Imrem: Cubs front office never all in for 2015 World Series
What the Cubs accomplished this year was remarkable under the circumstances.
Manager Joe Maddon and the players did as much as possible in their effort to reach the World Series.
It's difficult to advance to the National League championship series when management isn't all-in.
Seriously, did you ever think that the Cubs front office intended to do everything possible to win the World Series in 2015?
Baseball president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer still were in developmental mode this season. The Epstein-Hoyer agenda was to win every year in the future while the men in uniform were looking toward winning every day in the present.
One small example was leaving Kris Bryant in the minor leagues at the start of the season to save a year of contract control.
Even as baseball people applauded, the move signaled that from Day 1 winning something significant in 2015 wasn't the front office's top priority.
A bigger signal came when the Cubs didn't make a major acquisition before the July 31 trade deadline.
The Cubs needed another productive hitter, as the Mets did before acquiring Yoenis Cespedes and the Royals did before acquiring Ben Zobrist.
The Cubs preferred to learn more about their young offensive players. As a result, the Mets' power pitchers shut down their offense.
The Cubs also needed another pitcher to bolster the starting rotation, and he didn't have to be named David Price.
A No. 3 or No. 4 type would have helped. Maddon wouldn't have had to navigate so many "bullpen games" when Jason Hammel or Kyle Hendricks started.
Acquiring at least one pitcher would have meant surrendering promising prospects, which Epstein and Hoyer were opposed to doing at this stage of the rebuilding project.
The front office proceeded as if it were surprised that the Cubs had a legitimate chance to advance to the World Series this year.
Everything you heard the last few months was that the Cubs were ahead of schedule, although nobody ever stated what the schedule was.
The plan -- or The Plan -- the Cubs have followed since 2011 called for scouting, drafting and developing prospects and waiting to see which of them would become what.
Sticking to the strategy will be worthwhile if the Cubs win a couple World Series over the next decade.
But opportunities to win a championship are precious. To have an opportunity this year and not do everything possible to take advantage feels like something significant was squandered.
If the Cubs didn't want to go all-in, maybe they could have gone half-in. Yeah, maybe they could have found a happier medium between going for it now with reinforcements and waiting for later with a full complement of prospects.
At best the Cubs were a quarter-in and it wasn't good enough to compete against the Mets, who demonstrated before the trade deadline that they were all-in.
This was called a dream season but not many Cubs' fans go to bed dreaming of advancing to the NLCS.
Been there, done that in 1984 and 2003.
The dream is to reach a World Series for the first time since 1945 and to win one for the first time since 1908.
Considering that Cubs management was only a fraction-in, Maddon and his players deserve considerable credit for reaching the NLCS.
Still, the refrain remains: Wait 'til next year, or the year after, or the year after …