Part 3 of Theo Epstein’s regime begins now.
First was tear-down and rebuilding, revenue and attendance and broadcast ratings and 56-year moorings on WGN-Radio be damned.
Then came a kind of playoff buildup and climax, completed via a fortuitous rain delay and rah-rah Jason Heyward speech.
Now comes a necessary re-tooling and internal organizational examination.
The Cubs know how to step on the gas without exhaustion and collapses in the second half of seasons. Although now a questionable post-season in-game manager, Joe Maddon has proved to be the unlocker of secrets of how to finish strong in Wrigley Field – simply by lightening the traditional pre-game workload.
But some aspects of the Cubs roster have an expiration date after a somewhat shaky postseason, when often-stumblebum play by the otherwise gilded Washington Nationals handed the Cubs an NLCS berth against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were not up to the task.
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