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Vancouver’s Matt Dorey has scout’s view of Cubs’ championship

Evergreen grad is team’s director of amateur scouting

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: November 3, 2016, 4:55pm

For each player in the Chicago Cubs locker room drenched in champagne, there were a few more out of the spray’s reach who helped make the party possible.

Matt Dorey is one of those people.

And in Dorey, Clark County has a direct connection to the Cubs’ first World Series title in 108 years.

Dorey is Director of Amateur Scouting for the Cubs, a position he has held since 2013. He oversees evaluation, scheduling, budgeting and general administration of a staff of about 25 scouts.

Dorey joined the Cubs in 2012 after six years as a scout for the Boston Red Sox.

A graduate of Evergreen High School, Dorey was a member of the 1992 Ryder Construction team that won the Senior Babe Ruth World Series, a team that included future big leaguers Richie Sexson and Alan Embree.

He went on to star on the diamond at Mt. Hood Community College and Portland State.

Through his journey up the ranks of scouting, Dorey still relies on lessons learned on the baseball fields of Clark County.

“The fundamentals of my work ethic and baseball knowledge started in Vancouver,” he said in a phone interview from Cleveland before Game 6 on Tuesday. “Having a job in baseball is like a war of attrition. You just keep having to stick it out.”

The life of a scout is a life on the road. Dorey began as a Northwest scout, but moved to Houston in 2009 when the Red Sox shifted his coverage area to Texas and Louisiana. He was honored as the Red Sox Scout of the Year in 2010.

While with the Red Sox, Dorey became a trusted hand of General Manager Theo Epstein. When Epstein left Boston to join the Cubs, Dorey soon followed.

His first job with the Cubs was as a national cross checker. He traveled the nation to cross-check scouts’ evaluations of top prospects with his own.

Within a year, Dorey was promoted to his current position.

From 2012 to today, the Cubs went from a team that lost 101 games to a world champion.

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That’s thanks to homegrown talent such as Bryant and Javier Baez, but also players acquired by Epstein through free agency and trades.

Dorey’s scouting network gave Epstein the assets he needed to build a champion, something Dorey has watched Epstein do both in Boston and now Chicago.

Analytics are important, but there’s another component that champions have. After all, statistics say a team shouldn’t overcome a 3-1 World Series deficit.

Dorey said Epstein’s genius is in his ability to build a true team, not just assemble players based on batting averages or strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“He has such a good pulse of every component of baseball operations,” Dorey said. “He has an unbelievable feel for player evaluation and chemistry.”

That extends throughout the organization, including the network of scouts.

“It may sound like a cliche, but it really is a team,” Dorey said.

Personal accomplishment aside, Dorey said he’s most happy for the fans. It’s a fandom that bonds families over multiple generations, none of which had seen the Cubs win the World Series until Wednesday.

“The most important thing within the organization that we haven’t lost sight of is how rewarding this would be for the fanbase,” Dorey said. “They’ve been very understanding through some down years. They’ve stuck by us while we’ve rebuilt the organization from within.”