Theo Epstein Could Not Live a Normal Life in Boston, Reportedly Had a Stalker

With the departure of Theo Epstein from Boston Tuesday came a chance to start fresh for both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. For Chicago, a high-profile figure arrives — one who has already proved he is capable of snapping epic World Series droughts. New Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is a lesser-known local, but is someone who has been with the team since 1999 and handled himself perfectly during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.

The list of reasons for Epstein to accept a position with the Cubs was long while the list of reasons to remain in Boston for another season was limited.  The Red Sox are coming off an epic collapse and have clubhouse issues that can only be fixed if major changes are made.  Theo will have more power in Chicago and a chance to rescue the most depressed fan base in baseball.  One reason we did not consider as a contributing factor in Epstein’s decision was the crazed fans of Boston.  As Peter Gammons pointed out in his MLB.com article on Wednesday, that may have played a small role.

There was a burnout factor in Epstein’s desire to leave, which he was going to do regardless after the 2012 season. It was as if he were stuck on an elevator between the ninth and 10th floors. His wife, Marie, and son, Jack, could not live normal lives. There often was an unmarked Brookline police cruiser at the end of his street because of a stalker and concerns about the family privacy.

Stories like these are not uncommon when talking about superstar athletes.  People like LeBron James, Tom Brady, and Derek Jeter have to disguise themselves when going out in public, otherwise they would never get anything accomplished.  Hearing that the general manager of a baseball team may have had to deal with a stalker is frightening.  Maybe the fans in Boston do take the Red Sox just a little too seriously.’

Fist pound to Hardball Talk for passing the story along.

Theo Epstein Thanks Red Sox Fans with Full-Page Ad in Boston Globe

Theo Epstein has officially left the building. The general manager who brought two World Series championships to a starving franchise has left for what he believes will be greener pastures.  Rather than stick around and clean up the booze-infested, downward-spiraling locker room he helped create, Epstein has accepted a higher position with the Cubs. 

The move creates somewhat of a no-lose situation for Theo.  With Chicago, he’ll have more power than he would be allowed under the current Red Sox ownership group.  On top of that, if he brings the Cubs their first championship in over 100 years he goes down as the greatest president/general manager of all time and the one who saved two historic franchises.  If not, life in Chicago remains the same but it won’t be seen as Theo’s fault.

On Sunday, Epstein did the right thing and thanked the fans, players, and coaches in Boston for a memorable 10-year run.  Unlike LeBron James who intentionally left a few people out, it seems like Theo hit on all the points he needed to in his full-page Boston Globe ad that Peter Abraham passed along.

[Read more...]

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Josh Byrnes, Ben Cherington Play GM Musical Chairs

Being a baseball GM as of late has become something of a merry-go-round ride. Still in the thick of the World Series, MLB is getting dizzy with management changes within big-name ball clubs.

The official announcement came Friday night: Theo Epstein is leaving the Red Sox to become the Cubs’ president. That was the first domino.

With a big hole to fill, Boston quickly slotted assistant GM Ben Cherington into Epstein’s former seat. Both teams will hold press conferences on Tuesday, the next off day in the World Series, to present their new bosses.

Another domino fell when Epstein decided to poach long-time friend (and former Red Sox assistant) Jed Hoyer, the Padres’ GM, and bring him into the fold. This would be Epstein’s first move as President since he managed to swing a deal where Hoyer comes in as the Cubs’ GM.

So in one decision, Epstein has rocked the executive world of three franchises. And, it seems, a lot of nepotism was in play since Cherington and Hoyer worked together as co-GMs during Epstein’s absence from the Red Sox in ’05. Remember too, it was Hoyer who traded All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

The good news for the Padres is that they get a few players in exchange for letting Hoyer go. The San Diego club is turning the reigns over to Josh Byrnes — another former Theo Epstein assistant — who was the Padres’ former Vice President of Baseball Operations.

All this and baseball hasn’t even hit the off-season yet.

Theo Epstein Reportedly Will Not Hire Terry Francona if He Takes Cubs Job

Theo Epstein reportedly is on the verge of becoming the new GM of the Chicago Cubs. The Boston Herald says Red Sox ownership doesn’t want Epstein to leave, and that they’re concerned about receiving compensation if he does.

If Epstein leaves the Red Sox for the Cubs, he may want to bring some of his Boston staff. You might think he would bring manager Terry Francona — who is available after leaving the Red Sox following the team’s September collapse — but that is unlikely to happen. SI baseball reporter Jon Heyman says if Epstein goes to Chicago, he won’t hire Terry Francona.

Mike Quade is currently the Cubs’ manager, so it’s possible that Epstein would be satisfied retaining him. But that’s probably not the root of the report. The definitive nature of Heyman’s report suggests that Epstein found something wrong with Francona. Given David Ortiz’s comments that some Red Sox players probably didn’t care towards the end of the year, and the report that some players drank beer during games, it’s no surprise to hear that Epstein wouldn’t want to hire Francona.

The Red Sox won two World Series with Francona managing the team, but the team’s collapse appears to have seriously damaged his reputation among the Red Sox leaders.

Buck Showalter Rips Theo Epstein

Baseball is a game of intimidation. We all know that. It’s such a physical game that all you have to do is talk some serious smack and you are bound to rattle your opponent. Like hockey and football, baseball is a contact sport. Win the mental battle with the opposition and you will win baseball games. For that reason, Buck Showalter and the Orioles will probably win a lot of games against the Red Sox this season.

In an interview with Men’s Journal magazine, via Boston.com, Showalter ripped Red sox GM Theo Epstein about Boston’s payroll.

“I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll,” he barked. “You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying ‘How the hell are they beating us?'”

[Read more...]