What is Theo Thinking?
I am letting you know up front that many of you are going to be troubled and upset by this column. I'm sorry that you will feel that way but I feel it is necessary for me to write this on behalf of fans everywhere.
It appears that Theo Epstein is in the final stages of interviewing mangerial candidates and the rumor mill has it down to two guys, David Ross and Joe Espada, current bench coach for the Houston Astros.
I have two issues with these guys and I've not heard anyone address them yet.
First, the Chicago Cubs are a major market, high revenue, national following team. This is not a team that should be hiring a rookie manager, especially with all the drama currently involved with them regarding focus on the field and other issues. Kansas City, Minnesota, Colorado, etc, are the cities that rookie managers get their start.
Cubs fans have endured 108 years of frustration, only to have one fleeting moment of glory, and then back to the "maybe next year" saga we are tired of living through. We deserve to have a manager that understands, already, how to manage a winner, not a guy who will be learning on the job. I'm sure Ross and Espada are fine guys, and will one day be great managers, but learn your craft somewhere else.
There are several seasoned, and proven successful managers, available right now, sign one of them. We deserve them and the players deserve them. If you feel some loyalty then make Ross a bench coach so he can learn how to manage.
The other and equally troubling issue is with Joe Espada.
Right now, again, the Houston Astros are in the middle of another situation where a senior manager of the team has been called out for insensitive remarks made to female reporters regarding his love of a convicted wife beater.
Sports Illustrated reported Monday night that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman shouted “Thank God we got (Roberto) Osuna! I’m so (expletive) glad we got Osuna!” in the direction of three female reporters after Houston beat the New York Yankees on Saturday night to reach the World Series.
Osuna was suspended for 75 games in 2018 for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. SI reported that one of the journalists Taubman yelled at was wearing a purple bracelet for domestic violence awareness.
Rather than apologizing, or even trying to spin the incident as an unfortunate misunderstanding, the Astros doubled down on their boorishness.
“The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible,” the Astros said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.”
Except it wasn’t fabricated.
Hunter Atkins, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, quickly refuted the Astros’ statement, saying on Twitter, “I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.” The Chronicle later published a story saying three eyewitnesses, two of whom were its own reporters, had confirmed SI’s account
Unfortunately this is not the first time the Astros have been immersed in an issue like this. There appears to be a culture within the organization that condones bad behavior and do the Cubs, the Ricketts family, and the fans really want to bring a guy in from an organization like that to lead their team?
I would say no.
Theo needs to do the right thing regarding Espada and tell him, thanks but no thanks, and move on to someone else. I know it may not be his fault, and I'm sure he had nothing to do with this, or that he even feels like that, but you just cannot take the chance.
The Cubs need to then go out and get a quality, seasoned manager and go figure out how to start hitting again.