“I don’t believe in curses,” Theo Epstein said at one point during his extended introductory session with Chicago’s sports media today. Yet there’s no denying curses are exactly what brought him to his new post as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations.
Epstein, who still qualifies as a wunderkind of a baseball executive at 37, was the general manager who ended the Boston Red Sox’s “Curse of the Bambino” at 86 years when they won the 2004 World Series, and he guided them back to the top three years later just to prove it was no fluke.
Shortly after deciding to can Jim Hendry in July, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts identified Epstein as the best of all possible options to replace him, and when the BoSox’s playoff run collapsed in a gloriously record-breaking fashion in the last month of the season, Epstein suddenly became available. Ricketts didn’t miss his chance to nab him. While the two teams are still haggling out what prospects the BoSox will receive as compensation for letting Epstein go with a year left on his contract, he took control of the Cubs today.