Theo Epstein on Becoming Cubs President of Baseball Operations: ‘This Is Certainly the Ultimate Challenge’

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Theo Epstein on Becoming Cubs President of Baseball Operations: 'This Is Certainly the Ultimate Challenge'12:47 p.m.: That’s all, folks. Thanks for following along.

And congrats, Milton Waddams, for the shout-out.

12:45 p.m.:
On last couple of weeks: “Have been interesting. I got to meet the whole [Cubs] front office … [In Boston] I felt like the guy in Office Space … the guy with the stapler.”

Come on, Theo, that’s Milton!

12:42 p.m.:
Any hesitations? “No — [but] I had some skepticism going in because I had such a great situation in Boston.”

12:38 p.m.:
Theo on signing players: “The key is to pay for future performance, not past performance.”

12:36 p.m.:
Says two favorite ballparks in the game are Wrigley and Fenway.

On renovations at Fenway and the impact it had: “Allowed us to take those revenues and pour them into our baseball operations… beyond that, it had significant impact on the city — Fenway Park became that jewel of the city.”

12:34 p.m.:
Theo talks about hiring the best scouts and stats analysts when he was first starting up, he sat between both groups.

12:32 p.m.: Theo wants to recreate what he did in Boston. Speaking about what the Cubs mean to the city and what the history is in this town and how winning a World Series will mean much of the same in Chicago as it did in Boston.

12:30 p.m.: Theo on best parts of job with Red Sox: “Building from the ground floor and helping to produce big-league players …  and winning that World Series in 2004 and seeing that look the fans’ eyes.”

12:30 p.m.:
“I’m really happy to be a Cub and look forward to being a Cub for a long time.”

12:28 p.m.:
“There are more than enough resources for us here to win.”

12:26 p.m.:
Theo spoke of “the Cubs way” being consistent throughout organization, from Low-A to big leagues. also mentioned that, “If we can be sound fundamentally on the defensive side of the ball … that will get us to where we want to go.”

12:24 p.m.: Ricketts on process of hiring Theo: “We started without anyone. First thing we did was take a look at all 30 teams and look at results of each teams results over past 10 years… studied all the systems in baseball.

“On the side, what I was doing, I talked to about 20 people in MLB who I trust … and that ran through end of the season … by the end of that process it was apparent to me that Theo was the best man for this job.”

12:22 p.m.:
On Cubs-Sox compensation package for himself (sic): “Cubs-Sox always had/will always have a good relationship.”

12:20 p.m.:
On taking over the Sox, who were “ready” and how he views the Cubs today on his first day: “There certainly is a gap where we are and where we want to be… it doesn’t impact our other primary responsibilities.”

12:19 p.m.:
Theo continues to hammer home that this will be a team effort going forward — as in front office team and everyone buying in. Taking a little pressure off himself, perhaps? Good luck, Jed!

12:17 p.m.:
On the “culture change” in Wrigley: “The easiest way to start the change in culture is in front office. It involves a lot of hard work and setting high standards … and getting everyone to buy in that it’s the most important thing in the world to us … if you’re not ready to buy in, you’re probably not going be around for the ride.”

12:15 p.m.: “
This is certainly the ultimate challenge.”

Understatement No. 1 of Theo’s Cubs career.

12:13 p.m.:
On the Cubs 2011 draft, spending in Latin America: “As the Cubs draft went on, we were sitting in our room [in Boston] and we could tell what they’re doing… ‘[the Cubs] get it, they’re going for it.'”

12:12 p.m.:
Time for a little Q&A. I’m sure he misses hearing that first question from Johnny back in the small Fenway media room.

12:10 p.m.: “We’re going to have to grind our way to the top and we must do so together. It will be a lot of work. Good thing we are ready and hungry.”

12:07 p.m.: Good quote by Theo here: “To me, baseball is better with tradition. Baseball is better is with history. Baseball is better with fans who care. Baseball is better in ballparks like this. Baseball is better during the day. And baseball, best of all, is better when you win. And that, ultimately, is why I’m here today.”

Will be a good sound bite if and win the Cubs win under him.

12:05 p.m.: Theo: “It truly feels great to be a Cub today.”

Epstein thanked John Henry and Larry Lucchino in his open, as well as Terry Francona and the players, fans and his former Red Sox co-workers. Added in a “Good luck today, Ben [Cherington].”

12:04 p.m.:
Tom Ricketts glad the hiring process is over and says “now it’s time to go to work.” 

Aren’t we all, Tom.

12:01 p.m.: Cubs were “looking for someone with a background in player development, someone who had a proven track record of success.” 

Looks like they got their guy.

12 p.m.: And here comes the MLB’s first worst-kept secret of the fall and winter months…

11:54 a.m.: Here are a few Theo related links from NESN.com to keep you busy until the newser:

Theo Epstein’s Move to Chicago Recreates Historic Link Between Red Sox and Cubs

Theo Epstein Feels He Owes 12-Year-Old Version of Himself an Explanation on Move to Cubs

Theo Epstein’s Top Moves As Red Sox General Manager Include Drafting Dustin Pedroia, Acquiring Curt Schilling

Red Sox Fans Grateful for Most of Theo Epstein’s Tenure in Boston, Wish Him Well in Chicago

11:49 a.m.: Comcast Chicago’s live stream remained on between sets and Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo was speaking with David Kaplan, who asked: “I hope [Theo] understands the pressure he’s getting into here.”

Cafardo said he does and even called Theo “the perfect guy.”

11:44 a.m.: Want to see Theo shaking hands and checking out his new office? You’re in luck!

10:23 a.m. ET: The Cubs will introduce former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein as the club’s new president of baseball operations on Tuesday afternoon at noon ET.

Epstein helped snap an 86-year curse and brought a pair of titles to Boston during his nine-year run as GM and will now look to end the Cubs’ current curse.

Stop by at noon ET to get coverage of the Cubs’ big day.

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