Thursday, November 03, 2005

Theo being Theo

Or maybe Lucchino being Lucchino is more appropriate (but certainly not Manny being Manny ... at least not this time). Alright, I realize that only me and DJ Any Reason might be interested in this, but hey, writing about stuff that bores the crap out of people hasn't stopped me before. (Even my buddy Des, a diehard Red Sox fan probably won't read this because like the grizzly bear, he too hibernates [from this site] in the winter. Yep, I had to include the brackets so as not to confuse anyone into believing that bears actually read this site.)

Anyway, Theo ain't coming back to Boston, and even though I haven't really been following this story all that closely -- at least not until a couple of days ago -- that doesn't mean I don't have some thoughts about it.

My buddy Mike sent me an email a couple of weeks ago when Theo's contract negotiations became public. I remember hearing some time later on PTI that Boston's initial offer was something like $850,000 even though Epstein was asking for something in the neighborhood of $1.5 - 2.0 million a year. When I heard this, I told my wife: If this is true, I hope Theo leaves.

Look, I have no idea what the going rate for GMs is, but I know this much: Kevin Millar made $3.5 million last season. If he's 10 times more important to the Red Sox than Epstein (Theo made $350,000 in 2005), then make him the GM. Millar can be the first player/GM in major league history. Plus, he'd be the perfect face for an organization most assuredly on the way down.

Things died down for a week or so, and then I heard Monday that Theo was coming back, would sign a contract that would pay him roughly $1.5 million a year, and everything would be back to normal (or as normal as things can be when you're talking about Boston and the Red Sox). When I got home from work, the crap had hit the fan in Boston, and Theo was operating the fan with the likes of Lucchino, Warner, Shaughnessy, operating the crap. Again, without knowing exactly what happened (and I still don't), I was behind Theo. (And let me state for the record that when the Red Sox hired Epstein, I wasn't all that happy about it. Probably because he was my age and had a job a lot cooler than anything I would ever be qualified to do ... at least legally.) Three seasons, three playoff appearances, and a World Series later, Epstein probably became one of my favorite Red Sox people (right after Remy, Papi, and Varitek; and just ahead of Martian Manny).

And even after reading a whole bunch of stuff about what may have transpired in the last 48 hours, I haven't changed my opinion. The Red Sox effed this up, and if they suck for the foreseeable future, it'll be pretty easy to figure out why. In yesterday's press conference, Warner said that Lucchino was in no way responsible for the whole debacle (even though this is contrary to almost every media report), and he then went on to say that maybe he's not fit to own the team, and he feels like losing Theo is a major blow to the Sox. Um, OK, but here's a question: where the hell were you while all this was going down?

I wish Theo the best, and I wouldn't be upset to see him end up in D.C. If he wants a challenge, the Nationals might be right up his alley -- although I'm guessing Frank Robinson ain't exactly down with the whole Bill James-SABRnerd crowd. Also, knowing George FrankenSteinbrenner, I half-expect Theo to magically appear on the Yankees payroll (Probably as Cashman's boss -- by the way is there anybody in baseball that gets less respect from his boss than Cashman? Oh right, Theo), and during his introductory press conference, Manny and Damon would also be introduced as the the team's latest acquisitions. And you know what? I'd be fine with it.

I guess this really shouldn't be surprising given the Red Sox history of royally screwing things up. And I'm not even talking about the Bambino stuff. Boston was one of the last teams to have black players, made a lot of dopey decisions in the 80s (hello Larry Anderson, goodbye Mr. Bagwell) and 90s (Dan Duquette, I'm looking at you), and now I can add this to the list under, "The New Millennium" column. Nice work Boston. See you in 86 years. And one more thing: Dan Shaughnessy sucks.

Okey doke, back to the Steelers tomorrow.