Oct 25, 2011|
Former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is introduced to the Chicago media as the new President of Baseball Operations of the Chicago Cubs.
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting -- and -- Chicago Cubs introduced new baseball leadership -- organization. At this time I'd like to turn over to cubs chairman Tom -- for opening remarks and to introduce our new president of baseball operations. -- Good morning everybody and -- welcomed this friendly confines. He was out almost two years ago today that I first addressed most people in this room as the new chairman of the Chicago Cubs. Back then I say we had three priorities. We said that we want to be a good neighbor. And we have not gone about that and raised more money for charitable organizations and ever and reached out to our community more than ever. Another priority we had was to preserve Wrigley Field. And we continue to work toward a solution that will help us get over the significant challenges we have here in our hundred year old ballpark. But the first go all the most important goal that we outline on that day. Was to win a World Series. Today we take a major step. Toward achieving that goal with the announcement of our new president of baseball operations. PO ST. We began this search in August. And I said at that point we were looking for someone. With a background in player development. Someone who had its proven track record of success. Someone who had a strong analytical background and someone who had experiencing creating a culture of winning. It was also important to me. That this person would not be someone who was content with their past successes but but someone who would build on those successes. To improve themselves and to improve the organization that through it. Given these criteria. That we laid out. I simply cannot imagine a better person for this job and Theo Epstein. -- will assume the title of baseball operations president of baseball operations. Reporting directly to me. He will ultimately be responsible for all activities related to the baseball side of the Chicago Cubs organization. We'll be my job. To give him and all his staff all the support that I can. I want to thank everyone in the based on the baseball staff. Over the past few months the entire baseball organization has stayed together stepped up and worked very hard. And of course I can't say enough about acting general manager Randy bush. Who has been a consummate professional. And a valuable advisor throughout this process. I also want to thank our president of business operations Crane -- -- is an excellent baseball executive. Who worked very hard to put this deal together and his partition participation in the process. Has been critical for the success. I would also like to thank my family vote that supportive siblings and diligent directors. This process has had a few an interesting moments but they were always steadfast in their support of me and their commitment. To bring in the right leadership to a baseball organization. From a personal standpoint while I while I enjoyed. Executing the search process I'm glad it's over. As the team chairman I'm extremely pleased with the results of our of our search. And as a fan. I truly excited about the future this thing. But now it's time to go to work. But we. We look forward. To go into work because. We believe that's Chicago Cubs. Have the best fans in baseball. We know that we have the best ballpark in baseball. And we look forward to the day where we can say that we have the best team in baseball. And we are confident. That our new president of baseball operations. Will lead us to that day and -- that I like to introduce the left. Thanks everybody for coming today yeah I've waited a few weeks to say this but it truly feels great to be cut today. Like to start by thinking Tom and in the entire family. For putting their faith in me. -- for giving me this incredible opportunity. I wouldn't be here without your commitment to the fans and without your longterm vision for the organization. I'd also like to thank Crane -- We're working tirelessly to get this transaction done. There really enjoyed my brief time where would you so far. And I look forward to working closely with the use my partner on the business side of the organization. -- like stake Reggie Bush from. In the entire baseball operations department. For being diligent stewards during this transition period I've been around leadership changes in baseball I've been around. Dinner and GM's situation before I know it's not easy. So great job -- good job guys. I'd also like to thank Jim Hendry. My really admire. Forgetting -- off to this organization for seventeen years especially. For staying on this summer. Under really unique circumstances to finish off signing a very strong draft class. That really showed how much Jim -- the cubs' interest in front of his own interest and I hope I can demonstrate that same class and loyalty to the cubs during my tenure here. Also like to -- cubs fans for being so incredibly welcoming to me in my family already. Appreciate your faith in me. And promised to repay you. The hard work and dedication that you deserve. Like to thank god John Henry Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino. Not only for allowing this move that happens. But for giving me my original opportunity is here nine years ago and for supporting me along the way personally and professionally. Also quick thank you Terry Francona. The players on my coworkers and friends of the Red Sox including the fans. Thanks for all the great times there. I'm really proud of what we accomplished together. And I wish you nothing but the best going forward and good luck today event. Finally that affect my beautiful wife Maria who my side for ten years and that his support this move would be possible. And to Jack at home everybody. I was so fortunate to spend a decade in the Red Sox organization and I consider myself very very lucky. To be a cubs today that truly is an honor and a privilege to join such a special organization. To me that baseball. Is better with tradition. Baseball is better -- history. Baseball is better with fans who care. Baseball better in ballparks like best. Baseball is better during the day. And this ball is best of all when you -- you know that ultimately is why I'm here today. -- -- ownership and this -- support I firmly believe that we can preserve. All of those things that does mention that makes the makes makes the cup so special demands over time. Build a consistent winner a team that is playing baseball in October. Regularly. And the team that will ultimately win the World Series. That does not happen overnight. And it certainly does not happen because of any one person. Overtime. And together. We will build a solid foundation that delivers sustained success. For the cubs. That's foundation for sustained success starts with a commitment to scouting and player development. Not just the words. For the actions from other rickets family and already demonstrated that committee -- and an aggressive draft. This past summer and through our actions will demonstrate that commitment every single that. Our goal will be to build the best scouting department in the game one that makes an annual impact in the draft. And internationally. As far as player development goes we will define and implement a cubs away. But playing the game. And we won't rest until there's a steady stream of talent. Coming through the minor league system trained -- -- way in making an impact out here at Wrigley Field. Building the foundation for sustained success. Also requires a team of people working passionately to support a common vision of what the -- can become. -- big part of my job is to build a dynamic baseball operations department that is progressive. Effective. And united. I plan to bring in some of the best and the brightest from outside the organization. But I also plan to sit down and learn from all the talented people who have served the cubs well over the years. Together they're worked to define and implement a new vision for the cubs. The foundation for sustained success also means creating sound decision making processes have their hundreds of small decisions. That baseball front offices make every day a little opportunities. To impact the organization. And our goal will be to create sound results -- process. To that -- we use every bit of available information traditional scouting I want hands. An objective data on on the other hand so that I valuation can come into greater focus. We also pledged to dig -- research and development to try to find that next great competitive advantage they'll push the cubs forward. Building a foundation for success also means creating a winning culture at the big league level. Our fans deserve a clubhouse full of players who are proud to Wear the cubs uniform and are as passionate about winning as they are. Our players on the other hand deserve to know that their teammates out their backs. -- they deserve to know that the organization will always be honest with guns and more card to put them in a position to succeed. We're gonna have to grind always in the top. And we must do so together. You'll be a lot of work. Good thing we -- ready and we are hungry. You know as I mentioned earlier when we do achieve that sustained success and ultimately win a World Series -- not happened because of anyone person. -- happened because of all of us. -- happen because one of our various doubts drive's the extra six miles to get that one last look at a prospect before the draft. I don't happen because a rookie ball pitching coach comes out every day their early work in -- finally finds that right script for young pitchers changeup. -- all happened because someone from our international staff takes the extra time. But to really get to know seventeen year old kid helps make his transitions of the states that much easier. -- happened because of fringe prospect in double play it buys into the clubs away. Takes responsibility for his own development and turns himself into a big piece of perfectly puzzle. It will happen because -- Major League coaching staff is more prepared. Than their counterparts across the field. It'll happen because a Major League players band together. Support each other overcome adversity and work really hard to make our fans proud. -- will not be any one person there will be all of us for the Chicago Cubs. I believe we will do it. And I really can't wait to help lead the right. So Tom thanks again for the opportunities and can't wait to get started. Us. Thank you thank you thank thank you feel we can now open it up for questions and answers we do have a pair of wireless microphones available please wait until you have a microphone in hand before asking your question. Please identify judge yourself and your publication before asking the question. Time he'll feel welcome to Chicago you Bruce Levine ESPN's Chicago. -- far is addressing your managerial situation how quickly He wanted to talk to Mike. Coaches and set up what you need to do. In a timely fashion. -- -- had a couple nice cellphone conversations that -- Roddy. And that we we have plans to meet in person sometime over the next weeks off. And Mike seems like a great guy and he's and he's develops. -- great reputation over many decades in this game so. I look forward to sitting down -- him in person as a first step. Share with him my vision for the organization I'd like to hear his vision for the organization. We have to talk about some things have happened over the last year so about -- of that process of exchanging information sharing our visions and then. We'll get together as a group and decide where we go from there. We know Dodgers Chicago Tribune's. You you referenced the cubs when He eleven draft but I'm just wondering. As it was happening at the time. How you looked at the cubs spending in that draft in Latin America in that period because this somewhat. Atypical how how previous operations of dead ends. Do you think you're -- here had they not been that aggressive last summer. Does the cubs. Draft went on but rescind an autograph from -- we can tell what they're doing and that we. Think we looked at each other. In the draft -- we said they get it. Yeah I think they finally get it they're they're going for it and I think that the dollars we spend in the draft of the dollars that we spend internationally or some of the best dollars a that we spent an industry that best investments that we made so there was a clear. Philosophical change in my opinion. And what they've and a new direction that they've taken over the last six months so that I think that got my attention it got everyone's attention in the game. It's certainly. Aligns well with my vision for how to run a baseball operations side -- say it was a significant moment. They -- generals from ABC seven here in Chicago. You grew up as a Red Sox fan having been born in Brookline Massachusetts how tough was it for you. To make this change after having so much success of Boston. Here. Yeah I had agreed agreed ten years with the Red Sox. You -- A lot of fun. A lot of success we won two World Series we got to see the -- baseball operations department grow we -- see the business side grow over at the ballpark and prove yet to see how the city responded. I would never change it I got to make friends that'll last a lifetime I have to share all of my family. So I would never trade that experience for everything but. I do believe you know Bill Walsh. The 49ers said it best that after about ten years in sports. -- there comes a time when you have to consider change for the benefit not only of the individual involved also. For the benefit of the organization and I wouldn't trade my time -- the Red Sox that you think it is time to move on -- great hands and have a terrific future laid out in front of them and I was ready for the next big challenge and this is certainly the ultimate challenge I'm ready to embrace and move forward. If you Jon Greenberg is in Chicago. What you see you talked about rebuilding we're talking -- this minus time. Lots of them and how importantly that were you see in next year's zone which. -- You know -- toxins in my remarks about building a foundation for sustained success that really is the goal not just. You have one good season and fall back just do things the right way. Build it up through scouting and player development establish a foundation that allows you sustained success a year in year out so. That's gonna be something that we focus on every single day all of us in baseball operations building a foundation. But there's a parallel front. And at the same time we're gonna be working on the on the Major League clubs because. Every season represents an opportunity to win. Every opportunity to win this sacred it's sacred to us -- inside the organization should be sacred to the fans as well. And they deserve our best efforts to do what we can to improve the club to -- And but the club in a position just to succeed in any given season so. Those are that you have parallel fronts are going to be operating on we're gonna dedicate a lot of time to building a foundation. And also a lot of time energy and creative thought to see what we can do exit. Take the cubs as competitive as possible is as good -- baseball team as possible -- as many games as possible. I would say it is the decisions that we make. Will be -- the best interest of the cubs over the long -- in mind He is that we need to do this the right way you know there are no shortcuts in baseball. But we're gonna be working on both fronts opportunities to win -- sacred and building -- foundation for long term success is fundamental. Beyond David Caplan from W jury of Comcast sports net there's been a lot of talk about culture change. Here Wrigley Field when you hear that term culture change in the clubhouse in the organization. Was MET. Means a couple different things I think. The easiest way to start to change the culture is is in the is in the front office and that. Essentially involves. A lot of hard work. It involves. Setting high standards it involves. Coming together around a common vision for the organization. And getting everyone to buy and that it's the most important thing in the world to us and essentially just. Working so hard that. It creates. Culture. Responsibility of culture of achievement culture of bystanders and if you're not ready to buy into that here. Probably. Not going to be along for the ride. That same thing happens. In the big league club -- can set. Set the tone in the front office and ultimately the manager in Major League coaching staff. Will be -- but and a veteran leadership on the club. Will be responsible for setting that same tone establishing a winning culture. Individually clubhouse. And that involves players. Prioritizing winning involves players having each other's back. It involves players taking seriously the responsibilities that come with the job. Preparations. Fitness. You know being ready to play every single day and an understanding that winning is the single most important thing so. -- cultural changes don't come easily. And you can't take them they have yet you have to do it through hard work we're ready to do that. -- Rick Morrissey from each other sometimes. You've made it pretty clear here that this is this is a team effort. What what makes you think. That you can do what no one else has been able to do -- -- in three years. We'll get it won't be me doing it there will be it'll be all of us doing it. Yeah all right well I got to Boston. I promise not to to refer to the Red Sox and every chance of I think it's apropos here there are a lot of similarities. -- when I got to Boston and more than 86 years. And we didn't run from that challenge. We embraced it. And we decided that the way to attack it was to. Build the best baseball operation that we could. To try to establish a winning culture. To work as hard as possible. And to bring in players who cared. More about each other and more about winning and what about. -- them what you know the people around them -- -- via the external expectations of the external mindset. That's something that is going to be important to us here as well now. This talked about it we're gonna build the best baseball operation we can we're gonna change the culture. Our players are gonna change the culture along with us and in the Major League -- house and we're gonna make we're gonna make building a foundation for sustained success. Priority that'll -- -- playing October baseball. More often than not down the road and once you get in October. There's a legitimate chance to in the world's -- and so I believe we can do it -- look forward health. Feel Pedro Gomez from ESPN it better. When you took over the Sox that was -- Roster an organization that was ready I -- in your first year LCS second year World Series champs how do you view where the cubs are today. As you take over on -- one. But I certainly think that there is there's a gap between where we are and and where we wanna be and that doesn't affect. The work that we do to build that foundation that's gonna start there's scouting and player development but it -- does impact how we look at our other primary responsibility. Which is taking advantage of those sacred opportunities to win we're gonna have to. We're gonna ask that a high hit rate we're gonna have to to get creative look at the big league team. And work extremely hard to put them in a position to to contend. Next year and in the years that follow. -- but it but it it can't be done they can be done there are lots of examples of of the teams. Coming off difficult seasons. Pushing all the right buttons and all of a sudden being in contention of that that's. That doesn't always happen and they in this is more variability when you're that type situation but really do our best on that front even as. The important daily work. Of building a foundation for long term success continues on -- off. Feel like David Shuster with the BS ER radio welcome to Chicago thank you all. Com took a long time for you to get in here. And now that you are in charge supposedly wanted to hang -- Compensation package now that you are in charge are you to figure out final touches or. The compensation package for you coming in here. Well you know the first they'll say about does that the cubs cubs and Red Sox have a great working relationship they've had -- for years they're gonna have one together going forward in the future of their a lot of solid relationships on both ends. And -- they're able to make a lot of progress you know. I'm being announced the president of baseball operations here today. -- -- is going to be announces the general manager of the Red Sox in both organizations are targeted move forward were able to attack the offseason Malawi have. You know the issue of compensation. I'm sure will be addressed in coming weeks here between the clubs of the if they're -- best efforts to try to get done or ultimately by a third party -- the bigger picture here is that. That we got it done the organizations are still allied and have amicable relations that we can move forward. -- -- -- -- Tom. You're adamant about not. Wanted to bring in a baseball guy not needing a baseball -- to run the entire baseball operation did you change your mind -- man or was -- a case of having to elevate feel. In order to get him. Well I mean I think that time. No matter how you look at it ultimately there has to be one person who's responsible. For the decisions. Of the baseball organization. And accountable for the results in the baseball organization. After the last summer it was GM and as of today it's -- And you know there it all has to come up to one 21 person is responsible and so I'm having you know ultimately that's that's basically how it works. Last summer when when the question and asked us and I wasn't gonna hire someone over champ. To to second guess sort to watch him and I'm not -- -- same thing that -- -- the obvious decisions and he'll be accountable for the results. CO. And sort of deviant. Top objectives process. Is old -- -- and short list. And it's old because the red carpet into the playoffs yet -- its contract. Did you view them as a long shot. Well the on the process. The web managed it was we started without any list. The first thing we did to us take a look at all thirty teams and see what kind of results each of those teams had -- had had produced over the past ten years. Both in terms of wings win percentage wind consistency when efficiency we -- other wins -- also stayed all the systems in baseball. And and which of those were most consistent and creating Major League players which once had the most Major League ready players in their system and which systems on average were the best. And when you do all that you come up with a handful of teams that seem to rise above that's where we. We focused our our energies. On the side of what I was doing as I talked to. About twenty people in Major League Baseball. My trust. People it to that would maybe understand our situation and be able to give me candid and confidential assessment of what I should be looking for and and a perfect world who I should be looking for. And that ran through the end of and of the season. And we knew that we couldn't we were not gonna reach out to anyone to after the season. That in that process. It was done. It was apparent to me that. That deal was the best man for this job. We waited -- The right moment to to address that with with the Red Sox and then and then move forward. Leo rich -- WG NTV in Chicago because it covers of the bottom of the leaders the last couple years of high achievers weapon a couple ways. I changed at how quickly can change that mentality of fundamental baseball player. Well defense is it is an -- Out of the game you know run prevention as a whole pitching and defense is essential if you're gonna winning club and it it really does start with with good fundamental -- -- something that we have to prioritize not just at the daily level of it but throughout the organization and we have to. Created cubs of the -- touches all aspects of the game and and there'll be. Player development manual with the with the appropriate way to play defense and every position expectations that we have four players not just office -- also defensively and once we build this foundation that that cubs who have been integrated vertically so we're playing in the game the same way. Dominican Summer League as we are rookie Basra and double last year at the big league level so. That's a real opportunity. To create competitive advantage if we can be sound fundamentally on the defensive side of the ball I would base running. Up and down the organization that upscale we're gonna go. And chairman crane Chicago business this is for both you morning how would you characterize. The discussions that you had what was discussed. Leo how important it was for you again. Commitments for. Time and front office -- and also of him. Really great discussions there we sat down and and basically talked baseball for her for five or six hours and we. I share from. I shared my experience with the Red Sox things I thought we had done well things I thought that we can do better things I've learned from my time there that I can possibly apply going forward with a new organization. Shared my vision for. How are about the cubs should be run going forward of the next period of time. And Tom shared his experience. To Hitler learned a lot about the game in the last two years and there -- respect his approach getting out in the field going down to visit the minor league staff and scouts and spending time with down's easy get a feel for. Not just the macro economic picture of the game at the ownership level but also down in the trenches how how winning organizations are -- so. We just we talk baseball for a long time and that about we've really made a connection and that that made this some more attractive option for me. As far as commitments they made any we're open on a salute one another. You know it's it's clear that. Throughout an opportunity to grow the baseball operations that thing we have to do that to build the -- as dynamic an operation this month. And it's also clear that there are. More than enough resources here. For us to win they'll be up to me to decide how to allocate those resources not just with the Major League payroll and in the draft internationally with the retired hiring talented scouts and field staff so. There's a great opportunity here. I Theo Davis is the answer David Shuster again you tend to really thoughtful article that ran in the Boston Globe and one of the things that you wrote in there. Was there's almost like a limitation of how long it. Sometimes you can hang around in an organization in sports I don't know with the timeframe was can -- expound on that -- that is in sports. Yeah yeah I mentioned that. In the articles morning -- cited Bill Walsh who. This built by the respected yet this theory and others about the same theory that. After about ten years in sports. It reaches a timer and kind of neat new vision for the organization and where the coach and executive maybe needs a new a new challenge in new landscape it's to apply his own his own principles up. Yeah I don't know if that's an across the board rule actually plastic and other high pressure jobs well if you look at university presidents for example. Usually their peak effectiveness for the first decade on the job after that is their move on or lose effectiveness so. Tough we got we got a lot we can do it a lot we accomplish in the next ten years of that repeats itself but I'm really happy to be a cubs -- looking forward to being held for long time. -- they've dropped in Chicago Tribune you know how much of the cubs' opening bell influenced or accelerated that speaking in your own head. Because the opportunity that existed here in town maybe you can address it. How well where where you that He might be ready to move -- from Boston. Well my focuses on the Red Sox we got a lot to do we had. You know one of the most talented teams in baseball field earlier in the midst of another great season now unfortunately ended the disappointment. But as I mentioned in the the op Ed piece this morning differ for a little while now I've started -- You know those words of Bill Walsh have been resonating with me a little bit so I decided -- back in my mind. That there -- -- -- transition upcoming. Helped train and Carrington is is more than capable of taking over as my successor. And you know once we got through this season all the sudden we are in a position that the Red Sox have to hire new manager. I felt like that was something that was best done by. Then you get used going to be there for the long haul. And then when the cubs called. Frankly that really got my attention. Because of that history because this tradition because of their greatest commitment to winning. Because of the ballpark in the fans. And because of the fact that we haven't won a World Series -- really really long time you know. The two best parts of my job. The last decade that the Red Sox. First thing was. Helping to build a scouting and player development machine -- from the from the ground floor and getting in the trenches with the guys and help direct player development manuals scouting manuals billion from the ground up and ultimately helping to -- big league players that. Helped us win games and innocent and that and the other great thing try to best that's part of me with a Red Sox was playing a small part. They're winning that World Series in 2004. And getting to see the looks on people's faces the joy that it brought. Families that were hanging Red Sox Pattinson on the on the graves and cemeteries. That that rise from Logan Airport to Fenway Park where we -- business men and women. Stopping in those treatment is our boss getting out hugging each other construction workers titans other out on top -- buildings and and it it really impacted. The whole region of the country in generations of families so the cubs opportunity. Provides me for a provides us a forum to do both those things. We can build scouting and player development operation from the ground up do it together. And and they end up having lots of players come to system in the -- way player right here regularly ends you know. When we build that foundation for sustained success and ultimately results in a World Series. Skin and it's going to be more than just a World Series again. Impact a lot of people lot of cubs fans a lot of helps families who for generations have waited and waited for World Series of the two best things about -- Red Sox experience that may have a chance to to try to recreate here so sure got my attention. And made -- consider making that move. I do it. Back to the party questions addressed to me be out there they had no idea. You know we just had to you know we we went through our analysis and I looked at and I said well before we move for an hour ago see if there's it is a chance. That that we can talk -- after about. Ten or fifteen minutes of our conversation I knew this was the guy is that we needed here so. We're just. After that it was just a matter of just you know going through the process an excuse. Theres not a charm He is in Chicago. Thank you -- a change in philosophy is one of the things cubs probably -- is behind. Expensive Red -- statistical analysis. He has talked about how important aspect is they're building a winning team and how you'll go -- them part of. Future. But my personal approach is that the best organizations. Used both traditional scouting at its best. And subjective analysis that's best and -- you can look you can look at each of those. Paradigm does as a lens through it to view player so if you hire the best doubts put them in a position to see the players. At the right time. And get good saw accurate scouting reports you see the players through through a strong traditional scouting lands. If you hire the best analysts. Get get the most accurate data to make them of making the best adjustments to the most thorough analysis and you come out with the the best available. A statistical information that's another -- and objectives plans. Do wish to view the player but it that the way to see the player most accurately that to get the truest picture of the player this to put -- those plans together. And look through them simultaneously and you get to pretty darn accurate a picture of the player itself. That that that was my approach as I came up through the game -- Literally sitting between the scouting director in this in this that's analysts that the Padres and that's how I've I've formed my way of looking at the game. That's the approach we tried to. Use of the Red Sox and I'd like to bring that same approach or the cubs. Feel like dot USA today. In the short term with the players payroll you'll have to work with next year -- be higher or lower about the same as the cubs on this you. I have a personal policy the Boston writers who knows well -- of policy of never commenting at all on non player payroll issues. I say gets to the -- bandits -- enough promulgate any of that information and talk about her future plans. But also that's at a set earlier -- there -- more than enough resources here to win there there are tremendous revenues. And we'll have a very significant. Amount of resources on the baseball side to allocate as we see fit. And doesn't necessarily mean it's all gonna go into Major League payroll right away. There could be an opportunity to do that depends how the market plays itself out and more a better feel for that after -- dig deeper about the organization and our needs but it could be that reallocate some some of those resources. To the drafts internationally to building up. And even better infrastructure for scouting and player development itself. There there are a lot of resources here and ultimately they'll be up to us with the decisions that we make overtime to for them to get you. It's. DR Phil -- Chicago Tribune again. What you say you have more than enough resources to win and while the Red Sox were close when you've got terrorism world were promoted to GM. Fenway Park today looks totally different than it did ten years ago the Red Sox have tapped into revenue streams. In that decade that have been just market. How much of your optimism in. Thinking you can succeed here is I into the ability. Replicate that success on the business side I know you're baseball -- it certainly has impacted. Well yeah I'm I'm a bit of a purist when it comes when it comes to the game so I'm truly lucky to to have had the opportunity to work -- semi part for ten years and incredibly lucky. The -- Wrigley Field home now is it might those are my two favorite ballparks. In the game. I'll just say guessed it yet during my time of the Red Sox. And I got to see. How important it was. -- to renovate the ball argument that could even group drawn there's a kid through the eighties incident ninety's. The markets are in the fall into disrepair a little bit away is still a great place but it wasn't as creatively as to watch a game is as maybe had been earlier. I was lucky and in game there in 2002. That was right around the time that that there renovations started and the impact was tremendous. Improve the fan experience. Fantastically. It generated revenues. That are remarkable -- And then that in turn allowed us on the baseball side to take those revenues. And pour them into our baseball operation which allowed us to it gets the level we want to be and stay there. And and beyond that. It did it has significant impact on the city. -- semi part became this jewel of Boston everybody came to town. Had to see to experience and so. Not sure if we if we're lucky enough to followed days those same steps here in Chicago and Wrigley Field. You'll only means great things have fans. Great things for our revenues which in turn means great things for a baseball operations. And and the great thing for the city Chicago. PO Christina Carl from espn.com. Welcome to Chicago thank you. I'm Jim Friday Jim hindering. There's been a lot of money spent on post prime free agents in cubs history I'm curious about how your interest in changing that dynamic. I'm in terms of attracting the very best of his team in this market. Second your whole question about post post crime free agents and changing that. How do you wanna change the dynamic or how do you anticipate changing the dynamic protect the very best on the market to this team in this market. -- But I think you have baseball players. Have a primate should know this is an age range owns this starting somewhere around point six point seven ending somewhere around 3132. That's. In which you get that the best production in the book that best bang for your buck with the player so. You know clearly we're gonna have a diversified roster -- -- a lot of young players under control we're gonna have some players -- arbitration years and we're sure to have some veterans and their creation years as well I think. If we do our jobs are away. We'll have as many. Players in their prime hopefully homegrown impact type players. Who are moving into their prime years are still in their prime -- that's the best formula to build a winning baseball club that said. There's an important role for veterans. And veteran leadership. I think the key is to. Make sure that you pay and I've learned this lesson through the years the hard way as well to the key is to pay for future for. Mormons not for past performance. Leo Al -- from the times northwest Indiana war torn city thank you you've accomplished a lot. Great things early in your life. What's the quality your tree that you feel you process that separates you from -- Leaders in the game from. That's a tough one. Ability to stating conspicuous at Starbucks in the Chicago area. Maybe not maybe not so much in -- I don't know I mean I've had my colleagues tell me my friends tell me in the game as its competitiveness that. You know I think a lot of people -- in the game -- competitive. Being honest to myself that's that's them -- hyper competitive. Maybe overly driven to succeed. And and on the same but but at the same time I don't like to do it individually I like to. Get into a bunker with a group of people that I believe and and you believe in is a leader. Developer could vision that we can that we share. And and work our tails off in order to see it through implemented on the field there's. Nothing better in the game and then sitting back there watching. Players -- campaign over another or even that the other guys in the front office in the scouts in the field staff. -- pin on one another and know that. You were there they were there working along nights putting the hard work and play a small role on helping him make that happens I think my competitiveness. And my desire to be part of a group united by common goal. Two characteristics that thing. Observed that while some in -- and in some capacity. Feel out mathematical. 600 to score -- Begin moving forward with the organization in teaching uniform approach -- baseball is done. And what's a realistic timetable to understanding that the entire organization is move forward in that direction. Well I think the the first step is to. Well -- 21 steps one met this earlier line is to actively pursue the best and the brightest. Out there from other organizations if true impact personnel that we can that we can bring in its it's immediately make us a better organization. And the second step is to sit down with the that talented people here. Who have served the cubs of offers for so long I know there's a lot of can learn from them not just about how the cubs have operated and things the cubs do well on things the cubs do better. But I can learn about the game from them this in this game. There are no definitive answers you know really if you think you've got off to get out in this game you get humbled really quickly. So I look forward to sitting down the for the folks that we have here bringing in the best and brightest from outside forming a cohesive unit and then then the next deficit down to find that vision. There's not one way to play this game is this it -- -- the cubs away albeit dynamics. Living breathing entity that changes every year we're gonna add to our scouting manuals are player development every year. Through insights that we developed through hard work and research and also through mistakes that we made and learned to take some things out of that approach so it's gonna start immediately. -- -- the people and then we'll build the processes around that before. We'll do two more questions that were written in the smaller groups. CEO meg and on merit not Muster during your discussions did you have any hesitation and concern tonight that in this this. No you know I had. I -- and some skepticism going in is because I had such a great situation in Boston and as I discussed earlier and near us Friday nearing the end of my tenure there just because a thousand importance. Look for the next challenge that -- important for the Red Sox to to have the benefit of the true change I can come from a new perspective. But you know the more I learned about the cubs the more I learned about the rickets family the more I learned about. It's a lot of people over here. The more interest that I was in -- dating back to. My time as a kid watching some games on the Adobe GM has a Red Sox fan all the way. But -- in those games on the end the day is come home right after school on their on. I developed to serve romantic notion of the cubs and and what they're all about Wrigley Field in the history and tradition in. Clearly the fact that -- on the World Series and along time and it was nice for me that the reality you know what I learned about ownership and the fans and and division here matches up with that romantic vision and and that this was the right place to come to. Leo Alex the media -- around six 82 part question subsequent and a obviously there's there's a new challenge and new opportunities here for you but structurally how is this different to what was what was appealing about this job structurally -- when you had in Boston. In the second part is what's this been like the last couple weeks just kind of in this. I don't know that would be characterized as limbo -- this kind of in between criminal state if you've been. Mr. I guess that's a second part first. The last couple weeks have been. Interstate. Does talent we have a front office meeting yesterday. I got to meet the whole front office has talent on that felt like that guy into the office space. But this this red state by state Fuller who. Just gives buzz at Fenway Park you know you just keep showing up to work as as if someone forgot to tell me that didn't work there anymore I thought -- I did end up in the basement with the six cubicleescape runner. I knew it was time to -- to Chicago. But it was fun yeah -- news organizations. We're doing the best they can and and that the relationships are solid publicize that eventually you get worked out that did. Your first question about structural. Yet you know decide this job allows me two. League baseball operations Disney's. -- A wide net of responsibilities -- to make decisions allocate resources as a as -- see fit within baseball operations as a as a as a case in Boston to a large extent. There's some additional responsibilities here I'm gonna serve as the baseball liaison to the business side and work closely. With crane. -- your organization forward we have a number of projects under development. In the Dominican Republic in -- Eventually hear it appeared regularly. And I -- be involved in helping scene goes through to fruition and with great -- be involved in all the baseball elements. Of the work that we're gonna do here so it's it's a great job I'm perfectly happy -- I came here. To join the cubs and to help Africa to help build a foundation help the cubs went. I didn't come here for a title or for anything else that that a perfectly perfectly happy with. The structure in and even happier about the people -- excellent. Thank you for joining us Tom thank you.