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Carl Is Misrepresenting My Point Because He Never Heard It Because He Couldn't Stop Yelling

Carl did a wonderful job transcribing the podcast from earlier. About as well as you can do without being able to put his sentences on top of mine to indicated that he was screaming and shouting over my points basically the entire time because I asked if Theo still has the right to the unquestioned only alpha in every room he walks into. You can read his blog on that here. Let’s get a couple of things out of the way right off the bat.

I am not advocating for Girardi, specifically.

I am not advocating for Theo to be fired or relieved of his duties or anything like that.

I am also not questioning Carl’s baseball accumen. Not in the least. He’s incredibly smart about baseball. In fact, my entire argument is comprised of words Carl has said. Do you think that I knew that the Cubs were way behind teams like the Astros and Rays when it came to analytics? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t know that. That came from Carl. Did I know the dynamic between Theo and Maddon and that Theo basically called all the shots from his analytics department on the day to day? Nope. That was something I learned from sitting next to Carl for the last 10 months.

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Here is what I do know…I know the Cubs have regressed year over year for the last three years. I know that the Cubs managed to have the second highest total payroll in baseball while having Javy, Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, and Contreras making a combined $33,459,714. That means that Theo took over $184M and managed to surround those star players with enough talent to win 84 games. The team with all the money and all the resources in the world managed to finish in 3rd place in the division. I know that isn’t good enough. Some would say that it’s a failure.

Carl rattled off all of the big mistakes Theo has made. Heyward, Chatwood, Morrow, not trading Almora when he had the chance, being on the wrong end of the Quintana for Eloy and Cease trade, and on and on it goes. So if you’re getting dimenishing returns, and you’re on record that the analytics of the Cubs is behind the better organizations in the game, then how can you also sit there and say that Theo shouldn’t ever be questioned? That the Cubs shouldn’t bring in a manager or another front office guy with a spine who can tell Theo when he is wrong. No, that is enough to make Carl blow a gasket because he wants to both criticize Theo and in the next breath act as if Theo is infallible. Those don’t jive. They’re conflicting view points.

And when Carl says that the big fix is bringing in Jason McLeod in from his role as SVP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, excuse me for not getting excited about the guy who oversees the Farm System currently ranked 29th by Baseball America who is another member of the Theo Epstein Kiss Ass Choir.

So no, I don’t think Theo is infallible. I do think he should be questioned based on ROI of $184M. I also don’t want him fired, but this talk that the Cubs need to find another manager who will “fit the Cubs’ culture” aka “say yes to Theo” is bullshit. If you just want a “cultural fit” then you maybe just stick with Carl’s other guy…Joe Maddon. Carl is saying Theo made mistakes, but then also has a mental breakdown when I say that the Cubs shouldn’t just hire another guy who will do whatever Theo says. Now…I don’t think Carl ever fully understood the point because it’s hard to listen while you’re screaming.

Carl says that Theo is fixing it. We have heard him say that before too. Last January, for instance

1. How individually did you challenge yourself (this offseason) going forward? – As a whole we need to do a better job with decision making but really it’s more about the off-field process of continuing to build competitive advantages in anyway they come. Then as a group there needs to be a sense of urgency because if you chunk the rebuild into two groups – the first 5 years really is a rebuild with the Championship coming at perfect timing. And then the last 2 years (2017 and 2018) since the talent has manifested there’s been a division title and a division series win and then a 95 win season. Overall the organization and club isn’t super proud of the totality of work the last two years. It’s not what they want and they only get one crack at it. No one is saying it’s easy but there’s definitely a special opportunity here so we need to put best foot forward including myself and everyone in organization. Talking to everyone, the theme is that we’re Hunkering Down and that no one leaves a stone unturned and we’re all doing our jobs best we can and we live lives where nothing is undone. 

Kind of a heavy question to start – hey leader of the free world how are you getting better than already being considered the best to ever do what you do? This is the kind of meatball stuff that would make my skin crawl as a GM. In any event, it’s clear off the bat that Theo is looking internally to solve a problem which is quite rare and refreshing, especially when you now sit next to White Sox Dave in a 150 square foot office for 50+ hours a week. HUNKER DOWN.–Carl and Theo on January 9th, 2019.

Looked under every stone and found 84 wins. Safe to say that Theo didn’t really find those answers internally, but his solution seems to be promoting from within. At least that is what Carl has said on the podcast. Maybe Girardi is the answer. Maybe it’s better to have David Ross. I really don’t know. My point was that having another strong voice in the Cubs organization, an alpha if you will, is something that should be not only welcomed but sought after. Opposing views help you sharpen your own stance because they can poke holes that maybe you can’t see. It’s why organizations have “Red Teams”. Having in-house rivals and fresh eyes can help you win. That is something we used to value in this state

Team_of_Rivals_cover

Recognizing and admitting there’s a problem is the first step towards finding a solution. A little humility could go a long way.

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Theo got his guy when he hired Joe Maddon. Joe Maddon is also Carl’s guy. Like Carl has said time and time again, Earl Weaver isn’t coming back. It’s not 1966. Theo’s analytics department will do the heavy lifting of what was traditionally a manager’s job. Carl has also said that Theo’s analytics department is behind the times…that is Theo’s job to make sure it isn’t behind the times. It’s Theo’s job to spend $184M to surround his currently cheap core with enough talent to at least get in the playoffs. So screaming at the top of your lungs about how NOBODY can question Theo’s organization or what Theo does when there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary, much of which Carl provided, AND while other GMs are doing more with less…isn’t a good look. Carl was trying to be a linguistic tommy gun. Just rapid fire and be loud and hope whoever he’s arguing against will duck for cover. Theo might go down as the best GM ever, but right now when your analytics department stinks, your farm system stinks, your asset management stinks, your bullpen stinks, and you’re getting worse and worse every year then it’s okay to ask if Theo could use help from someone outside the organization. It’s okay to think that might actually be a good thing. It’s reasonable. I hope Theo gets it turned around before the clock strikes midnight on this Javy-Bryant-Rizzo-Willson-Schwarber era. I want another playoff run for Carl now that we are full-time. He’d crush that. I think he’d agree. I think if he listened to the point I was making instead of having his head explode he’d agree. I think what we have here was a failure to communicate.

And to be perfectly honest…I didn’t even think Carl was being serious until we had to prematurely end the show because he was so mad. I was ready to give him a standing ovation for that performance until I realized it wasn’t a performance and that he was serious.

Live show tonight. Hope to see you all there