That was the question asked so many times over the weekend inside the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. The Cubs Convention is for the diehards, but even the fans who have completely bought into team president Theo Epstein's rebuilding project are looking at their wristwatches, wondering when the patience is going to pay off finally.
The Cubs put up a unified front as they unveiled their $300 million Wrigley Field renovation plans, with president of business operations Crane Kenney tossing it to general manager Jed Hoyer during one presentation. You wonder how long it will last, or if the tension will put this group of executives at cross purposes.
Feeding the monster overwhelmed the Boston Red Sox and helped pave Epstein's exit from Yawkey Way after the 2011 season. This week former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy will release their book detailing those two World Series titles as well as the dysfunction throughout the organization.
"Francona: The Red Sox Years" reconstructs one meeting from November 2010 in which a group goes over a $100,000 market research study of declining ratings on NESN, the regional sports network in which the team has an ownership stake.
Epstein – who grew tired of the power struggle with Red Sox chief executive officer Larry Lucchino and was ready for a new challenge – gave the money quote that recently appeared in a Sports Illustrated excerpt that ran with a "Too Big to Succeed" headline:
"(The consultants) told us we didn't have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle. We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We'd become too big. It was the farthest thing removed from what we set out to be."
The Cubs are following the Red Sox model. In creating their blueprints for Wrigley Field, Cubs executives visited Fenway Park, met with Red Sox officials and consulted with the architects who transformed Yawkey Way.