Theo Epstein made the surprising announcement that he was stepping down as the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
After nine seasons with the club, helping lead them to their first World Series in over a century in 2016, Epstein will hand the reigns to general manager Jed Hoyer.
Of course, reports emerged of other Major League Baseball teams interested in acquiring his services, but it doesn’t appear he wants to get back into the front office of another franchise immediately.
Along with taking time to spend with family and work with non-profits, Epstein said in a statement that hopes his next job allows him to help address some “existential threats” to the game of baseball.
When asked to elaborate by Yahoo! Sports’ Hannah Keyser, here’s what he had to say in response:
It is the greatest game in the world but there are some threats to it because of the way the game is evolving, and I take some responsibility for that because the executives like me who have spent a lot of time using analytics and other measures to try and optimize individual and team performance have unwittingly had, you know, a negative impact on the aesthetic value of the game and the entertainment value of the game. I mean, clearly, you know the strikeout rate is a little bit out of control and we need to find a way to get more action in the game, get the ball in play more often, allow players to show their athleticism some more and give the fans more of what they want.
Epstein is one of the most accomplished MLB executives in the game, having also helped the Boston Red Sox to a title in 2004 and 2007 after being hired in 2002 as the youngest general manager in league history.
So there’s no doubt his next endeavor — no matter what capacity it’s in — will better the game of baseball.