Tom Ricketts got it done. He got Theo Epstein to the Cubs.
It always seemed like it would happen. The Cubs agreed to pay him $18.5 million, after all.
It also seemed like it would never happen. The more stories that come out of Fenway, the more it seems like the Red Sox are serving at the pleasure of Kim Jong-Henry.
But it finally happened late Friday night. Full marks for Ricketts.
Because we have little to do than repeat ourselves, it bears repeating that the five best reasons to love the endless Epstein episode are Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard.
That’s four All-Stars, an MVP and a potential future closer, all drafted and developed by the Red Sox under Epstein.
There are some other names Cubs fans need to know. Jason McLeod, for one. He’s the newest whiz kid coming out of San Diego’s front office expected to join Epstein here. He’s credited with drafting Pedroia, Ellsbury, Buchholz and Bard. The backs of their baseball cards are the backs of his baseball card.
You’ve probably already read about Jed Hoyer, the Padres general manager expected to take that spot under Epstein. Hoyer was the co-GM of the Red Sox when Epstein left for a couple months and took the opportunity to cut the deal for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell that helped win the second of two World Series on Epstein’s watch.
That’s why Epstein wants to get the band back together. Of course, given their ages, it’s like getting the boy band back together. The Cubs’ new front office will need a treat parent.
But it’s going to take time, maybe even more time than the Epstein deal took. The Cubs and their fans aren’t used to waiting. Aren’t used to winning World Series, either. Connect the dots, people.
There is still the matter of compensation, and with Bud Selig and Major League Baseball entering the Cubs-Red Sox talks, I believe compensation for Epstein will be determined by the league that wins the World Series.
But whatever way it goes, Ricketts got it done. He made a defining move in his family’s ownership of the Cubs. Full marks.
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