BY CHARLIE LUST
After signing with the Cubs in 2011, Theo Epstein has won the Cubs’ first World Series since 1908 and established a regular playoff contending team.
But now, he’s gone. After the World Series win in 2016, the Cubs have been trending steadily downwards. They lost in the NLCS in 2017, lost the Wild Card game in 2018, missing the playoffs in 2019, and suffered a humiliating defeat in the first round of the playoffs to the underdog Miami Marlins in 2020. Overall, the past two years have been disappointing for the Cubs. The general manager, Jed Hoyer, will take over as President of Baseball Operations, the post that Epstein once held.
Hopefully Hoyer will do better than Epstein in terms of building the team. The Cubs didn’t have much of a shot at the World Series this year, because the star-studded Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers could easily beat the Cubs. The Cubs need to make some big acquisitions in order to be a serious contender in 2021 and forward. 2020 was a down year for many Cubs players. Kris Bryant got on base 20.6% of the time and Javier Baez got on base 20.3% of the time. The MLB average was 24.5%, placing Bryant and Baez below the MLB standard. The Cubs had the third lowest batting average in the league, with an average of 21.8%. Epstein may have failed to bring the Cubs another championship, but he still rebuilt the Boston Red Sox and brought them a title in 2007. It’s a shame to see Theo go, but he could still open a new chapter of his baseball life (possibly becoming Commissioner of the MLB?), even if it’s not with the Cubs. Good luck, Theo!