Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Theo The Fortunate

ESPN has anointed Theo Epstein the boy genius, exorcist and wunderkind of the executive suite and no one who lives in the Bay state will have the temerity to dispute that characterization.

I live in Pennsylvania.

Now before all you Red Sox Nation dwellers, natives and recent arrivals alike, trace me to my domicile and burn a few bats on my front lawn, I am willing to give Epstein a great deal of the credit for helping to assemble the World Series champs. But as the article by Sean McAdam points out, Epstein also tried to unload Manny Ramirez twice, first through irrevocable waivers (not likely) and then by trading him to Texas for Alex Rodriguez (not permitted by the players’ union). In other words, he tried to reduce payroll by getting rid of Sox best position player twice and his failure to do so led directly to a championship.

McAdams’ thesis is that Epstein, who grew up in the shadows of Fenway and is a life-long fan and sufferer, never lets emotions get in the way of business decisions. Thus the willingness to part with Ramirez and the apparent readiness to let a number of his star free agents such as Jason Varitek walk if the deal doesn’t fit within Epstein’s long-range plans.

Some times the best laid plans go awry and we luck out anyway. Theo should agree.

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