Epstein has credited the local bars and nightlife for ruining the careers of players of Cubs past. He also blamed it for the team's inability to win. I'm sure the billy goat, black cat, and Leon Durham might have something to say about it. Epstein is trying to change the culture there and bring a title to the Cubs and end the long suffering curse, just like in Boston.
Epstein says he's not going to tolerate Cubs players hanging out into the wee hours of the night.
"It's been a factor in ruining some careers," the team president said. "And I'm sure it's been an impediment to the Cubs in winning. ... The approach we're going to have is the opposite of laissez faire. We're not just going to say, 'Oh, that's the way it is. This is Chicago. Boys will be boys. I'm sure they're going to get enough sleep and I'm sure they'll show up the next day ready to play.'
"That's a failure on the organization's part. We have to take a very proactive approach in setting a high standard."
Sheriff Epstein will be laying down the law. Hey at least outfielder Reed Johnson has his back.
"It's important for young players to recognize that you need to get your sleep," veteran outfielder Reed Johnson said. "This is your career. This is what you do for a livelihood. You need to treat it that way, especially in our park. You don't have that extra 10 hours when you wake up in the morning to get ready for that 7 o'clock night game.
"You've got to be able to get into that routine. ... I know I'm in bed probably by 9, 10 o'clock at night to get ready for that day game."
"If you do it year after year after year, it's definitely going to catch up with you," Johnson said. "You've got to nip that in the bud and get it under control. It's the best thing, not only for the player's career but for the team as well. We're going to need everybody at their best to put up as many wins as we can get."
For Epsteins sake he better hope this translates into more wins or some of the players who are having their "off field activities" taken away from them will be grumbling saying it doesn't make a difference if their out partying or getting a good night's sleep.