The Cubs' new brain trust
October, 25, 2011
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
AP Photo, Getty ImagesTheo Epstein (left) and Jed Hoyer will try to bring a world championship to the Chicago Cubs.
If the old adage is two heads are better than one, why not try three?
The Chicago Cubs are trying, as they officially present Theo Epstein as their president of baseball operations today. He is expected to bring on Jed Hoyer, currently general manager of the San Diego Padres, as the Cubs’ general manager, and Jason McLeod, currently the Padres' assistant GM. Hoyer worked for Boston from 2002-09, while McLeod worked for seven years in the Boston Red Sox scouting department before moving to San Diego.
In Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod, the Cubs have gathered three general manager-caliber individuals. While Hoyer will surely have latitude, make no mistake, Epstein will have close oversight. The dynamic will more closely resemble what GM Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro have in Cleveland. As president of baseball operations, Epstein will have more ability and time to work on a multitude of problems that are hindering the Cubs besides the nine players on Wrigley Field’s diamond.
Credit Cubs owner Tom Ricketts for being able to land a talent like Epstein, who has been one of the best young general managers in a generation full of them. Ricketts knew who he wanted and went out and got him. As a new owner, to be able to acutely recognize good baseball leadership, Ricketts should take credit for his first big move of the family’s young stewardship.