Following the conclusion of the 2014 Chicago Cubs season, Theo Epstein spoke optimistically about the upcoming season.
It’s time to get serious.
“Knowing the money will be there changes the lens through which you look at every transaction,” Epstein, then chief of baseball operations, said.
Cubs had removed about $41 million from the payroll after finishing third in a row last place in the Central National League, and Epstein and COO Crane Kenny were addressing a group of season ticket holders at the Eastern Theater.
The Cubs ended up spending smartly off season, Bringing the beginner John Lester In a six-year deal worth $155 million that turned out to be the best signing in the team’s history. They crossed the corner in rebuilding in 2015, reaching the National League Championship Series and winning the World Championship one year later.
Once again, the Cubs express optimism and promise to spend the money in the off-season, although this time it is Jed Heuer who makes the big decisions. Whether the Cubs are about to turn in a rebuild that can’t be called a rebuild is an unanswerable question until we see what Hoyer does and whether the current group can build on their strong end in 2022.
Head coach David Ross said ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds that he is excited about the team’s growth and work ethic, although he cautioned that they are still far from where they need to be.
“These are good signs,” he said. “We will continue to grow. We have a long way to go for the better, to compete for the world championship, but these guys are on a mission to do that.”
The Cubs extended their winning streak to six games and took 10 of the last 11. Seiya Suzuki’s singles home win in the seventh inning was the win, and Adbert Alzolay and Wade Miley combined into five rounds of rest.
The Cubs finished their home schedule on Sunday at Wrigley Field, which will likely be the fans’ last chance to bid farewell to a final one-catch Wilson Contreras, the only active player left from the 2016 champion.
The Cubs honored Jason Hayward during Saturday’s game, another member of the 16 . Champions What was said last month? He will leave him after the season. After Heyward’s featured package was broadcast on the video boards, the defending player came out of the bunker with a standing ovation and the World Championship ring flashed.
And most of the Cubs bid farewell to 2016, and after this season, bowler Kyle Hendricks will be the only one left. Heyward said Thursday that when he signed in 2015, some of his former teammates told him, “It’s the goat, bro. You won’t beat the goats.”
But this team She ended the curse of Billy Goats, And now there are no more legendary obstacles preventing the Cubs from repeating this success. It’s all on Hoyer and President Tom Ricketts.
This wasn’t a season to celebrate on the north side despite the bullish finish. Cubs’ play at Wrigley was particularly uninspiring as he scored 36-44 on home soil.
We’ll remember a few moments in 2022 years from now, although for some in the left stands the highlight of the season was watching Epstein pose for photos while he was scattered in the basket, a final goodbye to Chicago before he packed his bags and moved him. family from the east.
The Cubs are 1-70 as they enter the ninth inning, a tragic number that needs no analysis. Their only win came on August 20 at Wrigley, when Nick Madrigal came home in the ninth round and Contreras had an RBI hit in the eleventh. Maybe Marquee Sports could play it on a loop all winter long.
In truth, it was the season most Cubs fans were used to before Epstein signed Leicester eight years ago, raising hopes of a championship and continued success. They got it right – except for the continuous part.
Hoyer and Ricketts said the money will be there for future success, and for Cubs fans, let’s hope they spend it wisely.
And the Cubs did not finish misleading the future. They brought some of their best prospects to Chicago this weekend to acclimatize to the organization, including First Division player Owen Casey, who got him in a Yo Darvish deal with the San Diego Padres that marked the beginning of the end of the winning era.
“My biggest take on is that everyone seems happy here,” said Casey, 20. “Like when I walk down the street, everyone has a smile on their face. It’s really cool.”
Heyward basically said the same thing about Chicago on his way out.
“The Sports City is here, obviously I know it’s been tough on the winning side the past few years,” he said. “But either way, Chicago doesn’t take these things for granted, and for me that was a great thing to be a part of. Just taking a walk and walking around the city. As a professional, as someone who plays ball in the city, people embrace that, respect that and respect their space.”
“They want you to enjoy what they enjoy, which is something really cool and unique in the city.”
Another Wrigley game, Marcus Strowman took the ball Sunday on his last start before the three-game season-ending series in Cincinnati.
The football field will be closed in the winter, and neighborhood bars and restaurants will try to find ways to earn some money until Opening Day returns in April.
It’s going to be a long winter for the Cubs fans, but they’ll keep it up.
They know the exercises.