Posnanski: Cubs poised to return to postseason, thanks to Theo Epstein

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at NBC Sports on September 17, 2015:

Theo Epstein said this to me a few years ago, just after he got the Chicago Cubs job, and he has repeated the quote to me many times since. It is probably the closest thing Epstein has to an all-encompassing baseball philosophy. Sure, there are other credos for him such as, “Control the strike zone from both sides of the ball” and “Nobody holds a press conference at the END of a big contract,” and “You want a lineup that is relentless one through nine,” and “The best way to cover your bases is to make a series of small bets.”

But these are smaller philosophies – sub-philosophies, you might call them.

The big one, though, remains this: The game is best understood at 10,000 feet. This was the driving point when I sat with Theo Epstein in his office during spring training in 2012, not long after he became the latest brave soul to take on the Thirteenth Labour of Hercules:

1. Bring back the skin of the Nemean Lion.

7. Wrestle the Cretan Bull.

11. Steal the golden apples of the Hesperides, guarded by a 100-headed dragon.

13. Lead the Chicago Cubs to the World Series.

As just about everyone noted at the time, there was something poetic about Epstein taking on the Cubs’ test. He had already been a pivotal figure in a baseball miracle; his Boston Red Sox (the team he grew up cheering AND the team he ran as general manager) won the World Series after 86 years of wandering in the desert.

Read the full article here: http://sportsworld.nbcsports.com/theo-epstein-cubs-playoffs-in-reach/

Originally published: September 17, 2015. Last Updated: September 17, 2015.