ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs wrapped up the home portion of their season on Wednesday, setting a franchise record for most losses at Wrigley Field in a single season. They also finished with the lowest attendance since 1998.
"You see the numbers and there's been a decrease [in attendance]," said president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, "but at the same time, this is a team that finished in last place. We traded 40 percent of our rotation two years in a row, and 2.6 million people showed up to watch us play.
"I don't doubt and will never doubt the dedication of our fans," Epstein said. "It's a huge asset that we have as an organization. We don't take it for granted. We're working our tails off to make the organization healthier, to reward them ultimately. The only thing you can reward fans with is winning clubs."
The Cubs have lost at least 90 games three straight seasons, the last two under Epstein's watch.
"I have no doubt that the minute we put a winning team on the field, we'll have a packed park, raucous crowds, and maybe borderline intimidating crowds, and up until that point, all we can ask of our fans is to trust us that we're working as hard as we can to make it happen," Epstein said. "I would never spend someone's money for them ... but I will say that I believe the experience will ultimately be more rewarding if they're around for the whole journey, which is why we appreciate so many of them coming out this year."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.