CHICAGO — Theo Epstein's resignation as Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations stunned more than the baseball world.
Epstein's departure with one year remaining on his contract affected the entire Chicago sports landscape this week. Here's a look at the winners and losers from Epstein's decision, which was announced Tuesday.
• Winner, Theo Epstein: The future Hall of Famer leaves his position after ending a 107-year World Series drought, and the championship brought joy and relief to generations of fans throughout the country.
It can be debated that Epstein should have stayed to complete the formidable task of determining the futures of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber.
But Epstein, 46, leaves behind that stress while taking time to relax with his family, spending more time on his charity work and evaluate evaluating his options that could lead to another executive role with part ownership of a team.
• Loser, the media: Epstein wasn't as accessible before games as affable predecessor Jim Hendry, but Epstein often would provide one or two kernel-sized crystal ball moves during his sessions. Epstein also would administer timely, lighthearted jabs at reporters for their questionable wardrobe, subtly poke a writer for an incorrect story or sniff out a reporter's question originating from an agent. But he understood their roles and deadline pressure.
• Winner, Jed Hoyer: The former general manager faces tough decisions immediately. But he wouldn't have stayed with the Cubs for nine seasons had he not had some inkling of moving to the top baseball seat with security.
• Winner, White Sox: The relentless furor over the hiring of manager Tony La Russa and his DUI charge was doused temporarily when Epstein announced his resignation.
• Loser, the community: Epstein and his family quickly embraced the Wrigley Field environment and were engaged with their sons' activities and never distanced themselves from other parents.
• Winner, Chicago Bears: Had Epstein not resigned, think of all the time that would have been devoted exclusively to the Bears' woeful offense and their four-game losing streak?