Cubs President, Baseball Operations Theo Epstein Sits With “Sportfolio” @BloombergTV Tonight

Extensive interview with Cubs top baseball executive highlights “Theo’s Second Act” Tonight at 9 EDT/8CDT
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May 30, 2012 - PRLog -- Tonight at 9 p.m. EDT 8 p.m. CST, Bloomberg TV premieres a special edition of Sportfolio focusing on Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.

Epstein resigned as General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, where he had led the franchise to two World Championships, and joined Chicago in October 2011. Owner Tom Ricketts -- head of bond firm InCapital LLC, who bought the Cubs in 2009 – hired Epstein to rebuild an organization that has not won a World Series since 1908. Sharing a belief in quantitative analysis and effective management, the evolution of this leadership team is one of the most important and interesting sports business stories of 2012.

“Theo’s Second Act” features extensive interviews by host Rick Horrow with Epstein and Ricketts, reviewing the process that led to Epstein’s move from Boston to Chicago, and examining the systems and processes that the two men are putting in place to change the culture and performance of the Cubs. It also includes analysis from SABR President Vince Gennaro evaluating Epstein’s tenure in Boston.

Here is a clip…


Tom Ricketts on his lifelong fascination with the quantitative side of baseball:
“In the late '80s, I was in some fantasy leagues.  And I became a Bill James addict.  I read all the abstracts he put out back then...actually on my business school application, would've been 1990ish, I wrote that my dream job was to own the Cubs.”

Theo Epstein on his decision to join Ricketts in Chicago:
“I think you should do lots of different things in your life…And once you've worked in Boston-- I feel like you can't go just anywhere, you know?  You have to go somewhere with tradition and where it'll mean something if you win.  And where there's a great challenge.  And certainly, the Cubs represent all those things.”

Tom Ricketts on his reasons for hiring Theo Epstein:
“I had a lot of time to analyze the market and see which teams had consistently outperformed other teams.  I had a lot of time to talk to people in the industry and get their thoughts and opinions on who was the best fit for the Cubs….I think that one thing  that is often lost in discussions of some of the things Theo does well is he builds teams.  He brings in guys. It's not just him.”

Jerry DiPoto, Angels General Manager and scout for Red Sox in 2003-2005:
“Theo taught me that there's no stupid question.  There's sometimes stupid answers.  But there's no stupid question.  Always be willing to ask that next one. He made you want to turn over every stone and be the guy who came to him and said, "I think I found something that's gonna work for us."

Theo Epstein on the business culture he aims to create:
“We try to create an environment where there's a lot of discourse, a lot of dissent.  Almost like a law school classroom.  We're calling on people randomly and challenge their answers, and keep pushing to get to the right answer.”

Theo Epstein on the use of innovative metrics and data analysis:
“There's always the possibility for big breakthroughs and completely uniquely thought.  And that'll be transformative.  But I think that these days, that's more tied to finding new streams of data than it is looking at the same stuff [in] a different way.”

Theo Epstein on the value of patience:
“I think our job in the front office is to build sound processes and sound systems and bring in good people to implement those processes…in baseball when you do that, you can shift the odds maybe from 50/50 on any one decision to, 55/45 would be a best case scenario…It's probably less than that..And so you have to be patient, and-- and use time to your advantage to understand there's going to be a turn over the course of several decisions.  Several dozen decisions.  Several hundred decisions if you have the right processes and the right people implementing them.  And you'll start to see things move in your favor.”

Theo Epstein on the challenge:
“Our sights are set clearly on the future.  But we do so with a healthy respect for everything that's come before…nobody wants to take away what it means to be a Cub, what it's meant to be a Cub, and what it means to be a Cubs' fan.  So we're gonna embrace all of it.”

Now over six months into its weekly run, this week’s edition of “Sportfolio” will add to a guest list that has already included: NBA Commissioner David Stern, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, MLS Commissioner Doug Garber,  Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie,  Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross,  Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, Padres owner Jeff Moorad, NASCAR’s Brian
France, Jeff Gordon, Masters Champion Bubba Watson, IZOD Indy Car’s Randy
Bernard, and many, many others, with additional shows on the business of
sport  planned well into the summer. The show reaches more than 270 million households through first-run and syndicated airings.

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