No regrets for Theo after Ohtani miss — no virtual reality, either

SHARE No regrets for Theo after Ohtani miss — no virtual reality, either

Newly signed Angels pitcher and DH Shohei Ohtani.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Cubs president Theo Epstein said he has no regrets after the organization-wide effort that put the Cubs in the unlikely position of being one of seven teams to make Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani’s finalist list – except for the part where the two-way star ultimately chose to sign with the Angels.

In fact, after a lengthy sit-down early last week with Ohtani that included chairman Tom Ricketts, manager Joe Maddon and pitcher Kyle Hendricks, Epstein said he came away thinking they’d improved their odds after “pragmatically” and “rationally” believing they were long shots.

“To me the biggest thing we were fighting was the lack of a designated hitter,” said Epstein, whose pitch included a detailed plan for where and when he would play in the field on days he didn’t pitch. “Because this is what he’s done the last three years; he hasn’t played the outfield for four years.

“But I was so proud of the work that the organization had done, and I felt so passionate about the fit, that I probably fooled myself into thinking we had a real chance,” he said. “I certainly wish him well. He’s a really impressive kid.”

Just one thing about that Cubs presentation, he said: Contrary to one tweeted report, “We didn’t do a virtual reality presentation about life as a Cub.”

Maybe next time.

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub


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