Theo Epstein admits this regular season has been his toughest since coming to Chicago


Theo Epstein and his Chicago Cubs have had another successful season on the North Side, clinching a postseason berth Wednesday night, but the Cubs President of Baseball Operations admitted today on 670 the Score Thursday morning that 2018 has been an unexpected challenge.

His big three signings in the off-season of Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood, and Brandon Morrow will likely watch their team in the postseason from their couch. Kris Bryant has missed over 60 games due to a shoulder injury, a slew of re-scheduled games that ended up forcing the Cubs to play 30 consecutive days, and the Cubs entire offense outside of Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo has been massive questions marks all season long.

Challenging is an understatement. 

But despite all that, the Cubs still maintain their lead in the NL Central and currently own the best record in the National League, but Epstein admitted today on 670 the Score that 2018 hasn't been the smoothest of rides. 

Of course, Epstein is referring to Mike Freeman and Jamie Garcia and their roles in the Cubs 7-6 win over the Pirates Wednesday night. Freeman was playing in his first game of 2018 for the Cubs while Garcia was acquired almost a month ago, but both were playing in the Cubs biggest game of the season thus far. 

The 31-year-old utility man in Freeman was added to the 40-man roster to replace Addison Russell, who is currently on administrative leave while the MLB conducts its private investigation on the alleged domestic violence accusations coming from his now ex-wife. Epstein commented on the investigation, essentially saying he won't know anything until the MLB makes an official announcement. 

Epstein also said he spoke with Joe Maddon about him not reading the blog post shared by Russell's ex-wife, which lead to Maddon finally reading the post. 

And these are just the recent struggles for the Cubs, as the team has battled inconsistent play from the offense and a pitching staff that didn't come into its own until Cole Hamels arrived in town. But here they are, four games left on the season and still in control of their destiny with only one goal in mind: to win the division. Epstein said that multiple players weren't even aware they had clinched a postseason berth Wednesday night with a Cardinals loss. 

The Cubs have never lost sight of their goals and while many see this club as a disappointing team that has made it work, maybe that narrative should be more about a team battling through adversity all season to still claim the best record in their league. That narrative will need to be finalized this week as the Cubs and Brewers enter a dogfight to claim the NL Central crown. 

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