In 2010, the Chicago Cubs unveiled a new marketing campaign designed seemingly to excite fans about the team’s bright future. They called it “Year One,” commemorating the Ricketts family taking over ownership of the storied franchise. Instead, what many fans took from the slogan was an organization that was trying to ignore its rich history.
The Cubs are again poised to start fresh, this time with a new baseball operations management team, and the Boston Herald is reporting that Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is on the verge of accepting a similar position with the Cubs. He remains under contract with Boston, but an announcement of his departure will reportedly come within the next 24-48 hours. Epstein's position is said to "include powers greater than he has in Boston." Perhaps president of baseball operations or CEO?
This would not be the first time in recent memory that the Cubs have hired a young, hotshot GM, who had won two World Series with another club, for such a position. In 1994, Chicago hired Andy MacPhail as president and CEO of the Cubs after he led the Minnesota Twins to two titles. He was 41 years old at the time, which is just four years older than Epstein is now. In 12 years at the helm, MacPhail got the Cubs as close as five outs from the World Series but unfortunately never hoisted the trophy.
Epstein might change that, but he should know that, contrary to popular belief, the Cubs' job is not as plum as one would expect. And while there are many parallels to the job Epstein took in Boston in 2002, there are also a lot differences.