There was an article on the Tribune earlier that I couldn’t read because they’re a bunch of lame-os and decided to put everything behind a paywall. Thanks a lot, you elitist pigs. Anyway, thanks to Bleacher Nation and Phil Rogers, we have an excerpt of David Haugh’s interview with Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. Here’s what Theo had to say:
”What I want to avoid is the middle ground,” Epstein said. “It’d be nice to make the playoffs or get a protected draft pick [awarded the bottom nine teams]. We’re not hiding that. There’s no glory in 78 wins instead of 73. Who cares? We’re going to see where we are and take a real cold assessment in the middle of the season. If we have a legitimate chance to push for a playoff spot then 2013 can become our primary focus. If we think a playoff spot’s not in the cards, there will be no concern for appearances or cosmetics whatsoever. We’ll continue to address our future and trade off some pieces that would keep us respectable.”
As I discussed with my compatriots, ever since Theo took over and hired Jed Hoyer and friends, he’s been very honest about the direction the team is going in to rebuild from the ground up, but I don’t think he’s ever been this blunt before. We’ve known almost from Day One that they planned to blow the team up, to shed payroll and basically start over with building a solid farm system. This farm system will continue to pump talent into the bigs while the front office supplements the team with smart free agent signings. But seriously, this is the first time that I’ve seen him come right out and say something like this.
Theo is basically taking the philosophy right now that unless this ragtag batch of Cubs (young core + free agent retreads) are legitimate contenders, he is willing to blow it up and start over. There’s no sugarcoating, no bullshit, no Loria-level shenanigans to hide their true intentions. The “Plan” has always been to rebuild, and to sign free agents that can help in the short-term by building value and becoming flippable assets.
I think you have to appreciate that level of honesty and transparency. Thank the baseball gods we’re not the Marlins.