Learning from Cubs history, Renteria keeping his eyes forward

Learning from Cubs history, Renteria keeping his eyes forward
November 7, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

Of course it was going to come up. It had to.

When the Cubs introduced Rick Renteria as their new manager Thursday afternoon, it wasn't long before the franchise's championship drought (105 years and counting) became a topic of discussion.

Renteria has spent a large portion of his 51-plus years (he turns 52 on Christmas) in California, where he was born and raised and where he spent the last six years as a coach for the San Diego Padres. He hasn't had to live through the 2003 or 1969 Cubs seasons. He hasn't experienced "Cubbie Occurrences."

But maybe that's a good thing.

[CUBS: Who is Rick Renteria?]

"I can't speak to what's happened in the past," Renteria said on a teleconference Thursday. "I can only think about moving forward with this, the kids we have and the product that's being placed before us."

It's not like Renteria doesn't know the Cubs' history. It's impossible to ignore.

But until this week, he had an outsider's view on this organization and its infamous World Series drought.

When Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer announced him, Renteria didn't make any bold claims that he would be the one to bring the trophy back to the North Side. He didn't promise a parade down Michigan Ave. But he didn't rule it out, either.

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The self-proclaimed optimist isn't trying to change history, but he is trying to alter the future.

"All I can do is keep my positive attitude and my direction moving forward," Renteria said. "I can't look back. Understand what's behind us, but quite frankly, I have to keep looking forward and anticipate that we will confidently move in the right direction.

"We come out here to play the game. We're going to come out here to win. These kids are hopefully going to be an exciting team to watch based on the effort they give."

At times, being a big-league manager can provide a helpless feeling. At the end of the day, success and failure is up to the players on the field.

[ALSO: Bud Black on Rick Renteria -- '(Players) will know where he stands'

Renteria doesn't have any intention of being a victim, however. He wants to take action.

"I think I have to make my mind up as I go along, but I'm going to make it what I want it to be, as opposed to it being dictated to me...," he said.

"I'll be quite honest, I'm usually a pretty positive individual. It will probably be pretty rare for you to see me without a smile on my face. Even in difficult times.

"We all know how difficult the game of baseball is. We're going to keep moving forward."