Does Theo Epstein Actually Have a Winning Plan for the Chicago Cubs?
Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs agreed to a two-year contract with Scott Hairston (yes, he is related to former Cub and general piece of garbage Jerry Hairston, Jr.) on a two-year contract. Last season, Hairston hit 20 HRs for the Mets, setting the high-water mark of his career.
Meanwhile, today, the Atlanta Braves completed a deal for Justin Upton. So while the Cubs are signing career journeymen, the Braves just added one of the most talented young players in baseball without giving up the farm to do it. As a Cubs fan, I am beginning to feel like a Pittsburgh Pirates fan more-and-more everyday (and the Cubs do not have nearly the talent of the Pirates, for the record). The Cubs brass seems more concerned with renovations around and to Wrigley Field than they are about actually putting a competitive team on the field. Since Theo Epstein has taken over as the team president, there has not been one move that gives me any hope.
And this notion of building up the farm system? Come the heck on! There’s no reason why you cannot do both. You’re the Cubs! You are a major-market team that settles for the Hairstons and Scott Bakers of this world. So instead of losing 100 games this season, you may only lose 95. That is what they consider progress.
Cultures of winning are created through – get ready for it – creating winning cultures, Do you think Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro understand winning baseball when their team is getting its brains beat in day in and day out? How can those kids take pride in this organization when there’s no hope? Meanwhile, the Braves lose potential future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones and bring in new talent. All of this while having one of baseball’s best farm systems and being in the playoffs almost every season.
The longer it takes the Cubs to understand the urgency of winning, the longer it will take these guys to build a winner. While the Cubs continue to stick in the mud, the strong teams in the National League continue to compile talent. And what are the Cubs doing, embracing and selling mediocrity (heck, mediocre would be a compliment, they’re selling suck)? I’m sick and tired of it, and I hope other fans are starting to feel the same way.