Tom Foolery At The Top
Theo Epstein, The President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs held on to the script, as the dismissal of Dale Sveum was read.
The script? He couldn’t just say, Sveum’s being dismissed due to lack of player development.
Epstein’s right, there was a lack of player development. Sveum can shoulder a little bit of the blame but, if Epstein had chosen to tell the whole truth, he would have also said, the Front Office had a bigger part in this failure, and handed his keys to Tom Ricketts with apologies for the Tom Foolery made at the upper echelon of Cubs management.
Epstein shot 50 plus players through the Cubs roster during the 2013 season. Hardly a synonym for stability, and no chance for a starting 8 so drastically needed by, the Cubs.
While ‘committed’ to this rebuilding program, Epstein had Cubs fans witnessing players brought to the majors before they should have completed their time in the minors. We were watching something below the major league level, and possibly much closer to AAA.
Admittedly, the minor league Cubs farm system is looking better, just not spectacular or, awesome. Epstein paid some attention to the farm system, and has given the system a once over getting a passing grade for improvement. That is Epstein’s focus.
If Ricketts must keep him, why not keep Epstein in the Cubs organization as President of Minor League Operations? It is obvious Epstein cannot field a decent major league ball club.
Some say, give the foundation time to become firm. I agree but, as the organization is built, it is not at the expense of that for which it is being built. In other words, the Major League club will not sit idly by, waiting. There is the business of baseball, fans to be pleased, and bills to be paid.
In baseball, while building from the bottom, it is vital to build at all other levels as well, and all at the same time.
Multi-year contracts to Rizzo, and Castro at this point? That takes away the incentive to a varying degree, to get better because now, just in case they don’t get better, they’ll live, and live very comfortably. Both might have benefited from more prep in the minors.
Why take on a 4 yr./$54 mil. contract on a veteran pitcher not measuring up to several others in the starting rotation?
Epstein tried dismantling the team, last year, and did the same this year. He gave up some fan favorites, and without deep thinking these trades got little in return. In the end, the results were much the same.
It didn’t work last year, this year, and probably won’t work next year if left to continue as-is.
Epstein still has his job, Sveum doesn’t. The equation doesn’t equal out.
At this time, it looks like a lot of Tom Foolery in the Front Office as attendance seems to be decreasing, and Epstein continues a very questionable rebuilding program from the bottom, at the bottom, for the bottom, on the bottom of the NL Central cellar floor.
So far, Epstein has run a less than major league front office. His reputation gives him too much credit.