Theo Epstein came to a Chicago Cubs team that had a depleted farm system and a 71-91 record in 2011. By 2016, he had turned that into a top-five farm system, a 97-win team, and a 2016 World Series title.
Epstein will be looking for his next challenge now, after resigning as the Cubs' president of baseball operations on Tuesday. He held the position for nine seasons.
The 2016 championship broke the Cubs' 108-year World Series drought and is one of Epstein’s biggest accomplishments. His strategy of drafting offensive power while adding pitchers via trade and free agency made the Cubs one of the NL’s most dangerous teams the last five seasons.
Epstein becomes one of the most accomplished front-office executives available. He was the youngest general manager in MLB history when he was hired by the Boston Red Sox in 2002 at 28.
He also helped end Boston’s 86-year championship drought in 2004, and won another title in 2007. Epstein played a role in ending two of the three longest World Series droughts in MLB history.
While technically he is available, don’t hold your breath. The Mets and Phillies are among the teams that seem to be nice fits for Epstein if he wants a job, but that appears unlikely.
Epstein’s departure from Chicago might have surprised some, but it’s not hard to see how the writing was on the wall. Most of those once-cheap prospects are now premium players preparing for big paydays, and the Cubs' pockets aren’t that deep. Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo will be free agents after next season.
Another rebuild will likely unfold soon, and it doesn’t sound as if Epstein wanted to do that again.
Gregg Marshall out at Wichita State
Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall was accused of punching a player, choking an assistant and using profanity-laced insults and racial slurs last month in stories published by Stadium and The Athletic. He kept his job during the school’s investigation, but now he’s being replaced.
Wichita State announced Marshall’s resignation as head coach. He was the winningest coach in the program’s history.
If Marshall was innocent of all these allegations like he said last month, then resigning is a difficult decision to understand. That is until you realize Marshall will be paid a hefty buyout that isn’t going over too well.
The resignation further dims Marshall’s future as a coach and the Wichita State program. Under Marshall, the Shockers had four 30-win seasons in a five-year stretch beginning in 2013.
Drew Brees and Nick Foles injury updates
Drew Brees has a collapsed lung and fractured ribs, and Nick Foles was carted off the field Monday night. Both injuries might have sounded worse than they are.
Brees is not expecting to miss too much time and appears to be in good spirits. More tests this week will reveal the full extent of his injury and potential missed time.
The Saints also have Jameis Winston, who might be the best backup quarterback in football. It must be nice to have the guy who led the NFL in passing yards last season just waiting.
Often when a quarterback is planted into the ground by a big defensive lineman the way Foles was, the immediate concern is a collarbone injury. It’s one that the NFL has worked hard to prevent, and Foles seems to have dodged a bullet.
It wasn’t his collarbone that was hurt. Foles injured his glute, but head coach Matt Nagy is optimistic about his playing chances, especially with a bye this week.