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Theo Epstein: no one is untouchable

May 29, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago Reuters

Is it just me, or do people in Chicago not feel as bad about the recently-ended losing streak and what seems to be the inevitable dreadful remaining season as they might normally be?  At least among the Cubs fans I know, people are just being cool, knowing that the roster was a mess and knowing that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are playing the long game.

And as Patrick Mooney notes in his report at, that’s the game being played. Epstein:

“We’ll have to take a realistic look of where we are. And if there are ways to get better, every option has to be on the table … I’ve always operated under that philosophy,” Epstein said. “I never understood why there would ever be an untouchable. All you’re doing is limiting your opportunity.”

I guess Starlin Castro would be called untouchable if you put a gun to Theo’s head. But heck, maybe even he goes if some team is dumb enough to back up the prospects truck.

Just a very different mindset from an organization which often talked about rebuilding, but never really went into it whole-hog.

  1. randygnyc - May 29, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Yankees call dibs on Garza AND dempster. You can have Phil Hughes, Francisco Cervelli and Bret Gardner.

    • Mike Luna - May 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Rangers call Castro and that fan from the MLB The Show commercial.

      Cubs can have a bag of Doritos Cool Ranch and one of Josh Hamilton’s bats autographed by David Murphy.

      • grizz2202 - May 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        HEY! Let’s not go throwin’ away the Cool Ranch Doritos just yet. See if they go for the bat first.

    • Alex K - May 29, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      Are you at least going to put cheese on that shit sandwich of a trade idea?

      • gmsingh - May 30, 2012 at 8:12 AM

        Is Theo on crack? His rebuilding year needs to go through a rebuilding?

    • aceshigh11 - May 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Man, your Yankee arrogance is unending AND astounding.

      Not everyone can be bought.

      Newsflash: your team just AIN’T that exciting right now.

    • 18thstreet - May 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      I demand to see Randy’s birth certificate. He must have been born on the Moon to come up with such a stupid idea.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - May 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      @randygnyc… even as a Yanks fan, I have to bust out the #yourtradeproposalsucks tag on that.

      First of all, “dibs”? I thought we called “shotgun” on the Division Title anyway?

      Second, Brett Gardner is widely viewed as a top tier defensive OF (no really, check the stats) and once healthy, a perfect lead-off guy (when he’s allowed to, at least).

      Third: Cervelli? On what planet is he a piece of any team’s rebuilding?

      Fourth? Well, I will let the # of ‘thumbs down’ votes sit here.

  2. dlindstedt2 - May 29, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    No no no, the trade will be for one day with the world series trophy in Chicago, so the cubs can get a taste of winning a championship. Celebration/Parade included.

    • dlindstedt2 - May 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      Must be a lot of Cubs fans that disliked my post. LOL.

    • bearsrulepackdrool - May 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Chicago had one…on October 28, 2005, lol. Cubs fans tend to forget that little tidbit.

  3. Old Gator - May 29, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    It’s easy to deny there are untouchables on your roster when no one wants most of it in the first place.

    • El Bravo - May 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      This is true. That said, in deference to the Cubs organization, I like where Theo’s head is at. I also like, and agree with Craig completely, that the fans have given them a pass on this season before it even began. No one expects anything from the 2012 Cubs.

      • Old Gator - May 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        Let’s count the years when they were expecting something. Hint: you could still do it if you had blown off one of your hands dynamiting trout.

      • Kevin S. - May 29, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        Gator, it’s carp they dynamite up that way. Asian carp, to be specific.

  4. mybrunoblog - May 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Chicago and untouchable in the same post. Somewhere Kevin Costner smiles….

    • ugglasforearms - May 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      I was thinking Robert Stack. Geez, I feel old.

    • hammyofdoom - May 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      I thought Kevin Costner ONLY because of Epstein in the picture playing the straight lace type of guy. I guess the only question for Epstein is what is he prepared to do?

  5. jimbo1949 - May 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Robert Stack>Kevin Costner x2

    • chadjones27 - May 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Only times 2? Come on. Two words: Water World. The only thing that could have made that movie worse would have been if AquaMan was in it.

      • mybrunoblog - May 29, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        Once, late at night I was awake. Started watching Water World. Ya know what? I kind of liked it. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. I’ve seen a lot worse.
        What this has to do with baseball is beyond me.

      • gmsingh - May 30, 2012 at 8:13 AM

        Sadly, “Waterworld” was only one word when it was a movie title.

  6. ja4ed - May 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    The reason Cubs fans aren’t freaking out over the horrible team is because, for the first time, they’ve been treated like adults, and told that the team is rebuilding. Previous regimes have played the “This is the year” gimmick every year, even if the lineup included junk like Glendon Rusch, Neifi Perez (the savior!), or Juan Pierre (a real leadoff hitter, finally!).

    If they still stink in 2-3 years, you’ll start to see some freaking out.

    • - May 29, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Exactly, a new GM inhereting a terrible team always gets a 2-3 year honeymoon. The next phase is fans overvalueing prospects in the orgnaization. Royals fans know about these things.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Agree completely. It’s nice to see transparency and an actual plan in place. We actually have a front office with major success under their belts, and focus.

    • hoopmatch - May 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Don’t forget studs like Jeromy Bernitz, Nomar Garciaparra, Jacque Jones, Felix Pie and Kosuke Fukudome.

  7. bigleagues - May 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    It doesn’t hurt public perception that the Cubs stud prospect, who has been tethered to Thed Hoyerstein through three organizations, has put up these numbers:

    Year    Age   Lg   G  PA  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS  TB
    2012     22  AAA  48 200 35 64 12  1 17  46 17  37 .354 .415 .713 1.128 129
    1 Yr              49 153  9 18  8  1  1   9 21  46 .141 .281 .242  .523  31
    162 Game Avg.    162 506 30 60 26  3  3  30 69 152 .141 .281 .242  .523 102

    Provided by View Original TableGenerated 5/29/2012.

    Anthony Rizzo is outpacing his 2011 AAA numbers and scouts have been praising the adjustments he’s made to fix holes in his swing. He leads all Minor Leaguer’s with a 1.128 OPS . . . nearly .100 better than Andy Van Slyke’s next best 1.034 OPS.

    I’m expecting the Soriano trade rumor mill to start kicking up any day now.

  8. hittfamily - May 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Would Wade Davis, Hak Ju Lee, and another top prospect be stupid? If so, I don’t understand why, and for which team. Davis is cheaply signed long term, and has shown lights out stuff this year, granted in a limited role out of the pen. However, he’s only 2 years removed from being a top 10 pitching prospect in all of baseball. Hak Ju Lee is a top 50 prospect who could replace Castro next year. Add an Alex Torres/Alex Cobb/Jake McGee/ etc and both sides seem pretty well set. The Rays finally get a young cheap SS, and rid themselves or the redundancy of 9 quality starters. The Cubs get better for 2014 and beyond, not 2012.

    • Alex K - May 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      I doubt the Cubs would do that. Not that it is a terrible deal, but I don’t think it is nearly what it would take. Castro still has 3+ years of control and is only 22. It would take a mint to pry him away. He is one of the few building blocks the team has.

  9. bearsrulepackdrool - May 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    100 years of rebuilding…and counting.

  10. bearsrulepackdrool - May 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    In other news…the actual GOOD TEAM in Chicago is in the middle of a playoff push.

    I swear no gives a [expletive] about the White Sox outside of the southside of Chicago.

    “Cubs have so much history” (of losing)
    “Cubs sellout every game” (in which they lose)
    “this is the Cubs year” (100+ times)

    Meanwhile the better team in the city is actually winning games.

    • Uncle Charlie - May 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Uh, I think they’re called the Red Sox and they’re only all over ESPN.

      • bearsrulepackdrool - May 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        Uh, No.

    • mybrunoblog - May 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Yeah the whole lovable losers get drunk at Wrigley thing kinda faded out some years back. Since the Red Sox and White Sox won titles the Cubs just aren’t so cute anymore.
      Can Epstein do it again? Don’t know but if he does he will likely have a plaque in Cooperstown.

      • bearsrulepackdrool - May 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        lol. I wish it faded out some years back. That’s the only reason most people go to the game.

  11. niubears - May 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Someone take Soriano.. Please.. Anyone? Pretty please? I’ll make you a cake every week for the rest of your life.

    Cubs 2016 Champs… Hey, I can dream.

    • gloccamorra - May 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      There’s a shortage of middle infielders in MLB. Maybe if you put Soriano back at 2B, he’s more tradeable.

  12. chitownmatt - May 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Lets just let the Cubs playout the remainder of their season as a Triple A team. :)

    GO SOX!!!

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