Theo Epstein, you're on the clock. After an extended courting process, the Chicago Cubs officially introduced their new president of baseball operations at a Wrigley Field press conference on Tuesday.
Now comes the tough part: building a winner in Chicago.
Reversing the fortunes of a lovable loser franchise is familiar territory for the 37-year-old Epstein. The former Red Sox general manager was the architect of two World Series championships during his eight-year tenure in Boston, including the Red Sox' 2004 title, their first championship since 1918. Boston won the World Series again in 2007.
Epstein spoke about the marriage of maintaining tradition while improving results:
"To me, baseball is better with tradition, baseball is better with history, baseball is better with fans who care, baseball is better in ballparks like this, baseball is better during the day. And baseball is, best of all, when you win."
"I firmly believe that we can preserve the things that make the Cubs so special and over time build a consistent winner, a team that will be playing baseball in October consistently and a team that will ultimately win the World Series."
Of course, the Cubs' history of losing dwarfs even that of the Red Sox. Chicago has not won a World Series in 103 years, last appearing in the Fall Classic in 1945.
Epstein could still add to his staff, with Padres GM Jed Hoyer and Padres assistant GM Jason McLeod reportedly being targets. But the Cubs' hope is that he'll bring his blueprint from Boston.
"We won’t rest until there is a steady stream of talent [in the farm system.] We’re going to have to grind our way to the top."
Epstein left the Red Sox with one year left on his contract after a disastrous collapse caused the Red Sox to miss the postseason, launching a chaotic offseason. The compensation that Boston will receive from the Cubs is still to be determined.