NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, turned down invitations to late-night talk shows after the team's historic World Series championship, and he hasn't been asked to be a grand marshal for any parades, the way Ben Zobrist and David Ross have done.
Epstein is enjoying the euphoric feeling in Chicago following the Cubs' dramatic seven-game Series, which ended the longest championship drought in professional sports.
"Being around Chicago was wonderful," Epstein said on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings. "So many people coming up and saying, 'Thank you.' I think David Ross was the first one to point out that everyone was saying 'Thank you' and not 'Congratulations,' which I think reflects the tremendous gratitude everyone has and how personally they feel the championship impacted their lives.
"It's great to see everyone in a good mood and connected with each other and the ballclub and parts of different family members and generations, all because of one team that came together and played great baseball. It's been awesome to be in the middle of that and observe it and see how rewarded all our fans feel and all the front-office guys who pulled the all-nighters and all our players who sort of grew up during the pennant race. It's been fun to see the positive impact it's had on so many people and the city as a whole. What more could you want, to feel that as you're walking around town?"
Epstein hasn't received too many gifts, although someone did send him a painting of Kyle Schwarber sitting next to Babe Ruth. Epstein has watched a condensed version of Game 7 -- an 8-7, 10-inning victory over the Indians -- a couple times while on the treadmill. He has also viewed the MLB-produced documentary about the World Series. Now his bender, which he announced at the parade on Nov. 4 in Chicago, has ended, and it's time to get back to work on the 2017 season.
And President Obama's invitation to visit the White House before he leaves office? Epstein said that's still in the works. Stay tuned.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.