Epstein hopes Cubs surprise the doubters

Epstein hopes Cubs surprise the doubters

PITTSBURGH -- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had to face some tough questions at the Cubs Convention. He knows fans are impatient, and losing 197 games over the last two seasons hasn't helped the mood.

"I think most [fans] are [on board] and some aren't, and the ones who aren't, I don't hold it against them," Epstein said Monday. "Baseball is best enjoyed that day and watching the team in front of you play, and we haven't been good enough, judging by that standard.

"The only standard that matters is wins and losses, and we just haven't been good enough," he said. "I'm right there with them. I understand it. It's my job to take a little broader view and make sure we grow this into a very healthy organization that can go out and have success year in and year out."

Which is why the Cubs have worked so hard to develop the Minor League system.

"I think our fans as a whole have been incredibly supportive," Epstein said. "I really look forward to doing some things this season to make them proud, and hopefully we can go out and surprise some people. In the long haul we want to award them with October baseball."

Cubs players feel the same way.

"People outside don't think we're going to be very good," shortstop Starlin Castro said, "but I think we'll be pretty good because we've got everything to be a winning team -- we've got good pitching, guys with power, guys who can run. We've got what you need for a winning team. We're together, we help each other."

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.