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Peak Into Theo's Thinking....

Posted: 1/16/2013 7:39 AM

Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


http://www.chicagotribune.com/...0,7381161.story
 
"They told us we didn't have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle. We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We'd become too big. It was the farthest thing from what we set out to be. ... (That) was evidence to me of the inherent tension between building a baseball operation the way I thought was best and the realities of being in a big market ... which had gotten bigger than any of us could handle."

So for all you Theo haters, here is yet another source who stated Theo (this time is the bleeping manager!) was against I repeat AGAINST going out and spending gobs of money on big ticket, big FA "stars" for the sake of doing it in Boston
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Posted: 1/16/2013 7:39 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs /chi-video-theo-epstein-chicago-cubs-20130116,0,46 04571.story

"It's post-season or bust," is what Theo says about the team this season. I think a glimpse at the offense (absence of a lead-off guy, lack of guys to hit 3-6 in the line-up, lack of bench hitters) renders this as 'lip service' and disingenuous. 

With regard to the assertions in Francona's book (about Theo), what he said is consistent with most of what I've seen Theo say in interviews on his views of building a ball club (both as a BoSox employee and with the Cubs). I never blamed him for the failures of the Crawford and Lackey signings, and I think fundamentally the Gonzalez trade was good for the team (All-Star hitter, GG 1b on D). Sounds like Theo is getting a 'bump' of cred via Francona.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”  ~Albert Einstein

Last edited 1/16/2013 7:39 PM by mindbodyspirit

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Posted: 1/16/2013 10:35 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



mindbodyspirit wrote: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs /chi-video-theo-epstein-chicago-cubs-20130116,0,46 04571.story

"It's post-season or bust," is what Theo says about the team this season. I think a glimpse at the offense (absence of a lead-off guy, lack of guys to hit 3-6 in the line-up, lack of bench hitters) renders this as 'lip service' and disingenuous. 

With regard to the assertions in Francona's book (about Theo), what he said is consistent with most of what I've seen Theo say in interviews on his views of building a ball club (both as a BoSox employee and with the Cubs). I never blamed him for the failures of the Crawford and Lackey signings, and I think fundamentally the Gonzalez trade was good for the team (All-Star hitter, GG 1b on D). Sounds like Theo is getting a 'bump' of cred via Francona.
I guess I took away something a little different from that talk.  He pointed out the Orioles and the As a couple times in that bit and that's how the Cubs would do it if they shocked the world.  Play solid ball and get hot at the right time.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:16 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


The A's had a lead-off hitter, lots of young pitching, and were excellent at juggling their limited offense to get maximum output.

The Orioles had power, decent pitching, and played in a division where power and pitching could win over teams with declining stars with injuries. 

The Cubs have minimal power, minimal speed, at best a patch-quilt bench (none of whom are reliable hitters), and guys slated for CF and RF that should be platoon players. We're not in their league. We made strides with pitching depth and have a better minor league system (particularly AA and below). We are better in some regards... but it would take an act of the Almighty to overcome the Cardinals' pitching or the Reds' offense. If we touch 75 wins, Sveum should get votes for manager of the year.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”  ~Albert Einstein

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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:45 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


From Cubs online-
The Cubs’ manager addressed the 101-loss season and said being a .500 team is not acceptable. Sveum expects the Cubs to “compete with a revamped rotation, a new set-up man and another year of growth from the kids” according to the Tribune. If the Cubs were to post a .500 record during the upcoming season that would be a 20-game improvement. Sveum does not think being a .500 team is good enough, “getting into the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.”

Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the 2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.” Epstein explained that with that said “we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can expect to be in the postseason every year.” Epstein went on to say that “behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”

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Posted: 1/17/2013 9:49 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



mindbodyspirit wrote: The A's had a lead-off hitter, lots of young pitching, and were excellent at juggling their limited offense to get maximum output.

The Orioles had power, decent pitching, and played in a division where power and pitching could win over teams with declining stars with injuries. 


This might be one of the biggest loads of revisionist history I have seen on this board. 

The Orioles were dead last in pitching in 2011 (4.89 team ERA), signed Willie Eyre (had a career ERA over 5), Wei-Yin Chen (complete unknown), and traded their best starter from the year before (Guthrie).  Their over/under win total was 71 and they were +5000 to win the AL East.  You are correct that they had some power (4th in MLB) but they finished middle-of-the-pack in most other offensive categories.  They did not have decent pitching, they had the worst pitching in the entire league.

What you wrote about the A's doesn't really make sense to me.  Is there any correlation between a young pitching staff and team success?  Three of the four youngest teams last year were the Mariners, Royals, and Astros. Juggling lineups to maximize offense is a chance game that does not show strong metrics from year-to-year.  You may be able to push the right buttons one year followed by struggling mightily the next.


Baez has "top-shelf bat speed," according to one National League scout who recently saw him play. "I haven't seen that type of bat speed this year outside of the big leagues. It's pure, unadulterated, just violent bat-speed."

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Posted: 1/17/2013 9:49 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



cubs2007 wrote:

From Cubs online-
The Cubs’ manager addressed the 101-loss season and said being a .500 team is not acceptable. Sveum expects the Cubs to “compete with a revamped rotation, a new set-up man and another year of growth from the kids” according to the Tribune. If the Cubs were to post a .500 record during the upcoming season that would be a 20-game improvement. Sveum does not think being a .500 team is good enough, “getting into the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.”

Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the 2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.” Epstein explained that with that said “we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can expect to be in the postseason every year.” Epstein went on to say that “behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”

He said exactly what every other GM is saying right now.


Baez has "top-shelf bat speed," according to one National League scout who recently saw him play. "I haven't seen that type of bat speed this year outside of the big leagues. It's pure, unadulterated, just violent bat-speed."

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Posted: 1/17/2013 10:23 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



mhuml32 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

From Cubs online-
The Cubs’ manager addressed the 101-loss season and said being a .500 team is not acceptable. Sveum expects the Cubs to “compete with a revamped rotation, a new set-up man and another year of growth from the kids” according to the Tribune. If the Cubs were to post a .500 record during the upcoming season that would be a 20-game improvement. Sveum does not think being a .500 team is good enough, “getting into the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.”

Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the 2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.” Epstein explained that with that said “we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can expect to be in the postseason every year.” Epstein went on to say that “behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”

He said exactly what every other GM is saying right now.
With the current roster it looks like about a 75 win team.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 11:30 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



mindbodyspirit wrote: The A's had a lead-off hitter, lots of young pitching, and were excellent at juggling their limited offense to get maximum output.

The Orioles had power, decent pitching, and played in a division where power and pitching could win over teams with declining stars with injuries. 

The Cubs have minimal power, minimal speed, at best a patch-quilt bench (none of whom are reliable hitters), and guys slated for CF and RF that should be platoon players. We're not in their league. We made strides with pitching depth and have a better minor league system (particularly AA and below). We are better in some regards... but it would take an act of the Almighty to overcome the Cardinals' pitching or the Reds' offense. If we touch 75 wins, Sveum should get votes for manager of the year.
That's not really the point.  By saying he was paying lip service or being disingenuous you are saying he is trying to fool the fans into believing the product on the field is "worth watching" supposedly for business purposes.  I think he's setting standards.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 11:46 AM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


part of the cultural change is expecting to win. i don't think there's anything disingenuous about that.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 12:52 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



cubbyfan25 wrote: part of the cultural change is expecting to win. i don't think there's anything disingenuous about that.
Since the Cubs were close to getting into the World Series in 2003 the expectation has been to win and not just be competitive. That is what has been disappointing the past few years with the rebuild and slowly working their way back to respectability.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 1:03 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


Does anyone think he's added the pieces in 2013 to be a playoff team?? Just curious..
mhuml32 wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

From Cubs online-
The Cubs’ manager addressed the 101-loss season and said being a .500 team is not acceptable. Sveum expects the Cubs to “compete with a revamped rotation, a new set-up man and another year of growth from the kids” according to the Tribune. If the Cubs were to post a .500 record during the upcoming season that would be a 20-game improvement. Sveum does not think being a .500 team is good enough, “getting into the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.”

Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the 2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.” Epstein explained that with that said “we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can expect to be in the postseason every year.” Epstein went on to say that “behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”

He said exactly what every other GM is saying right now.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 1:07 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

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Posted: 1/17/2013 2:21 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



cubs2007 wrote:

Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

The problem is that he would say that whether or not it were true. The alternative is to say what? "I was a puppet and my bosses bent me over and made me do deals I didn't want to do?" He has no choice but to say that he was GM and the buck stopped with him.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 2:27 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

The problem is that he would say that whether or not it were true. The alternative is to say what? "I was a puppet and my bosses bent me over and made me do deals I didn't want to do?" He has no choice but to say that he was GM and the buck stopped with him.
It is the same situation with Hendry and the signing of Soriano. The buck does stop with the GM and in all cases they could have said no but thought they could improve the team and made the decision to sign the players.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 3:47 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



cubs2007 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

The problem is that he would say that whether or not it were true. The alternative is to say what? "I was a puppet and my bosses bent me over and made me do deals I didn't want to do?" He has no choice but to say that he was GM and the buck stopped with him.
It is the same situation with Hendry and the signing of Soriano. The buck does stop with the GM and in all cases they could have said no but thought they could improve the team and made the decision to sign the players.
If I'm paying you three million and I give a directive to sign player X, you don't possess the no option without a resignation.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 6:27 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 


This is baseball business speak.


Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the

2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.”
*Translation: This actually means we don't stand a chance in $%&& this year but, please go out and buy tickets anyway.  Epstein explained that with that said
we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can
expect to be in the postseason every year.”
*I'm not ready to fast forward past this rebuild just yet. It'll be another year of flipping vet pitchers to further restock for the future.
Epstein went on to say that “behind
the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”
*
And this last one is what all the real fans should be focused on at this point. The progress being made towards the future will ultimately determine the success of this upcoming season.

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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:21 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



HolyMackeral wrote:

This is baseball business speak.


Theo Epstein addressed the playoffs question and said, “the

2013 season can be considered a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs.”
*Translation: This actually means we don't stand a chance in $%&& this year but, please go out and buy tickets anyway.  Epstein explained that with that said
we’re obviously building for something greater, which is a time when we can
expect to be in the postseason every year.”
*I'm not ready to fast forward past this rebuild just yet. It'll be another year of flipping vet pitchers to further restock for the future.
Epstein went on to say that “behind
the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made.”
*
And this last one is what all the real fans should be focused on at this point. The progress being made towards the future will ultimately determine the success of this upcoming season.

Agreed. It is simply what they say.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:23 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



absolutebadger wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

The problem is that he would say that whether or not it were true. The alternative is to say what? "I was a puppet and my bosses bent me over and made me do deals I didn't want to do?" He has no choice but to say that he was GM and the buck stopped with him.
It is the same situation with Hendry and the signing of Soriano. The buck does stop with the GM and in all cases they could have said no but thought they could improve the team and made the decision to sign the players.
If I'm paying you three million and I give a directive to sign player X, you don't possess the no option without a resignation.
+1. Unless you are truly willing to quit, you don't have much choice if the boss says he wants to sign someone, etc. But the GM normally bites the bullet and says "I'm the GM and the buck stops with me"...because to say otherwise does noone any good.
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Posted: 1/17/2013 10:07 PM

Re: Peak Into Theo's Thinking.... 



SportsGoblin wrote:
absolutebadger wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:
SportsGoblin wrote:
cubs2007 wrote:

Epstein took exception to the assertion made in the book that after that meeting, he was responding "to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings" when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, signing the pair for a combined total of 14 years and $296 million.

“There is no direct link between that meeting and the Red Sox moves that winter," he said Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for those moves. It was my job to handle the pressure of a big market and make good decisions."

The problem is that he would say that whether or not it were true. The alternative is to say what? "I was a puppet and my bosses bent me over and made me do deals I didn't want to do?" He has no choice but to say that he was GM and the buck stopped with him.
It is the same situation with Hendry and the signing of Soriano. The buck does stop with the GM and in all cases they could have said no but thought they could improve the team and made the decision to sign the players.
If I'm paying you three million and I give a directive to sign player X, you don't possess the no option without a resignation.
+1. Unless you are truly willing to quit, you don't have much choice if the boss says he wants to sign someone, etc. But the GM normally bites the bullet and says "I'm the GM and the buck stops with me"...because to say otherwise does noone any good.
I agree completely! Just pointing out that if the owner over rules the GM, the owner wins. The GM would be a fool to try and lay the blame back on the owner because it would be career suicide. Theo did the right thing and got in front of it, that is why he makes millions.
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