Theo Epstein on WEEI
On Thursday morning, Cubs’ President and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein made an appearance the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI. I listened and watched the majority of the interview in my apartment on NESN and the latter half in my car. There were several important points that Epstein touched on. Let’s review a few of them.
- John Henry was not blowing smoke when he said he did not want Carl Crawford. Epstein corroborated this point during his interview: “The bottom line was that’s right. I think John didn’t want to do that one.” Although it was idiotic of Henry to admit this during his impromptu interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub in October, it is kind of refreshing to know that he was in fact telling the truth. That aside, it is important that Epstein confirmed Henry’s claim because, regardless of the owner’s opinion, Crawford ended up inking a massive deal with the Red Sox. In other words, it may be a collaborative decision-making process onYawkey Waywhen it comes to personnel, but ultimately, baseball decisions are handled by the individuals in baseball operations. That is a vital separation to have as an organization.
- Epstein knows that signing John Lackey was a big mistake. He’s not going to come out and say that he wishes he never pulled the trigger on Lackey. That’s not good for business (more of a John Henry move). But it is easy to read between the lines: “To do that one over again, we made too much of an assumption he would still pitch up to his capabilities and maybe at some point he would have Tommy John.” Essentially, Epstein signed the best available starting pitcher in what was a shallow market. He knew the guy he was getting had a trash elbow and rolled the dice.
- We are all idiots for thinking that the Cubs would take Lackey’s dead weight or part with Matt Garza as compensation for Epstein. The Red Sox will be lucky to get a bag of rosin at this point, and Epstein knows it: “Throughout the history of baseball there’s really only been a handful of instances where there’s been any compensation whatsoever for executives.” Epstein did acknowledge that there will be compensation, however. Can’t wait…
- More than anything, losing is what sparked the soap opera that ensued after the Red Sox September collapse. Epstein, like many, understands that if the Sox had somehow squeaked into the playoffs, gotten hot, and won the World Series or even made a deep run in October, none of the gory details concerning matters in the clubhouse would have surfaced. If fans heard that members of the starting staff for the 2011 World Series champion Boston Red Sox enjoyed some chicken and washed it down with a beer or eight before, during, or after games, it would have been thought of in the same light as the Jack Daniel’s sipping ’04 team. Instead of free and fun-loving, the staff is fat and lazy. Winning changes a lot.
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