snippet from a really good WSJ article
The office Tom Ricketts inherited when he took over the Chicago Cubs in 2009 was a windowless room beneath the upper deck of Wrigley Field. A closet just outside his door contained all of the team’s computer servers, which were covered by a cafeteria tray to shield them from the water that would leak through the ceiling when it rained.
The Cubs were still processing season ticket orders by fax machine. They kept up on trade news by employing someone to scan the Internet for articles and deliver printouts to executives’ desks. Some of their staffers were barely on e-mail. And space was so limited that half of them worked in trailers in the parking lot.
“I’m not sure which was more embarrassing for us,” Ricketts said in an interview this week. “That half of our people were in construction trailers or that the people in construction trailers actually had better offices.”
This was the baseball stone age from which the Cubs have emerged to reach the National League Championship Series, where they’ll face the New York Mets beginning Saturday. The talk now is about whether the team can finally break the famed Curse of the Billy Goat and win its first World Series since 1908. But the resurgence of the Cubs has less to do with mythology than with how they transformed themselves into a modern sports business.
“When we were out scouting these guys,’’ Epstein said, detailing the grind for the scouts and all the miles traveled just to try to put together such a plan, “we’d be like, ‘Oh, if we can get Bryant in the draft, if we can get Schwarber in the draft with what we have.’
“We’d write out the lineups on cocktail napkins at 2 in the morning in some sh—y hotel bar, thinking where we might get them in the draft. “Then we get them and we put them up on the white board in the board room and we start to get pretty excited.
“Then in spring training, you see them play together for the first time and you start to get really excited, and then in the regular season it happens and we take off.’’
“It’s just insanity,’’ Epstein said.
SemperFidelisSox said:And deGrom v Hammel in Game 3 looks like a huge mismatch on paper.
PayrodsFirstClutchHit said:NESN needs to go with a color rotation of 60 games each for Eck and Pedro with Millar and a rotation of former Sox players picking up the remaining 40+,
InsideTheParker said:How important is Addison Russell? Will the Cubs miss him a lot? (Don't follow the team.)
Thanks. I see that Quintin Berry has taken his spot on the roster, presumably to play Dave Roberts if the spot comes up.E5 Yaz said:
He's an excellent defender, developing hitter. If defense at SS becomes an issue for them, they'll miss him a great deal