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MLB hires Theo Epstein as consultant to evaluate rules changes

Epstein will work with commissioner Rob Manfred, the owners’ competition committee and analytics experts.

Major League Baseball has hired former Cubs president Theo Epstein as a consultant.
Major League Baseball has hired former Cubs president Theo Epstein as a consultant.
AP

Well, it didn’t take long for Theo Epstein to get back to work. After stepping down as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations in November, Epstein is taking his talents to the commissioner’s office as a consultant for MLB.

Epstein, 47, will deal with on-field matters and work with MLB and its clubs regarding rules changes.

“Theo is one of the most accomplished and thoughtful people in our sport,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “I am grateful that he has accepted our invitation to complement our ongoing efforts and provide his insights on making the best game in the world even better for the next generation of fans.”

“It is an honor to assist the efforts by -Major League Baseball and the Competition Committee to improve the on-field product, and I appreciate commissioner Manfred asking me to be a part of these important conversations,” Epstein said in a statement. “As the game evolves, we all have an interest in ensuring the changes we see on the field make the game as entertaining and action-packed as possible for the fans, while preserving all that makes baseball so -special.”

The move comes as no surprise for Epstein, who has been one of the best executives in MLB history as the architect of three World Series championship teams, including the 2016 Cubs.

Manfred’s inability to connect with players and fans and his lack of communication skills have become apparent during his tenure as commissioner. Epstein always has demonstrated a keen ability to gauge the pulse of the game on and off the field, making him perfect for this new gig, a possible prelude to a future opportunity as commissioner.

“This game is my passion,” Epstein said in his last news conference. “I care deeply about it. And I’m gonna seek out ways to serve the game in the near future.”