Why continuity atop front office is important to Cubs
When asked about the potential for a full-scale rebuild on the Cubs roster, chairman Tom Ricketts balked at the notion.
“I don’t think anybody’s tearing anything down,” he said.
That same sentiment carried over to the front office as Jed Hoyer was officially announced as the team’s new president of baseball operations Monday afternoon.
With a Hall of Fame executive (Theo Epstein) opting to step down and leave the organization last week, the Cubs didn’t want a major shake-up within the front office.
After all, this is a team that has earned a playoff berth in five of the last six seasons and just won the division in a difficult, bizarre 2020 season.
This has been the most successful stretch in Cubs franchise history by a wide margin and while the team acknowledges room to grow and welcomes change, they didn’t want to run from the success, either.
“We have a lot of great employees here,” Hoyer said. “We’ve worked very hard over the last nine years continuing to advance and to continue to be cutting edge with everything we do. I think every time you have a leadership change, you naturally take a pretty big step backwards. There’s gonna be a lot of new employees and new ideas and given our success and given the talent of our front office, I don’t think that’s necessary right now.
“I think some fresh ideas in a targeted way make sense, but full-scale changes to something that’s been as successful as this doesn’t feel like the right thing and I’m glad Tom felt the same way.”
Even while acknowledging the Cubs’ recent success, Hoyer followed in Epstein’s steps in also pointing to how the team has fallen short of its own expectations the past three falls.
After three straight trips to the National League Championship Series from 2015-17, the Cubs haven’t had the same October success since then and are embracing the challenge of changing that narrative.
The Cubs recognize this is a special stretch of time in franchise history, but they refuse to give in to complacency.
They know expectations have changed within the fanbase, that it’s no longer just about getting to the playoffs but also sustaining long runs in October.
“Over the past nine years – with some terrific holdovers from the [Jim] Hendry years and a ton of new hires — we transformed this organization’s culture and identity and gave birth to The Cubs Way,” Hoyer said. “So many employees — some whose names you know, others who you do not – have devoted themselves to this cause.
“By naming me president having that continuity of leadership, it allows that culture to continue and it’s also an acknowledgement of those employees and their hard work and their loyalty and their success. What continuity is not, however, is a desire to maintain a status quo. No matter the success you’ve had in the past, no matter the success you’re having right now, organizations must constantly push to think differently. There’s always new technologies, new training methods and new ways to measure performance.
“I promise you that with me in this role, we will continue to push, we will continue to evolve and we will continue to advance. That relentless drive is what I promise every Cubs fan every day.”