2/18 The Cubs’ Way
It won’t be a best seller or made into a movie, but one of the things the Cubs baseball operations staff did during the two-day organization meetings this week in Mesa, Ariz., was to define “The Cubs Way.” Theo Epstein said everyone was involved and everyone on the staff had input. The manual will be made available to the staff, not the public.
“I think the public will know about it when players who we’ve drafted and signed come through our system learning the Cubs’ way and play that way at Wrigley,” Epstein said Saturday. “They should hold us accountable; we should have good results. They should see our players playing the same way in the Minor Leagues and when they get to the big leagues. They should see a fundamentally sound team, they should see smart and aggressive baseball. It doesn’t matter how the sausage is made, right? It’s a results oriented business.”
Epstein isn’t saying the other 29 teams are doing things wrong.
“This is the right way for us,” he said.
That means defining everything from baserunning to pitching to bunting. And the message should be the same from the Dominican summer league teams to the big leagues.
“The Cubs’ way, yes, it’s in writing and the scouting manual is done and the player development manual is getting finished but it’s a living breathing thing,” Epstein said. “First of all, it grows every year. You can’t figure this thing out. We’ll make modifications to our teaching approach. The Cubs’ way really boils down to the people — the players, obviously, but everyone, all the scouts, all the people in uniform in the Minor Leagues and the big leagues. For us to teach the game the right way, it’s more than words on the page. It comes down to how deep we dig to get connected to players to teach the game the right way, how much we care, how committed we are, how hard we work. There’s a lot that goes into this and building an organization.”
Said Cubs manager Dale Sveum: “We’re not creating the wheel here or re-inventing anything. It’s just refining everything to get things done on an everyday basis. The Cubs’ way or anybody’s way, it’s just the right way to do things.”
— Carrie Muskat