After a 1-6 start to the Cubs’ season, Chicago fans are already pointing fingers in many directions, including criticism of ownership for not greenlighting more offseason spending, or of the team’s desultory pitching performance. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein, however, told ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers and other reporters that the blame falls with him. “There is always a search for scapegoats when you get off to a tough start. [Pitching coach] Tommy Hottovy is not the problem. He’s a big part of the solution,” Epstein said. “[Owner] Tom Ricketts is not the problem. It’s not a resource issue. I know he’s another one that’s been taking a lot of heat. It’s not a resource problem. If people have a problem with the allocation of resources, then that’s on me. And it has been ever since I got here, with a lot of good and some bad.”
While it’s obviously still early in the season, the Cubs are already facing a big deficit in the NL Central due to the Brewers’ 7-1 start, as Rogers notes. The Cubs can make up some of that ground in their ongoing series with Milwaukee, plus there’s also really nowhere to go but up after this opening week. “It’s been real close to, if not, a worst-case scenario for us, defensively and in terms of our pitching….We’re sorry we’re putting our fans through this,” Epstein said.