Theo Epstein brings Cubs fans new hope

October 25, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Baseball season has been over for several weeks in Chicago but the Cubs and Epstein were all anyone wanted to talk about Tuesday night.

"If you are a Cubs fan you got to be reason to be excited, because there's a new guy in town and he's got vision," said Jonathan Hood, ESPN 1000.

The 37-year-old Epstein has already done what Cubs fans have been dreaming about for more than a century. In fact, he won two World Series championships with the Boston Red Sox. It's not often the hiring of a team executive draws as much buzz. Fans say Epstein is different.

When asked if Epstein can bring the Cubs a World Series win, fan Scott D'Agostino said, "One guy can't do it...he's done it before. Why can't he do it again?"

Some out of town fans waited outside Wrigley Tuesday afternoon and got to meet Epstein as he left for another round of interviews.

"I said congratulations on the job. Hopefully you can turn this team around and get a first baseman," said Matt Bodenheimer, Cubs fan.

Despite the widespread optimism, however, some more realistic Cubs fans recall the hiring of 1994 Andy McPhail as the Cubs president 17 years ago. At the time, McPhail was the hot, young executive in demand. He had won two championships with Minnesota and Cubs fans had high hopes. But during his 12 seasons with the Cubs, they never reached baseball's promised land.

"The Cubs have to beat 103 years of history, plus some of the worst mismanagement that you have seen in any franchise," said George Castle, author of seven books on the Cubs.

McPhail was quoted as saying in some ways Esptein faces a bigger challenge than he did nearly two decades ago. He says the expectations are greater now.

For now at least, Epstein is enjoying a little bit of a honeymoon. But he has lots of big questions to answer soon, like who is going to be the manager and what is the team going to look like.

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