The Curse Breaker

Jack Rosen, Staff Writer

The curse is broken! For the first time in over a century, the Chicago Cubs are World Series champions. They were able to overcome a 3-1 deficit against a tough Cleveland Indians team in the World Series. However, the journey for the Chicago Cubs did not start in October. It didn’t even start in April. In fact, it did not begin following a brutal loss to the Mets in last year’s National League Championship Series. The Cubs road to their first World Series in 108 years began five years ago, when they hired the magician, Theo Epstein, as their manager.

Theo Epstein was first hired as general manager of the Boston Red Sox at the age of 28, which is good for being the youngest general manager in the history of the MLB. The hire was questioned by many as he went to the Red Sox during a time of sorrow for the franchise. And, in just two short years, he proved the doubters wrong. He turned the team around and broke the long standing “curse of the Bambino” by winning a World Series for the Sox. The Cubs hoped he would do the same for them when they hired him following a disastrous 2011 campaign. Theo Epstein did not disappoint. He made his first big move by trading away two minor leaguers for Anthony Rizzo (also a minor leaguer at the time). One of the two he traded away never made it to the bigs, and the other became a mediocre big leaguer. Anthony Rizzo, on the other hand, became a superstar, and in the 2016 title run he became an MVP candidate. Next up was Kris Bryant, whom Theo drafted with the second pick in the 2013 Draft. He was a sure fire prospect and was almost a guarantee to be a great major league player. He was also an MVP candidate in the 2016 season. Theo was able to acquire a number of pitchers as well to match the firepower at the plate. None were more important than Aroldis Chapman, who despite a tough game seven, pitched numerous innings throughout the playoffs. Theo traded for Chapman at the deadline, and it proved to be the correct move.

The Cubs were finally able to end the dreadful 108 year stretch of no championships. They did it with powerful arms and even more powerful bats. However, none of it would have been possible without the brains behind it all, Theo Epstein. He was able to replicate what he did in Boston, and forever will be known as the “curse breaker” in Boston, Chitown and the entire MLB universe.