First off, I would like to congratulate you on signing Jon Lester.
However, I am here to tell you, you’ve made a grave mistake. I understand why you would think that this signing is one more step in the right direction of getting the Cubs that elusive World Series Championship – a little over 10 years ago you signed another horse of a pitcher to the Red Sox. That signing paid off immediately with the Red Sox’s first World Series Championship in 86 years. The situations of that 2003 Sox team and the 2014 Cubs are different, but you’ve laid down a similar foundation, between a new manager and a big time pitcher, both of whom have proven they know how to win.
But I wonder if you and your team truly realize what, or more specifically, who brought the World Series trophy to Boston a decade ago. It wasn’t a big time pitcher like Schilling or Lester. Truth is, you could have signed this person, who is responsible for 7 Championships in the last 18 years for 1/10 of what you signed Lester for last night; someone who might have delivered the first of three or four championships as early as 2015.
That’s right, 2015! Even with the acquisition of Lester and Joe Maddon, I don’t think that anybody is picking the Cubs to win it all that soon.
So who is this person?
Allow me to tell you a story.
In 1995, I was teaching at a small school in New England. As fun and satisfying as that job was, it simply did not pay well enough for me to pay off any of my student loans from college. After much soul searching, I took a job in New York City, starting January of 1996. Coincidentally, this was right after the Yankees had finally made a playoff appearance after over a decade of mediocrity.
Who won the World Series that year (1996)?
The New York Yankees.
Who would go on to win 4 World Series championships in 5 years from 1996 to 2000?
The New York Yankees.
Shortly after the Yankees 2000 victory, my wife and I would move out of the City and out of the State of New York. The Yankees would wait nearly a decade before tasting season ending champagne again.
In late 2003, a colleague of my wife approached her about taking a position in another city. We weighed our options. We now had two children and we’re fairly comfortable living where we lived. After some talk, the company made an offer she couldn’t refuse; we packed our bags and moved to, you guessed it, Boston. That March (2004) we moved into our house.
My girls were 3 and 1. An avid sports fan, I was determined to raise my children fans of their local sports teams – that meant the Patriots, Celtic, Bruins and…dear Lord!!!…the Red Sox.
People, both local and out of towners, tried to wave me off the idea.
“You’ll only suffer heartache!”
“You’ll wait your entire life for nothing!”
“Don’t do this to your children…think of the children for God’s sake!!!”
Yes, it was tough; a tough, scary (down 0-3?) 7 months before we were finally able to taste the bubbly and celebrate a World Series championship. Over the next 10 years, the Red Sox would win 3 Championship trophies.
So whaddaya say, Theo? I’m willing to offer up my
services residence to the Windy City. I’ll gladly take 10% of what you offered Jon Lester – 6 years, $15.5 million, with a team option of $1.5 million for a 7th year.
5 years in New York, I brought 4 championships; 10 years in Boston, I brought 3. Give me 6 years in Chicago, and I can almost guarantee at least 2 World Series trophies if not more.
Whaddaya say? Clock’s ticking.
Dear Ben (Boston’s GM),
I’m willing to take a hometown discount – 6 years, $13.5 million. Call me!
To the other 28 GMs around the league,
Feel free to get in on the bidding.
Don’t you want to experience this feeling:
I’ll be waiting by the phone,