Hoyer replaces Epstein as Chicago Cubs baseball boss
Finding a new president of baseball operations to replace Theo Epstein could have been a daunting task for Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts.
Less than a week after Epstein resigned his post Ricketts promoted Jed Hoyer, who was the Cubs' general manager the last nine seasons.
"It was a little over nine years ago when I sat down for dinner with Theo Epstein," Ricketts said. "And when we were talking about him coming over to the Cubs, the first thing he said was it's not really about one person, it's about a whole organization, and if you want to have a great team on the field you have to have a great team off the field.
"When he set about to build that great team off the field, the first person he wanted was Jed Hoyer. Jed and Theo got together and started to build an organization that truly achieved sustained success and ultimately led us to many playoff victories, including the (2016) World Series. We said the words Jed and Theo so much, it almost became one word."
Hoyer agreed to a five-year contract while becoming the Cubs' new baseball boss. Despite some difficult roster decisions in the days, months and years ahead, the 46-year-old executive is up for the challenge.
"If you think about it as following sort of an inner-circle Hall of Fame executive (Epstein), that can be daunting," Hoyer said. "But I think you can look at it as following someone that was your mentor and following someone after having been part of it for nine years.
"I've been here the whole time, and I've been a part of it.
"We've hired these great employees together and we've signed or traded these players together. So I guess I try to look at it that way."
Hoyer worked with Epstein with the Boston Red Sox for eight years before becoming the San Diego Padres' general manager in 2010-11.
When he joined the Cubs and reunited with Epstein, the duo had a sliding wall between their two offices at Wrigley Field.
"We could basically yell back and forth and talk without ever leaving our chairs," Hoyer said. "I will miss the ease and the trust and the shared history of that dialogue."
One of Hoyer's first orders of business is finding a GM to fill his old spot with the Cubs. He is likely to look outside the organization.
"The most important thing I'm going to be trying to find is a sense of trust," Hoyer said. "That's probably the part of the relationship with Theo that I value on top of everything else. These are high-pressure jobs and you make a lot of tough decisions and things are going to go wrong.
"I think you have to know that person is with you 100 percent and that there's no dividing the two of you."
The Cubs were likely hoping to have Epstein running the baseball side for one more year, but his eventual departure was clearly coming.
That doesn't mean the club is now shaky at the top.
"By naming me president and having that continuity of leadership, it allows that culture to continue, and it's also an acknowledgment of those employees and their hard work and their loyalty and their success," Hoyer said. "What continuity is not, however, is a desire to maintain a status quo. No matter the success you've had in the past, no matter the success you're having right now, organizations must constantly push to think differently.
"There's always new technologies, new training methods and new ways to measure performance. I promise you that with me in this role, we will continue to push, we will continue to evolve, and we will continue to advance.
"That relentless drive is what I promise every Cubs fan every day."