The Cubs Way by Tom Verducci Due Out March 28
When Theo Epstein joined the Chicago Cubs back in October 2011, he brought with him a strategy that transformed into a manual called “The Cubs’ Way.” As was reported before spring training 2012:
You won’t be able to read it online or buy a paperback version, but the Cubs now have a new manual that defines the organization’s philosophy, known as “The Cubs’ Way.”
“You can’t sum it up in one or two sentences,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of the guide, finalized this week during the team’s organizational meetings. “Everything there is about the game, how we’re going to approach it the same way as an organization from the Dominican Summer League to [Class] A ball, Double-A, Triple-A and up to the big leagues. Playing hard is a big part of it; playing the game the right way and teaching it consistently is important.”
You still can’t buy a paperback version of it, but you can buy a Kindle or hardback version of it…sort of.
Two weeks from yesterday, Tom Verducci’s book The Cubs Way will be available for purchase wherever books are sold. You can preorder a copy from Amazon here.
Verducci is not publishing the “guide” Epstein brought with him to the Cubs over five years ago; rather, he has published the story of how the World Champion Cubs became who they were that fateful November night in Cleveland when it all came to a head.
If you want to read a significant excerpt from the book, check out this article from Sports Illustrated yesterday. I actually didn’t want to read that because I want to read it all in the book.
Here’s a bit about the book as it is described on Amazon:
It took 108 years, but it really happened. The Chicago Cubs are once again World Series champions.
How did a team composed of unknown, young players and supposedly washed-up veterans come together to break the Curse of the Billy Goat? Tom Verducci, twice named National Sportswriter of the Year and co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre, will have full access to team president Theo Epstein, manager Joe Maddon, and the players to tell the story of the Cubs’ transformation from perennial underachievers to the best team in baseball.
Beginning with Epstein’s first year with the team in 2011, Verducci will show how Epstein went beyond “Moneyball” thinking to turn around the franchise. Leading the organization with a manual called “The Cubs Way,” he focused on the mental side of the game as much as the physical, emphasizing chemistry as well as statistics.
To accomplish his goal, Epstein needed manager Joe Maddon, an eccentric innovator, as his counterweight on the Cubs’ bench. A man who encourages themed road trips and late-arrival game days to loosen up his team, Maddon mixed New Age thinking with Old School leadership to help his players find their edge.
The Cubs Way takes readers behind the scenes, chronicling how key players like Rizzo, Russell, Lester, and Arrieta were deftly brought into the organization by Epstein and coached by Maddon to outperform expectations. Together, Epstein and Maddon proved that clubhouse culture is as important as on-base-percentage, and that intangible components like personality, vibe, and positive energy are necessary for a team to perform to their fullest potential.
Verducci chronicles the playoff run that culminated in an instant classic Game Seven. He takes a broader look at the history of baseball in Chicago and the almost supernatural element to the team’s repeated loses that kept fans suffering, but also served to strengthen their loyalty.
The Cubs Way is a celebration of an iconic team and its journey to a World Championship that fans and readers will cherish for years to come.
I already preordered my copy yesterday morning. This type of book is normally the kind I’d buy for my Kindle, but I think I want it on my physical shelf, so I went with the hardcover version.
In that same vein, I am always looking for good baseball book recommendations! Last year I read The Boys of Summer and it remains the best baseball book I’ve ever read. I just finished Moneyball and loved it.
Do you have any baseball books to recommend? If so, comment with some below.