Grossman: How Theo Epstein built the Cubs into a contender and cemented his legacy

From Evan Grossman at the New York Daily News on October 6, 2016, with mention of SABR members Jacob Pomrenke, Mark Armour, and Dan Levitt:

Those poor goats.

To date, at least three of them have been butchered by fans trying to break the Billy Goat Curse they believe has blocked the Cubs from winning a World Series for more than 100 years. The dugouts have been sprayed with holy water and pieces of sacrificial goats have been mailed to the Cubs’ executive office in various bids to break the curse. One goat was even turned into 30 pounds of tacos for a competitive eating contest. Nothing’s worked.

In fairness to the infamous goat, which was supposedly banished from Wrigley Field in 1945 after fans complained of the smell, the Cubs were already 30 years into the longest championship drought in sports when the animal’s outraged owner, Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis, cast a curse on the franchise and wished the Cubs would never win again.

The Cubs haven’t been to a World Series since, and they haven’t won one since 1908.

So proven curse-breaker Theo Epstein was hired as president of baseball operations five years ago and, according to plan, he has the Cubs 11 wins from exorcising some serious demons.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 6, 2016. Last Updated: October 6, 2016.