Cub Nation has officially become delirious over Theo Epstein coming to the Cubs to take over the mess that Jim Hendry left behind, so delirious that he’s now being spotted at a Starbucks on a Saturday morning at Wrightwood and Racine. Oddly enough, Alexis (my wife) and I were spotted their about two months before our wedding talking to our DJ about song selection. Coincidence? I think NOT! I digress.
According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday morning by Cubs beat reporter Paul Sullivan, lifelong Cubs’ fan and head of the “Epstein for GM” fan club, Noah Pinzur saw Epstein pull up in a “Honda SUV and park out front with the engine running. The driver stayed in the car, while Epstein, or his doppelgänger, walked in wearing a ”Diablos” baseball cap and stood in a short line.”
The article also went on to describe this exchange between Pinzur and “Theo Epstein:”
“Excuse me,” he said. “Are you Theo Epstein?”
“No,” replied Epstein, or the Epstein lookalike. “I get that a lot.”
After a brief pause, the real or fake Epstein added: “Who is Theo Epstein?”
Pinzur replied: “He’s the guy who may become general manager of the Cubs, or at least we hope.”
Pinzur went back to his seat while Epstein, or his clone, went up to order. He got an iced drink for his female companion and a banana for himself before leaving in the SUV and heading north on Racine.
“Once he had to ask me who ‘Theo Epstein’ was, I knew it was him,” Pinzur said. “It was clearly him being driven in the direction of Wrigley Field.”
A few things why this story is so outrageous I was laughing out loud while I read it, in fact so loudly Alexis asked me ‘what’s so funny?’
I replied, “you know the Starbucks where we met Roland to talk about our music for the wedding. Some delusional Cubs’ fan said he saw Epstein there with his wife getting a coffee.”
“Who cares? Fuck Theo Epstein and the Red Sox,” replied Alexis. It should be noted that Alexis is from New York and a lifelong Yankees’ fan. I think she had a similar reply about the Tigers when they won in the ALDS.
Let’s state why this isn’t true; one there’s no reason for Epstein to stop to get anything like that, surely Tom Ricketts and the Cubs organization would send someone to get him anything he needs. There’s a Starbucks across the street from Wrigley. Secondly, the driver would have gotten out of the car to get the food, not Epstein if he were trying to be covert about his trip to Chicago. Thirdly, Epstein would not show up to an interview wearing a baseball cap, there’s no reason for him to come in stealth to Chicago. It’s all over the press, there’s nothing to keep secret. Fourthly, the big tell of the “Esptein-twin” asking “Who is Theo Epstein?” made me laugh even harder. There’s a very good chance the guy isn’t into professional baseball, so he really doesn’t know anything about Theo Epstein. He was probably in from El Paso, Texas since he was wearing a ‘Diablos’ baseball cap, an independent minor-league team in El Paso.
Finally, the biggest reason, he was not seen at Wrigley Field. Surely any GM being interviewed for any job would prefer it take place at the stadium, so he could take a look at the facilities and have a good understanding of what challenges lie ahead.
Now, let’s say for a moment that it was Theo Epstein in Chicago to meet Ricketts at a secret location to discuss the GM job, what happens to Starlin Castro? Is Castro worth giving up for Epstein. Most Cubs’ fans that I’ve mentioned this to have gasped and tried to administer the seven deadly plagues for speaking such blaspheme. I offer a different perspective.
Castro is a slacker in the field, he’s committed 56 errors in two seasons with the Cubs, in fact not quite two full seasons. He was exposed by Bobby Valentine during an ESPN Sunday Night baseball broadcast for his non-readiness when the pitcher goes into the wind. He’s been seen putting sunflowers seeds in his mouth and not looking at home plate while the pitcher is pitching, he’s kind of an arrogant, cocky guy. Apparently, spending time with Alfonso Soriano was not a good idea, since Castro acts like he’s accomplished something already and he hasn’t.
Cubs’ fans I offer you this, Jose Reyes. Let Castro go to Boston where he can “Buckner” his way around Fenway and let Epstein come in and sign Reyes to give you an upgrade at shortstop.
With Cashman out of the running as all reports are that he and the Yankees are close on a deal, it’s down to Epstein, Andrew Freidman, and Billy Beane if the Cubs want a name. I still believe that Freidman is the most likely to leave, since he has expressed considerable frustration over the lack of attendance at Tampa Bay games. I would expect Joe Maddon to follow. Pretty good upgrade I would say, wouldn’t you?