Somebody else's podcast: Jed speaks!
And all of David Ross' limitations were on display in Detroit last night
Cubs President of “Honestly, I’m as surprised as you are that this is kind of working” Jed Hoyer was on somebody else’s podcast this week to talk about the Cubs’ season, how close they came to selling before turning around and not just not selling but adding a good hitter, and actually discussing why he was so loathe to call what obviously was a rebuild, a rebuild.
It’s Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville’s podcast, Starkville, and for the first several hours the podcast was live the description and name of the pod said, “Jen Hoyer” which I found amusing. For a guy who spent most of his career in Theo Epstein’s shadow, how much could getting his name wrong really bother him?
The interview itself is also a reminder that Jed is a pretty likable guy. As much as Theo deserves his exalted position of future Hall of Famer and former boy genius for doing the impossible in both Boston and Chicago, Jed has always struck me as more of a normal guy. I mean, as much of a regular guy as somebody who went to a private boarding school in New Hampshire and then Wesleyan (and not Illinois Wesleyan, either) can be. I’m not saying Jed’s terribly good at this job. But for a guy in charge of a baseball team he just seems less tortured than most.
This podcast episode is full of some insightful and sometimes funny stuff. So it’s worth a listen.
Stark points out that after an 11-6 start, the Cubs only won 15 of their next 40 games, and if they make the playoffs they will have been 10 games under .500 later in the season for any playoff team ever, save for last year’s Mariners’ team. It makes sense that with expanded playoffs there’s a better chance to pull out of a skid and get back into it, but still, it’s pretty rare.
Jed states the obvious when he says that the hardest part of any rebuild is when it’s time to start winning again (duh) and he has a good story about a very bored Dansby Swanson basically becoming a de facto front office member while rehabbing his heel injury (sort of like Kyle Schwarber in 2016) and trying to make Jed explain how selling players at the deadline would actually make the Cubs better in 2024. Jed didn’t have a good answer for that, because there wasn’t one.
One of the things Jed referenced was that the plan that Theo brought to the Cubs in 2011 was immediately rendered obsolete just three weeks after they were hired.
He didn’t go into details, and he didn’t have to. It all came flooding back to me.
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