By Ryan Baker-
(CBS) To his credit, Theo Epstein has never claimed to be the smartest guy in the room, let alone in baseball.
However, the Ivy League educated former prodigy better hit it over the ivy with his latest, and possibly last, managerial hire for the Cubs.
Joe Girardi would have definitely been a home run on to Waveland. But, the former Cub catcher used his Northwestern nurtured brain by staying with the Yankees, instead of chasing the ghost of becoming the skipper who finally breaks the spell of the Cubs’ over century long championship curse.
While pointing to his family as opposed to finances as his reason for remaining with the Pinstripes, No Joltin’ Joe was quick to point out that he realized his childhood dream by playing for the Cubs.
Seeing the franchise he idolized as a kid lose nearly 200 games over the past two seasons – and struggle to get a much needed Wrigley Field renovation deal done – has caused the Peoria native to scratch returning to North Side to manage off of his bucket list.
Even with the batch of Grade-A Cubbie prospects down on farm who are close to being hatched into legitimate major league ballplayers, Hal Steinbrenner’s checkbook is still a safer bet and a swifter route to World Championship No. 28 for the Yankees.
It’ll be much easier for Theo to sell hope (or hype) over history to the hungry “Plan B” candidate he’s been forced to settle for.
Manny Acta? Rick Renteria? A.J. Hinch? He and Jed Hoyer know more about baseball than me, but good luck with that.
Remember that Sun-Times photo on opening day 2012 of the newly hired Cubs President stepping across Lake Michigan?
Theo-retically speaking, it may take a miracle to keep him from drowning if the next manager he hires doesn’t float the Cubs boat.
Ryan Baker serves as CBS 2 Chicago′s lead sports anchor on the 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM weekday newscasts. He joined CBS 2 Chicago from WMAQ-TV in Chicago where he had worked as an anchor and reporter since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBakerSports, on Instagram @RyanBakerSports and on Facebook. You can read more of his CBS Chicago entries here.