By David Schuster-
(WSCR) I had heard so many good things about Theo Epstein that I went to his initial press conference as much to see the man interact as I did to hear his philosophies.
Initially I was a bit disappointed because he was reading his thoughts off a scripted paper. Call me a snob if you will but a good public speaker does not need notes. He, or she, can formulate their thoughts in their head without jotting them down on paper. And Epstein (again initially) looked a bit nervous which might be understandable, this being a new surrounding.
But just as I was about to make a too hasty opinion, Epstein put down his notes and answered the questions from the assembled media. The change was instant and vast. Answer after answer was delivered with a straight forward tone that combined both logic and genuineness. Heck, if Epstein didn’t want to be a baseball executive he easily could be a studio announcer.
There’s no doubt that this guy gives the Cubs their best chance for winning in a long time…like say a century. His track record speaks for itself (two titles in a short span of time) and he also knows how to build an organization. Yes, he will bring in long time friend and cohort, Jed Hoyer to be his general manager and he’ll bring in other people he has trust in. The Cubs will go from one of the flimsiest staffed front offices to one of the largest in very short order. Epstein will oversee all baseball operations and he will work very closely with Crane Kenny (sorry folks..he isn’t going anywhere) on the business side.
Give Tom Ricketts credit. Much like the Canadian Mounties, he got his man. He did interview two other candidates before speaking with Epstein but Ricketts always had his sights on the seemingly impossible yet made it happen.
There’s an old saying in sports, it’s called winning the press conference. Epstein definitely won his first press conference in Chicago. Now let’s see if it transfers over to the playing field.