The Cubs' President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, was born December 29, 1973 -- thus, today is his 40th birthday.
It must be a sobering thought of sorts for Theo to realize that one of his signature accomplishments -- the 2004 Red Sox World Series title that broke their 86-year drought -- happened when he was not even a year into his 30s. Another World Series championship came just three years later, but Theo has ended his 30s in a massive rebuilding project for the Chicago Cubs that hasn't come to fruition yet. He admitted to "mistakes" at the season-ticket holder sessions in downtown Chicago last month.
When will the rebuild actually come to that fruition? Theo's firing of Dale Sveum and hiring of Rick Renteria seemed to indicate that Theo felt he didn't have the right guy in the dugout to work with young players, who are going to be (we hope) the core of a Cubs team that can contend for years to come.
Does this reflect the idea that Theo is going to promote some of those young players sooner rather than later (perhaps Javier Baez on the major-league roster in 2014)? Not many moves have been made this offseason, and only one (the Ruggiano-for-Bogusevic trade) has produced a player who will start a significant number of games in 2014.
Will Theo surprise us, and all of baseball, by giving himself (and us) Masahiro Tanaka as a 40th-birthday present?
That'd be nice. Right, Theo? Go get him. (Yes, I realize it's not quite that simple.) Happy 40th. And trust me on this one: Your 40s can be way better than your 30s.