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Get with the program: Cubs build new computer system

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Cubs GM Theo Epstein (left) seeks a computer system as useful as Hal 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey." (AP)

What are you doing, Theo?

Why, Chicago Cubs team president Theo Epstein isn't merely revamping the club's infield, outfield, pitching staff, ballpark and minor leagues. He's getting their microchips in order, too. Epstein is making it a point to enhance the Cubs' computer system, which he found to be lacking after coming over from the Boston Red Sox.

Epstein said in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that the Cubs were partnering with Bloomberg Sports to build a new information system in Chicago, one that would get them "up to speed" with the rest of Major League Baseball. The Cubs? Lagging behind the rest of the league at something? Well spin my hard drive and degauss my monitor!

"All companies have information management systems, whether you're a bank or a bakery," Epstein said. "For a baseball team these days, it's usually software that helps you manage scouting reports, statistical information, medical information, contract information and incorporate video and have it at your fingertips. The quicker you can get the information, the better you can analyze it and the better you can do your job.

"Coming here from the outside, we realized we need to upgrade the information management system we have."

So, it was a lack of artificial intelligence that's been keeping the Cubs down all of this time!

Hopefully, the Cubs won't go too far and build a computer system that not only does great scouting reports but also locks the front office out of Wrigley Field so it can go on a murderous rampage, like Hal 9000 did in "2001." There's none of that allowed in baseball. And they're only asking for trouble if they develop something like Skynet. (Although it would be nice to send a Terminator back in time to eliminate Alfonso Soriano's contract before it gets filed with the commissioner's office.)

In Boston, Epstein and his big-brained posse could rely on "Carmine," a computer system that managed all of the team's pertinent information. It's one of the things Theo could not take with him to Chicago. No matter what Bloomberg and the Cubs come up with now, they can't name it "Carmine" or anything Bostonian.

How about "Ivy" or "Harry" or "Ernie 2.0"? What should the Cubs call their new computer system?

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