(670 The Score) A trivial-but-funny hallmark of the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer regime in Chicago was regularly showcased at Cubs press conferences as the duo led the front office since late 2011.
The Cubs would introduce a new player or manager at a formal press conference, and there Epstein and Hoyer would be sitting at the dais in front of all the cameras. After opening statements, the two Cubs executives would begin taking questions from media members.
Or put another way, Epstein would begin taking questions – nearly all of them. Time and again through the years, Hoyer would just sit there and listen. He may go an entire press conference without fielding a question and instead serve as a de facto statue. Or Hoyer might get one question across an hour-long media session from a reporter who perhaps was asking only for sympathetic reasons before jokingly texting Hoyer later that “you owe me one for asking a question.”
The message was clear: Epstein was the boss, and everyone wanted to know what the boss thought. Now, it’s Hoyer who’s the boss, as he was officially introduced as the Cubs’ new president of baseball operations Monday after Epstein resigned from the position last week.
Hoyer will soon start a search for a new general manager under him, and the expectation is someone externally will be hired. When that addition is made, the new general manager will have a host of responsibility. Most of the job will be the serious business of retooling the Cubs on the fly as they aim to remain highly competitive at the big league level while restocking their farm system.
And a small part of the job will also be sitting next to Hoyer while Hoyer fields nearly all of the questions.
“Whoever my GM is, I’m going to make them sit at that podium and not get any questions asked of them, because I think that’s an important part of their humility,” Hoyer said on the Laurence Holmes Show on Tuesday. “I can’t tell you how many times Theo would make fun of me after those press conferences for my potted plant impression. I’m going to do that. Whoever my GM is, I’m going to make them go through that as well. It’s almost like a rite of passage, like a hazing process.”
Now that he’s the Cubs’ top baseball executive, Hoyer is ready to be in the spotlight.
“I would always kind of in my head by half-frustrated and in my head be like half-amused, just sitting there not getting any questions,” he said. “Listen, I have loved my time here working with Theo. I’m excited about the next chapter. In my next chapter, I’m well aware I’m not going to be sitting at those press conferences and not answering any questions.”