Wednesday, November 02, 2005


In a column dated Tuesday the 1st of November, Dan Shaughnessey said:

One of the brightest minds ever to grace the Red Sox front office is gone. Theo Epstein was instrumental in delivering Boston's first baseball championship in 86 years

Woah! I thought he was merely a product of Larry Luchino's guidance. I'm sure that Larry will be able to produce such a baseball genious again in no time. He probably already has a few candidates lined up. What a Shank, a hypocrite, a bad writer, an opportunist, a scavenger, and a piece of crap.

Anyway, the Red Sox remain totally screwed and it's their own fault. They could have come out and offered Theo the $1.5M a year deal instead of waiting until November to do so. This would have given them ample time to find a suitable replacement from within or outside of the organisation. Instead, the tried saving a few hundred thousand dollars. That's alot of money to most people, but a few hundred thousand dollars is peanuts to a company like the Boston Red Sox. And it wasn't as if what Theo was asking for was unprecedented. Alot of big market GMs that have had success in the past make alot of money. It isn't that rare.

Theo isn't completely blameless in this whole thing, either. Even if Shaugnessey's leak assissted column was the straw that broke the camel's back, Theo could have been a bit more forthright with the team and the fans. A few days ago, he could have easily said that it wasn't about the money. Instead, he made it seem like it was. Usually it's the oppositte. So the team kept offering something that Theo really didn't care much about. Then the deadline came and Theo said "see ya." Maybe it was an intentional "FU" to the Red Sox or maybe Theo was just being a bit absent-minded. Whatever or why ever, or how ever it happened, we are screwed.

But hey, at least Jason Varitek won a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger Award for best hitting catcher.


Continuing Shanked, the post below this one:

Lucchino-bashers, and they are legion, maintain that he repeatedly has undermined Theo and on occasion killed deals made by Epstein and the minions. There was one, for sure. When Theo's assistant Josh Byrnes (hired by Arizona as GM Friday) made a deal with Colorado, Epstein thought he had a better deal with another club and requested that Lucchino fall on the sword and invoke the ownership approval clause to kill the Rockies deal. Accustomed to people hating him, Lucchino took the fall, killing the deal and saving Epstein.

Woah! What could possibly be your source for this story, Shank? And what the hells is this minions crap? Minions has always had a negative connotation, in my view at least, and Shaughnessey using such a word to describe Theo's associates isn't exactly good journalism, or good writing. It is, in fact, a cheap ploy used by bad writers/arguers that cannot prove things through argument so they must resort to petty name calling. Kind of like me calling Shaughnessey a Shank. Hehe.

It was charged last week that Sox management conducted a ''smear campaign" against Epstein. How? Where's the campaign? It was correctly reported that Theo turned down a three-year deal at $1.2 million per year. That's a smear campaign? There have been no quotes from Sox management on the negotiations. Lucchino and Epstein called me together at home Friday night but said they could say nothing about Theo's contract talks because they had not spoken with other outlets. So much for the Globe's ''home-court advantage" (the Globe's parent company, The New York Times Company, owns 17 percent of the Red Sox). So much for the cartel. In fact, Epstein's minions probably have done more talking about Theo's situation than anyone in Sox management. When postseason baseball visited Chicago, at least one nationally known Lucchino-hating Epstein source was trashing the Sox CEO to anyone who'd listen.

When the Red Sox leak information to you, and use you as a pawn, that's how they run a smeer campaign. They're not going to come out and say nasty things about Theo. They'll use people in the media who are perfectly willing to do that for them.

It would be a mistake for Epstein to think he can separate Lucchino from John Henry. Henry is a quiet man, but he is not a dolt. He believes in and trusts Lucchino. He admires his young GM, but it would be a mistake for Epstein to force Henry to choose.

I don't think part of Theo's demands or desires was to see Luchino go. I just think Theo wanted Larry to be less of an attention whore and a credit hog.

Publicly, Theo always has talked about ''mutual respect" regarding his relationship with dad Larry. They know that their silence produced considerable speculation and acrimony. Fans and media members have taken shots and taken sides. The Sox tomorrow will present a united front. It still can work. The only unfortunate aspect is that the embers will smolder for years to come. We know too much now.

This whole father-son analogy isn't really apt, if you ask me. And even if it was, isn't there always a time in life when the son starts to become better at things than the father?

Please feel free to e-mail Dan Shaughnessey, but don't just e-mail him stuff like "you suck, Shank." Be somewhat polite, cohesive, and try to tell him something he hasn't already heard, yet. His e-mail address is That isn't a big secret or anything, either.

I'm trying to find a silver lining in all of this. But I just can't. I suppose it is possible that the Red Sox will find a replacement that is better than Theo, but won't that mean that Luchino and the organization will force him out even quicker? It is such a bad idea to change GMs right now, in principal. The Red Sox are in a time of major flux. They're still trying to change from a $120M team of free agents into a team that is developed from within. Theo appeared to be getting this done and players like Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Youkilis, Delcarmen, Papelbon, Hansen, Alvarez, and more had emerged or were about to emerge as Major League players. Now there will be a new General Manager with a new philosophy.

Why did Luchino feel the need to leak a story to the Globe the day before Theo signed a contract extension? Was he trying to prevent Theo from signing? Or did he just want to say to Theo "I'm your boss. If you stay, you're working for me, boy!" This sounds like something Steinbrenner would do. I wouldv'e thought Luchino, who is OBSESSED with the Yankees, would try to avoid being like his nemesis.

A warning to Larry Luchino and the Boston Red Sox organization. The fans will stop coming if the team stops winning. The team will stop winning if there aren't good players. They're won't be good players without a good GM. No good GM would ever want to work for a man/organization that hordes all the credit and is paranoid about any young usurpers to the throne.

The scary thing is, Theo never went out of hiw way and tried claiming credit that wasn't his. He never went around saying "I won the World Series and nobody else did." Larry Luchino, and the other morons up on Yawkey Way have ALOT of explaining to do.