Some advice for Epstein on his first day with Cubs
Congratulations, Tom Ricketts.
Since the Cubs were officially put up for sale in April 2007, it's taken him four years and six months to get something right.
But he did get it right. Full credit here.
It doesn't excuse in any way the wasted years -- and ticket buyers should be asking for refunds -- but Ricketts went after the biggest fish and landed him.
Well done, Tom Ricketts.
As for Theo Epstein, he's going to need a lot of help as he rescues the Cubs from themselves and their history.
And, of course, we're here to help him get started.
So here's a quick list of items he can get to immediately:
• Fire Mike Quade.
• Have Crane Kenney moved out of the ballpark and into the Triangle Building. True, it's not built yet, but let's not quibble over the details.
• Pay the $2 million buyout and misplace the number for Aramis Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer. Don't locate that scrap of paper until Ramirez is overpaid somewhere else.
• Call Quade again and make sure he understands he's fired.
• Get something of value for Carlos Zambrano, like a new Gatorade dispenser for the dugout.
• Trade Ryan Dempster and his $14 million player option for 2012. Dempster doesn't have no-trade protection but never needed it when Jim Hendry was GM.
• Tell Carlos Pena he's welcome back if he wants to play third base. When he informs you that left-handers don't generally play third, ask him if he wants to catch. When he informs you lefties also don't catch, tell him that the Cubs don't need players with a bad attitude and wish him luck at his next stop.
• Check your pockets to see if Kenney has lifted your key to the private bathroom.
• Try to recoup some of the $54 million remaining on Alfonso Soriano's contract. Since he has full no-trade protection, getting someone to pay more than $167 would immediately qualify you for the Hall of Fame.
• Feed Kenney some bogus info and when he leaks it to the usual suspects and it becomes public knowledge -- and it will -- send him from the Triangle Parking Lot to the Australian office.
• Since you report directly to Chief of Baseball, Tom Ricketts, report nothing to Tom Ricketts unless absolutely necessary and take no advice from ownership on anything unless it involves getting good seats at Fenway Park.
• Fire a pitching coach who doesn't challenge a manager who allows Matt Garza to average 123 pitches in the final 3 starts of the season when the team is 62 games out of first place.
• Trade Marlon Byrd and his $6.5 million salary for 2012 before the other teams find out he's actually 42 years old.
• Don't ever say the words "Rodrigo Lopez'' and "Reed Johnson'' in the same sentence.
• Send Kenney from Australia to Borneo on a decade-long scouting trip. Why? The question is, why not?
• Trade as many veterans as you can for as many young players as you can and play as many kids as possible in 2012.
• Hire a manager who doesn't want to be the players' friend, can teach, insists on accountability and doesn't make a person want to rip his eyelids off when the manager speaks.
• And for the love of Marc Pisciotta and all that's holy, don't yell, "We're not that far away!!!''
• Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him on Twitter @BarryRozner.
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