In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual.
He also said this:
We have clung to two important ideals during our three years in Chicago. The first is to always be loyal to our mission of building the Cubs into a championship organization that can sustain success. The second is to be transparent with our fans….To our fans: we hope you understand, and we appreciate your continued support of the Cubs.
Epstein included both of these comments in a statement he issued when the Cubs fired their manager, Rick Renteria, last October and hired Joe Maddon. If they sound familiar, it’s because I quoted them in last week’s column. I quote them again for this column about a Cubs’ player. Kris Bryant.
The last I looked Bryant had hit nine home runs, more than any other player in this spring’s exhibition games. I have long said it doesn’t pay to pay attention to spring statistics, but Bryant has forced the Cubs to pay attention.
A third baseman whom the Cubs are also trying in left field, Bryant has certainly caught the attention of Cubs fans. He has convinced them he is ready to help the Cubs win – a playoff spot, the National League Central title, the N.L. pennant, the World Series. Whatever it is, they’ll take it, though they prefer the World Series, which the Cubs haven’t won since 1908.
Bryant, however, can’t help the Cubs win anything if he’s not on the team, and when last heard on the subject, the Cubs said they plan to have Bryant start the season in the minor leagues. They’re playing a game I have chronicled here for the past several years. It’s the major league service time manipulation game. It’s legal under the labor practice, but it undermines the integrity of the game.
If steroids and Pete Rose’s violation of the game’s gambling rule undermines baseball’s integrity, so does …