We've heard a lot from new Cubs president Theo Epstein today, as the team held a press conference this morning.
- "It truly feels great to be a Cub today," said Epstein at the introductory press conference. He considers his new job "the ultimate challenge."
- "Our goal will be to build the best scouting department in the game," explained Epstein. He stressed "sustained success" and noted that the Cubs' 2011 draft marked a "clear philosophical change" in his eyes. Epstein will also be able to grow the Cubs' baseball operations staff.
- As a first step with the Cubs managerial situation, Epstein intends to meet with Mike Quade in person over the next week. Epstein also intends to "take a creative look at the big league team."
- A third party may ultimately be required to determine the compensation Boston receives, but Epstein considers the teams' relations to be amicable.
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said today in a welcome statement, "In his new role, Theo will be given the resources and opportunity to build a strong foundation and the winning culture that our organization and fans deserve." At the process conference Ricketts added, "I simply cannot imagine a better person for this job than Theo Epstein."
- The following bullet points are highlights from an op-ed piece Epstein wrote for the Boston Globe. Epstein writes, "The reason I am leaving has nothing to do with power, pressure, money, or relationships. It has nothing to do with September, either." Instead, he points to a Bill Walsh suggestion that coaches and executives should seek change after ten years with a team, to create a new challenge for the individual and a fresh perspective for the team. Initially, the plan was for assistant GM Ben Cherington to take over the Red Sox after the 2012 season, and those discussions with ownership began this summer while the team was thriving.
- The combination of the Red Sox needing a new manager for the long-term and the challenge presented by the Cubs prompted Epstein to leave earlier than he initially planned. Epstein has complete confidence in Cherington to address Boston's clubhouse issues. Epstein admits, "Things did indeed happen in the clubhouse that do not have a place at the Red Sox or anywhere in sports. But the reports about team-wide apathy and indulgence are exaggerated."
- Epstein feels that Cherington is more prepared for the GM job than Epstein was nine years ago, and the Red Sox "remain one of the preeminent organizations in baseball, with an extremely bright future."