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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
    15/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    13/04/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
    07/04/17
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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
  • Yankeejanet
    Moline, IL United States
    01/10/17
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    "Knew how it ended ..."

    ... but loved every minute of the story. Tom is no narrator, though. I got used to his monotonous delivery, but was hard to tell when he was reading a quote or saying something himself. He is a fantastic writer and reporter. Let's focus on that ... and my joy that the Cubs won the World Series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    24/09/17
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    "Incredible Story of a Zero to Hero team"

    Wow what an incredible story of this team. Coming all the way from one of he worst teams to the best team of 2016. Am incredibly detailed account of the years leading up to the Cubs winning the World Series but they keep the story going so I was never bored.
    Highly recommended reading for any fan of baseball or winning teams in general. A truly unbelievable story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arlett John Leonor
    20/09/17
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    "awesome!!"

    great inside look of how the 2016 Cubs was built. also stories i have never heard yet about them

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bob
    WHEATON, IL, United States
    14/08/17
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    "Masterpiece"

    Like the season it immortalizes, this work is a masterpiece. Like the 2016 Cubs, it goes wire to wire with joy, skill and smarts. This is a national treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan Smith
    07/08/17
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    "Fantastic"

    Wonderful and thorough telling of the amazing 2016 Cubs season. Verducci does a wonderful job. Great read for any Cubs fan or baseball fan in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jaime J. Ortega
    Joliet, IL United States
    01/08/17
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    "Wow!"

    Looking forward to the sequels and the next World Series championship. Four more word remain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon buyer in FL
    11/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much game recap and Epstein bio"

    I should have figured there would be a lot about the World Series, but there was way too much game recaps for me. It would have been just as easy to watch the television replays online and get the same information. Much of the book also seems to be about the Red Sox. Granted, Theo Epstein made a mark in Boston, but the author spends a lot of time dissecting decisions and how they affected the Red Sox, which doesn't always involve the future Cubs.

    The positives are the breakdown of the roster and how practically every player was acquired. Some players received more attention than others (Rizzo, Bryant, Arrieta) My personal favorite was the discussion about Joe Maddon. He should have his own biography. There was a lot of team-building discussion, which is what I thought of from the title of the book.

    The negatives I already touched on, but every World Series game has its own chapter. If you watched the games you already know what happened. It can be difficult to pay attention to the narrator talk about the circumstances of the innings, runners on base, defensive alignment, bullpen pitching and potential matchups, and player and manager reactions to every aspect of every pitch. I've watched plenty of baseball, and I would rather hear someone analyze what happened rather than tell me what is happening.

    Overall a good book. It ends rather quickly because after the parade, that's it. There's no breakdown of the potential future or longevity of the team other than Maddon's quote about how young the team is. It definitely drags out issues with Epstein and the Red Sox and doesn't always seem focused on the topic of the book. No coincidence it was written and released very quickly after the World Series victory, but it definitely caters to Cubs fans more than a general baseball fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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