With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions.
It took 108 years, but it really happened. The Chicago Cubs are once again World Series champions.
How did a team composed of unknown, young players and supposedly washed-up veterans come together to break the Curse of the Billy Goat? Tom Verducci, twice named National Sportswriter of the Year and co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre, will have full access to team president Theo Epstein, manager Joe Maddon, and the players to tell the story of the Cubs' transformation from perennial underachievers to the best team in baseball.
Beginning with Epstein's first year with the team in 2011, Verducci will show how Epstein went beyond "Moneyball" thinking to turn around the franchise. Leading the organization with a manual called "The Cubs Way," he focused on the mental side of the game as much as the physical, emphasizing chemistry as well as statistics.
To accomplish his goal, Epstein needed manager Joe Maddon, an eccentric innovator, as his counterweight on the Cubs' bench. A man who encourages themed road trips and late-arrival game days to loosen up his team, Maddon mixed New Age thinking with Old School leadership to help his players find their edge.
The Cubs Way takes readers behind the scenes, chronicling how key players like Rizzo, Russell, Lester, and Arrieta were deftly brought into the organization by Epstein and coached by Maddon to outperform expectations. Together, Epstein and Maddon proved that clubhouse culture is as important as on-base-percentage, and that intangible components like personality, vibe, and positive energy are necessary for a team to perform to their fullest potential.
Verducci chronicles the playoff run that culminated in an instant classic Game Seven. He takes a broader look at the history of baseball in Chicago and the almost supernatural element to the team's repeated loses that kept fans suffering, but also served to strengthen their loyalty.
The Cubs Way is a celebration of an iconic team and its journey to a World Championship that fans and readers will cherish for years to come.
About the Author
Tom Verducci is Sports Illustrated's senior baseball writer and a three-time winner of the National Sportswriter of the Year Award. He is also a two-time Emmy Award-winning game and studio analyst for FOX Sports and MLB Network. He was the co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre.
"One of the best baseball stories ever, told by one of the best baseball writers ever. It does not get any better than this." --George F. Will "Few who have covered the game in any era can match Tom Verducci's combination of baseball insight and elegance as a writer. Those dual qualities make him the perfect guy to not only capture the experience of what the Cubs at long last achieved, but to explain the thinking and planning that led to last Fall's crescendo of emotions." --Bob Costas "Verducci, a longtime baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, is perhaps the perfect scribe to tell this definitive tale, a generational talent who can talk numbers and remain awed at the game's beauties. In one moment he's describing player valuations, and in the next he's admiring a grand painting. And to fully understand a modern-day championship team, that's essential." --The Washington Post "The Cubs Way is a lush accounting of one of the most thrilling championship runs in American sports history--by the numbers and by the personalities that made it happen." --The Wall Street Journal "The Cubs' epic triumph almost demanded that Tom Verducci, arguably the best baseball writer of this generation, weigh in with his perspective. The longtime Sports Illustrated veteran delivers in a big way with unique analysis that takes a deep, deep dive in trying to explain the wizardry of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Joe Maddon and the entire Cubs braintrust." --The Chicago Tribune "A must-read for any Cubs fan." --SB Nation "In Mr. Verducci's entertaining book, he notes that the 'construction of a championship team is granular' and the 'final picture is a Seurat painting' with 'many tiny dots of color' and 'millions of reasons and thousands of cascading events.' He's right: The artistic brush containing the power of positivity helped make the Chicago Cubs winners once more." --The Washington Times