Ricketts Preaches Calm Amid Cubs' Abysmal Start

(670 The Score) Amid his team's dismal 2-7 start to the season, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts preached calm ahead of the home opener Monday afternoon and emphasized his belief in president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Joe Maddon.

"It's been a tough way to start the season," Ricketts said on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score. "You don't want to stumble out of the gate like we have, but you also have to remind yourself it's a very, very long season and we got good people. To the extent that we need to juggle personnel to make sure that we have the right 25 guys ready to go every night, there's no one in the world I'd trust more than Theo and Jed to do that. I think those guys will make sure that as issues pop now and throughout the year, they'll make sure we get the right lineup. And frankly, when it comes to using that personnel to win games, I trust Joe. He's been one of the best managers in the game for a long time. I look at a bad start, and I know it's a long season. I believe we're going to get it going in the right direction here shortly."

The Cubs' weakness in the early going has been their pitching, which has posted a 7.51 ERA that ranks dead last in MLB. That includes an 8.37 ERA from a beleaguered bullpen. The trouble is that outside help doesn't appear to be on the way anytime soon for the bullpen, even though star closer Craig Kimbrel remains a free agent.

Instead, Ricketts wants those on the current club to step up.

"There's always a little of flex in every year's budget, but typically we don't think about that until you get toward the middle of the season," Ricketts said. "I don't know about Craig Kimbrel. That may just be a bigger ticket than what we can swing. Honestly, it's about performance. We've got the resources. We've allocated those resources to the people we think are going to give us the best chance to win the division. And now we have to let them do their jobs and hopefully everyone who's off to a slow start will kind of get back, revert to mean here a little bit and be the players we know that they can be. And we'll keep moving forward and get ourselves back in this race."

Ricketts also reiterated his belief in Maddon, who has led the Cubs to four straight playoff appearances, two division titles and a championship in his four years leading them. He's now working in the fifth and final year of his contract, with extension talks currently tabled.

As for any potential significant in-season change -- notably a firing of Maddon or a big sell-off ahead of the trade deadline -- Ricketts will leave that to Epstein and Hoyer.

"I talk to Theo almost every day about one topic or another," Ricketts said. "They keep me informed as to what are the options when they're thinking about making a decision. I'll sit in and just kind of throw in my two cents. But ultimately, it's their decision to make. They're the ones that need to, they are responsible for the results, so they need to make the decision. We stay out of it. We let them make their decisions. I'm informed ultimately will let the guys who know what they're doing make those calls. From a personnel standpoint, I've seen these guys make great decisions over and over again over the years and I'm certain they'll make the adjustments we need to get the team back to where we want it to be. And I'm sure that Joe will do a great job of deploying those resources to get us winning again."