Baseball Thinking

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's Deja Vu All - Over Again ....

On Tuesday, January 24th, Brookline native Theo Epstein was named General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, fulfilling a lifelong dream. He will report directly to Larry Lucchino and will also hold an executive position as well. Theo feels he has the credentials to bring a World Series championship to the city of Boston. Wait a minute. This sounds vaguely familiar. Didn’t the Red Sox already hire a GM with a similar name a few years ago? And wasn’t he from Brookline? And didn’t he bring a championship to the city of Boston? Hey, wait a minute. Would some please help me remove the wool from my eyes?
Theo was name, again, as GM of the Sox. Man, what about those other two guys, Ben & Jerry? That was their names, no? Ben & Jed are proud NH boys who did an admirable job “filling in” while Theo went on his self-imposed sabbatical last Halloween, ducking the media wearing a gorilla suit, no less. But talk about getting diss‘d. Here boys, the job is yours until …..And to make matters worse, owner John Henry told the media on Wednesday that he was shocked that Ben & Jed were not introduced as interim managers. He was under the impression this would be the case but someone who really runs the show on Yawkey Way decided that Henry’s idea would be nixed. Is this guy really qualified to own this team? He feels, at times, that he is not.
Back to Theo. What did he learn from his 10 week timeout? He stated that he initially left due to a “fundamental disconnect” ranging from baseball issues to simple matters. No one within the organization would provide juicy details on this matter, which was the wise choice. I don’t think anybody wants to hear the details of the latest spat between me and my significant other. But the answer was so vague that we are left guessing at this point.
So, the issues are solved Theo? They must have been pretty severe for Theo to leave almost 5 million dollars on the table. Why couldn’t these issue’s be resolved prior to Theo tip-toeing out the door dressed as a primate? And will Theo bail on the team once again if someone in the organization makes a decision he doesn’t agree with? As the world turns, stay tuned ….

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Theo is back - Or did he ever leave?

On Friday, January 18th, the Boston Red Sox announced that former GM Theo Epstein would rejoin the organization in an unspecified role. Details of the announcement will be expanded upon the following week. So what does this mean for the state of Red Sox Nation?
Good question. The hometown team currently has two GM's in place. It is getting very crowded at the top of the food chain on Yawkey Avenue. Until more details are revealed, the rest of us will keep guessing what the next step is. Since his sudden and shocking Halloween departure in a gorilla suit, the faces of the team are no longer. JD is now JCNY, opting for the big bucks. Mueller and Millar are donning new uni's next season, along with Edgar Renteria, Mike Meyers, Doug Mirabelli & Chad Bradford. John Olerud retired. The Sox have picked up a slew of new players while still short on two key positions. Theo will have to re-introduce himself to the turnover. Many in the baseball community question how many of the former players would have stayed if Theo were on board. And how many of these deals would have actually been made? The one deal he promised to work on, involving David Wells, is still right here, awaiting his return like a puppy waiting for it's master.
The brass seems to have made several rash decisions over the hot stove season with no apparent game plan in place. Theo has become the master of plan A,B, C, D, &E, while the men hired to fill his once vacant shoes show no such thoughtful planning. With only weeks to go before the beginning of spring training, fans are still guessing to see who their starting shortstop and centerfielder will be.
Will Theo restore order to The Nation. If anyone can, Theo can. He has made some challenging and bold transactions during his brief 3 year tenure, some not working out at all. But he has made those decisions. And the coming weeks should tell us if he still has it after a self-imposed 3 month sabbatical. Welcome back, Theo. Well, did you ever leave?
(Photo courtesy