing".

Can't remember any GM of the Cubs stating this...

A player development manual?

I think he said "scouting manual" and a "how to play" manual... seems like pretty obvious ideas in retrospect.

Ah, my bad- yep, that sounds great. I wonder if the on-the-field baseball personnel would just roll their eyes at such a thing...

"I wonder if the on-the-field baseball personnel would just roll their eyes at such a thing..."

Some of them probably would. They could go work for the Royals.

The best thing about a manual is that it would be uniform. You don't have guys telling you to do one thing in A ball, then a different set of things in high A the next year. Then when you get to the majors you already know what the expectations are, and you know, in theory, what you're supposed to do.

The question, from WSCR's David Schuester, was how will he seek to improve the NL's worst defense (actually, he stated the number of errors - I am paraphrasing).

I heard the "Organization Manual" specifically addressing defense, and the same way to be played in A-ball, all the way through the Majors.

Management at all Cubs affilliates would implement this.

Wait...did he just say it's most important to beat the Packers?

Did everyone else know Kristina Karl is a guy?

I would have changed my name.

No doubt to E-Girl

Actually, Navi-puff

E-douche-bag

Guys, guys:
You're both douche bags

the oddest part to me is she/he is the 3rd major baseball sportswriter to undergo gender reassignment...unfortunately, one of the other persons who did killed her/himself a while back.

Dude! She is a founder of BP!

That's one I didn't know...

bob/bobbie dittmeier and mike penner/christine daniels (deceased) are the others, fwiw.

Tranny witchcraft?

MLB vs. Dodgers owner gets nasty in court...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking...

Any interest in signing Roy Oswalt to a short term deal? His option was declined by the Phillies. (along with Lidge)
I mean like a 1 or 2 year deal with a club option? $8 mill or so?
He was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA last season, K/BB was 2.82, ERA+ of 105.

Theo said during the conference they were going to try and get some lightning in a bottle guys and compete for 2012... I would certainly think Oswalt would be one of those type of guys. He'd seem like a better fit for a better team, like the Phillies or Reds, though.

Any contract that's 2 years or less is OK with me. Signing Fielder for 7 (at like $150 million) years is OK too. Otherwise I think we should stay away from free agents.

Agreed on Fielder Neal.
It'll be interesting to see what direction this team will take for 2012.

Fuck Roy Oswalt.

I'm not 100% sure but I thought he admitted that he was the guy in Starbucks near Wrigley on that Saturday morning.

Maybe we can give Sullivan credit for a Theo-related scoop, after all.

Yeah, he admitted it.

WSCR-land is gushing about Theo today. It was nice, but let's not go overboard- Theo could have gotten in front of the press and said anything today. What matters is not talk, what matters is 1. commitment and 2. action. I like what Ricketts has done to the front office so far (though, I still wonder about Crane Kenny and what he does exactly), but time will tell if these positive changes will really filter down through the organization.

It will be amusing if they put their heads together and come up with "Cubs Baseball is sacrificing in the first inning and fast guys who have lots of stolen base attempts."

LMAO.....I find no part of that statement funny!!!!
No planting ideas in their heads Neal!!!!! Hahahaa.

i'm just glad they got a guy who most likely won't let the ricketts family "pull a steinbrenner" with how much pressure they put on the club's roster decisions...i'm also glad the ricketts are choosing this kind of path.

i'm not too stoked about seeing what becomes of 2 player-for-suits compensation packages in order to get it done, though.

i hope they give up nothing more valuable than a vitters-type...really really really don't wanna see carpenter/cashner go.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Few players in Arizona are generating more questions than Lake. The shortstop is hitting .355 in 15 games with four home runs and 11 stolen bases. The tools have always been there; Lake has above-average raw power, average-at-best speed, and one of the best arms you'll find. While he made progress in his second go-around in the Florida State League this year, his second half of the season in Double-A still presented plenty of questions about his ability to hit the breaking ball and whether his physical growth will keep him from playing up the middle. Teams have inquired about Lake in the past, wanting to convert him to the mound, and in the minds of many, this AFL showing is just delaying that opportunity.

Super Theo to save the day!

If you can get a legite hitting prospect for him, then trade him now.

"Our only mistake in this process was not having a seat for Carmine at this press conference." - B.Cherington

lulz, boston sportswriters after the theo-era.

no matter who was hired to run cubs, quade was goner. he was hendrys guy. Of course, why pay theo $3.7M to leave status quo

that Lackey will have TJ surgery.

interesting clause in his contract according to Cot's

2015 club option at Major League minimum salary if Lackey misses significant time with surgery for pre-existing elbow injury in 2010-14

it helps ease the luxury tax burden by about $2-3m per year adding an extra year into it's average contract value...it's something...*shrug*

theo-ball, yall.

I had thought ROB G would have changed the header logo to be "Theo Cub Reporter" to honor him today, but it was not to be.

Too hard to screw with the logo.

Has anyone registered www.firetheo.com yet?

This is pretty good... why did Theo sign John Smoltz and Brad Penny instead of Sabathia and Teixiera? What was he thinking?

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/fire-theo-ep...

interesting larussa press conference...

evidently pujols has the power/permission to call his own hit-and-run plays while at the plate without any manager/coach calling the play.

Buck/McCarver speculated that was the case last night.

it's not unheard of, but it's a rare one.

he's the right guy to give it to.

Theo said a few interesting things on his Chicago Tribune Live appearance just a few minutes ago. One was that he has the OK to eat contracts if it's necessary, and then he said something along the lines of, "it's our job to get the most out of a player, and if we can't, to realize that and cut bait."

The show isn't over yet, so it's not on their website, but I think they'll have the full interview up soon.

http://www.csnchicago.com/

Theo also confirmed that it was him at Starbucks, which he alluded to this morning, and said that he "was so excited to be in Chicago that I blew it and asked, who is Theo Epstein? The guy said, 'now I KNOW it's you!' So to that guy, sorry, but you didn't have to call the newspapers on me."

He showed that with Byung-Hyun Kim. I remember when he was released that Epstein basically gave an interview saying, "My bad." I thought at the time that he showed a lot of candor in that move/statement, unless certain other blame-shifting GMs.

He also said something interesting when asked about day baseball and winds at Wrigley, and Theo said that he needs to look into that more, study it, and see how the Cubs can take advantage of it. He said he's heard players complain about the day games, but said while that's tough on our players, it should be even tougher on the opposition who isn't used to it. He also said he wants to understand the wind patterns and see what kind of trends there are. He gave an example of the Red Sox trying to sign left handed hitters who had an opposite field swing to attack the Green Monster and right handed hitters who were pull hitters. And he said signing Bill Mueller was a good example of that because he was a switch hitter who did both and was a perfect match for Fenway.

So far everything I've heard him say makes sense and he doesn't sound full of himself at all. I'm impressed. I don't expect us to win a World Series, but I do think that it's a great thing to actually have a plan (that also sounds like it's smart), and be bringing in a bunch of smart people. That's never a bad thing.

The hard part about the day games, or so the argument goes, isn't playing 3 of them--it's playing half a season of them. That really only ends up hurting the Cubs and not their opposition, if it's true that the day games are a disadvantage.

It doesn't really make any sense, though. There's 100's of thousands of years of data, and plenty of studies that shows most people are wired to work during the daytime. The Rangers probably have a higher average game temperature than the Cubs, yet they seem to have wandered into the World Series quite regularly as of late.

If you have access to Comcast Chicago, they are re-running the program at 12:30 AM Chicago time tonight.

Theo's Comcast Chicago Tribune Live interview is now online...

http://www.csnchicago.com/shows/ctl

beats Team USA 2-1 to win Pan-Am Gold.

No Jackson, Beliveau pitched a scoreless inning giving up a hit, 2 GO and 1 FO.

Epstein, regarding LaHair (according to Rogers):

"The reality is, I'm not so sure there is something called a 4-A hitter. It's just (a) pretty good major league hitter who never got an opportunity."

"We need to build assets because we don't have enough of them. We're not going to look past one that might be sitting right there in our organization."

He's obviously a very, very, very smart man... until he disagrees with me that is.

as always, I do hope I'm wrong about LaHair. Team could use a RF or possibly a LFer anyway. If the Cubs are punting 2012, might as well let him try 1b. It's just not like there's anything out there where saving money at 1b in 2012 could be put into another position presuming Sabathia is deemed a bad idea, as it should be. On the other hand, throwing money at Fielder or Pujols and a SP or two (Oswalt and another "lightning in a bottle" guy) and saving in RF or LF seems like a way to make 2012 interesting.

more telling info from that quote is the understanding that anyone owned by the Cubs right now is a potential asset. Hope he feels the same about Z.

Has anyone asked him about that yet?

it's good to have a guy like him off the bench if nothing else.

he can be the cubs israel alcantara. =p (pre-theo, but BOS player)

He says if he's going to invest in a premium free agent he'll be young, good defensively and ideally an up-the middle player. Fielder misses out on two of those criteria, if you go by UZR... or the +/- deal (though UZR wasn't particuarily kind to Gonzalez either).

Pujols misses on two as well. I am starting to think that Pujols will be the Derrek Jeter of this off-season where he's worth so much more to his current employer than to anyone else, that he'll have to stay there, and they'll have to pay him more than he'd get elsewhere.

if he pulls a dumb-ass c.crawford move and signs j.reyes to a zillion dollar/zillion year deal he can kiss my ass...

some foolish club is gonna fall victim to reyes...i just hope it's not the cubs.

we shall see I suppose...

wouldn't mind Reyes, but that means moving Castro and investing 6-7 years in a guy that hasn't played a full season in 4 years, although Reyes may want an opt out after 3-4 which seems to be the thing to do.

really want to pay $20+ million for reyes, though?

he had a nice year last year, but he's a .350-.370 ob%, 10-15hr, 30 double, 30 steal type...neat, but when you got to pay him slugger money, yow.

I'll really be surprised if Reyes gets a big long contract. If he could stay healthy, he would probably merit one, but man, even in his breakout year this year he couldn't stay in the starting lineup.

At something like $10 or $12 million a year, it would be a decent gamble.

the early consensus is 20m reyes, 25m fielder, 30m pujols.

cc sab + cj wilson numbers are all over the place, but all high.

boo-ur-lee and oswalt i haven't heard/read squat.

I doubt Pujols or Reyes gets that. More like $25 and mabye $18 at the very top end for Reyes.

I don't see Reyes as a very good option for the Cubs, either. Especially if Theo is as happy about Castro's defensive capability as he seems to be.

He'd be a nice fit as a leadoff hitter, and would push Darwin to a utility role, though.

I'd rather pay him in pocket lint, but we'll see what the market bears. I think his injury issues will keep it more in the 6/108 range with some sort of mid-contract player friendly opt out. I don't know enough about his defense, but the offensive numbers he put up for a shortstop last year are similar in impact to what Fielder did at first base for a ballclub. Whether he can keep it up is for Theo and the other GM's to decide. But him, Fielder, Pujols and Sabathia(if he opts out) are the only FA's worth making any real effort at this offseason. I presume with Castro around it's not gonna be much of an issue for the Cubs anyway.

You really want to watch Darwin Barney for another season?

i dont want theriot-lite at 2nd another year for 500+abs, but i don't want to pay reyes $18-$20, either.

that's a situation where i think finding another $5-ish for p.fielder helps the cubs more.

i think reyes is awesome...the problem is he's awesome and due for his prime-of-career longterm deal.

btw...i don't think the crawford deal is awful because i thought he was going to have a season like 2011...i think it was a waste of money on an over-priced resource BOS didn't even need. hell, they signed him to play LF, even. i expect crawford to rebound from this lost season, but even at his best i don't think he's worth what he's paid on the team he's playing for.

"Has anyone asked him about [Zambrano] yet?"

Phil Rogers:

"You said it yourself, this is a team that needs pitching,'' Epstein said. "To be the organization we want to be, we're going to need pitching. He's got talent. Obviously things haven't gone the way he would have liked or the organization would have liked the last few years.''

Zambrano worked only 145 2/3 innings last season, spending time on baseball's restricted list after an incident on Aug. 12 when he left the clubhouse in Atlanta in mid-game and told clubhouse employees he was retiring. Tom Ricketts said in September that he had trouble picturing Zambrano pitching again for the Cubs, who owe him $18 million for 2012.

"I need to get to the bottom of that,'' Epstein said. "I think the best organizations get the most out of their players, even the ones that might be harder to get the most out of it. But the best organizations also know when it's time to move on.''

Paul Sullivan:

Epstein said he would go to Florida to speak with manager Mike Quade about his status, and also said in a "Chicago Tribune Live" interview he wanted to get to know Carlos Zambrano before forming an opinion on the controversial starter.

My hunch is Jed will eventually ask Quade to step back down to the minor league level. Just a hunch. If Quade refuses, I assume he will be let go.

Why ask him to step down when you know he will just say no. If you are going to fire him show some respect and just fire him.

I don't think it's a given that Q would say no to it. The problem really isn't Q, the problem is the way the Cubs promote players and staff until they are out of their element and overmatched. If I recall, Q had some successful minor league teams.

Really, you think he would accept a demotion. Q wants to be a major league manager. If the Cubs demote him he knows his chance of being a major league manager with the Cubs is zero. So why not cut ties with the Cubs and start anew with someone else.

Kind of like what Sandberg did last season.

You're assuming there's another job out there for him. Maybe there is, but he really really sucked this year.

he's spent so long in the bigs he probably wouldn't return to the minors unless it's a manager deal (if even then).

he'd probably take a 1st/3rd base coaching job with someone at worst. the travel really does suck that much in the minors even if you "get a month off."

Yeah, but wouldn't return to the minors is contigent on another job. I don't doubt that there's a job out there for him, but I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't. He really looked like a AAAA manager out there.

there's no such thing as a AAAA manager, just a manager that hasn't been given an opportunity.

Lulz. But he was given an opportunity...of sorts.

i wouldn't be surprised to see quade finish out his tenure...people are going to be stoked about spending all this money the cubs have to spend, anyway. i can't imagine it'd be that much of a distraction while theo and the new outsiders get close to the organization. quade has seen a lot the minor leaguers/kids working their way up the system.

it just sucks all this money is tamed by needs at 3rd, RF, 1st, and at least 1 SP.

Quade's sort of an idiot. He's been in the bigs a while, I wouldn't consider him an expert on the kids in the minors.

If Epstein keeps Quade I hope he fills out a basic every day lineup for him and tells him not to fuck with it too much.

If Theo keeps Q-less, he should make out the lineup EVERY day and tell dumbass he CAN'T change it.

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