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The Cubs Way Audiobook

The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse

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Publisher's Summary

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 cowriter 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 listeners 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 listeners will cherish for years to come.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Tom Verducci (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  •  
    Michael Klotz 04-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great for Cub fans and even those that are not "

    This is some of the best sports writing I've ever read.

    In addition, anyone that's in management should read the book as well. It could be used as a guideline on how to get the best out of people in your line of work. Get this, you won't regret it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LSmith Upstate New York 04-13-17
    LSmith Upstate New York 04-13-17 Member Since 2016

    L. Smith

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    "Outstanding book on an outstanding baseball team"
    If you could sum up The Cubs Way in three words, what would they be?

    Fly the "W"


    What other book might you compare The Cubs Way to and why?

    None really - no book I have read captures the story of a team like this one does


    What about Tom Verducci’s performance did you like?

    Sounds just like he does on TV - not a homer, but as a no-nonsense reporter


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Cubs Win! Cubs Win!"


    Any additional comments?

    Nearly everyone, including non-baseball fans, is aware of the story of the Chicago Cubs during the 2016 season. Having not won the World Series since 1908, the team was led by a core of young position players and not only compiled the best record in baseball, they broke the so-called “curse” and defeated the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling 7-game World Series. The story of how this championship team was built is told in this outstanding book by Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci. He also narrated the audiobook, which was also done well. Authors who narrate the audio version of their books help to lend an air of authority to the work.

    The story of the team is told mostly through extensive interviews with Cubs president Theo Epstein and field manager Joe Maddon. Both of them have ideas and viewpoints that go against the traditional way of building and managing a winning team, something that is noteworthy in the usually conservative business of baseball. For example, many teams try to build their teams through pitching as there are plenty of clichés and conventional thoughts that state pitching is more important.

    However, Epstein didn’t follow that model. Instead, he concentrated on obtaining a core of talented position players who would live up to his standards for talent, character and leadership. Between trades and the draft, Epstein found his core players. First baseman Anthony Rizzo (trade), third baseman Kris Bryant (draft), catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber (draft) and shortstop Addison Russell (trade) make up that core and Verducci tells the reader why each of these players are so important to the team. Oh, and as for pitchers – through some shrewd trades and free agent signings of veterans like Jon Lester and Jake Arrietta, that was addressed as well.

    The best and most extensive writing, however, is saved for the lengthy passages about Maddon and his unorthodox approach to running his team. Having already achieved success with the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon’s complete story with the Cubs is captured with humor, detail and inside information that he was more than happy to share with Verducci. The reader will feel like he or she is part of the Cubs clubhouse – which is one of those important details that helped change the culture of the team after it underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade.

    If Cubs fans read only one book about their team’s magical 2016 season, this is the one they must read. Even readers like me who are not Cubs fans but want to read about an excellent baseball team, this book should be added to their libraries. Verducci can certainly fly the “W” with this winner of a book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John C. Tittle 04-07-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Classic Book About the Youngest Legendary Team Ever"

    This is an amazing book about the greatest story in the history of sports: the green Chicago Cubs winning the World Series after a century+ drought. Wonderful writing about baseball, character, creativity, life, and resilience. This book puts words to a defining moment for Chicago , Cub fans, and all sports lovers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ash 04-21-17
    Ash 04-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing"

    I am a lifelong Cubs fan, but this book far exceeded expectations. It is a story of how excellence in leadership, character and determination can be the catalysts for the success of a perpetually struggling team. I will probably listen to this every Spring when baseball season starts from this point on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Cara 04-21-17
    Cara 04-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    "The World Series isn't complete until you read"

    every Cubs fan must read. every one should read. this is one of the greatest stories I've ever known.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Go Cubs Gooooo!"

    If you love the Cubs, or baseball this is the book for you. Indulge yourself in the work of the front office, the player personality a and perspectives. All in all a great book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    John McCarthy Michigan 04-20-17
    John McCarthy Michigan 04-20-17
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    "An historic story told well"

    As a lifelong Cubs fan I enjoyed this book. It's written with a deep understanding of the past psychology and anguish each year brought. The fact I've just wrote this as past tense is a cathartic release that this book shares as a powerful tale for Cubs and baseball fans alike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Walter Flossmoor, IL, United States 04-15-17
    Walter Flossmoor, IL, United States 04-15-17

    Audible has been important to me since 2008.

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    "Cubs Win!"

    Thought I might go a whole lifetime without seeing this but wow, they did it! I am a Yankee fan for my whole life but this was a great story. Theo is a genius!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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