Theo Epstein doesn’t think complacency will be an issue for Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have spent the better part of four months awash in the afterglow of ending a century-plus championship drought by outlasting the Cleveland Indians to win the organization’s first World Series title in 108 years.
But Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein doesn’t see any reason why the team will somehow be complacent in 2017 in the aftermath. In fact, Epstein believes the Cubs have the makeup and mindset to be even hungrier this season as defending World Series champions, saying complacency is “a total non-issue” for this year’s squad.
“This is the lowest-maintenance group I’ve been around,” Epstein said ahead of Monday’s 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, via the Chicago Tribune. “They handled the target on the back so well last year, and they’re handling the fact we won and avoiding that complacency better than I could have imagined.
“We don’t have to do anything. They’re so focused, so hard-working, they understand they need to approach this with all the intensity they did last year if they want to … enjoy that special feeling late in the year again.”
The Cubs have opened the season well with a 5-2 start. The team on Monday finally unfurled its 2016 World Series champion banner in its home opener at Wrigley Field in an evening filled with pageantry, pomp and circumstance.
Epstein probably has as good a reading on the pulse of the Cubs as anyone and understands how any team can easily rest on its laurels following success.
But now that the Cubs for all intents and purposes are done with all the world championship revelry following Monday’s ceremonies, perhaps the Cubs are ready to turn the page and focus on being repeat World Series champions. After all, there’s no reason to wait another century for the next title.