The Padres are still trying to exactly figure out how the future will rate General Manager A.J. Preller. One past GM most don’t see favorably was GM Jed Hoyer he ran the ship from 2009 to 2011 and joined the Cubs. Fair?
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Moving to Chicago to be the GM was done as Theo Epstein became the Cubs Direct of Baseball Operations following turning around the Boston Red Sox and bringing home two World Series to a franchise that hadn’t won any since 1918. Theo turned his focus to the team that hadn’t a World Series for longer than that: the Chicago Cubs and their 1908 World Championship.
Hoyer was seen by many as an afterthought to the Cubs baseball team along with Theo Epstein, but those who know the two that is simply not the case. In researching this article, I found a piece where Curt Schilling was talking about the visit Hoyer made with Epstein as the two recruited Schilling to the Red Sox for 2004 season. He talked about how prepared they were and how they disppelled the idea that they only cared about sabermetrics:
“The thing they worked hardest on was to understand that there’s a chemistry piece to baseball that’s not statistically quantifiable but has as much to do with the success of a team as any statistic. … It’s that other piece that every good GM is in search of and both those guys are cut out of the same mold in knowing what it is.”
Certainly that formula has worked in Chicago, particularly with their finishing touch they made before the start of 2015 bringing in manager Joe Maddon. Hoyer left the Padres which brought Josh Byrnes before he left in 2014 succeeded by Preller.
The Cubs won 61 games in 2012, 66 in 2013, 73 in 2014 before a big jump last year getting all the way to the NLCS with 97 wins. This year they already have 79 and certainly have 100 wins in their sights.
The Cubs have done it with an amazing farm system that Hoyer and Epstein have worked at revamping since they got there. Not so different from the approach that A.J. Preller has worked at as well. The Cubs have balanced that out with some timely free agent signings and not giving up on some pitchers other clubs did like Jake Arrieta. Certainly it seems like the Padres could follow suit?
What is amazing is that Theo and Jed rebuilt the Red Sox in their image and won two World Series. Now in just a few short years they have done the same for the Cubs. Perhaps all the gloom and doom for the Padres is over-rated and can change sooner than later after all.
Theo, how do you feel about fish tacos?