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Theo Epstein would “embrace the challenge” of taking over the Cubs

Sep 30, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

Theo Epstein

With Terry Francona going bye-bye, it’s probably worth Red Sox’ fans time to turn their pitchforks and torches toward Theo Epstein’s house because, hey, what else is there to do? Cheer for the Yankees?

To that end, there’s a goodly bit of low-level rumor-churning going on in the past 24 hours. First came Buster Olney’s thing yesterday in which “friends of Theo Epstein” say that “he would embrace the opportunity to go to the Cubs.”  Today Gordon Wittenmyer takes that and does a little more speculatin’ about hypotheses on the subject:

With Epstein potentially available for an interview — not to mention his future with Boston questioned in the aftermath of the biggest September collapse in baseball history — the Cubs are expected to make a run at him.

Usual caveats apply: why would Epstein leave Boston, why would Boston let him out of his contract, etc.  But then again, no one thought Terry Francona was going anyplace a couple of days ago either, so who knows?

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    I hear Red Sox are planning on firing God and ESPN, since this was all their fault, according to AGon anyway:

    • kopy - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      Maybe it’s just society.

      • Old Gator - Oct 1, 2011 at 12:08 AM

        More likely the challenge would embrace Theo – you know, like the face-hugging larva in Alien.

    • Panda Claus - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      Clearly global warming, err, climate change has everything to do with this.

      • bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        LOL on all 3 comments!

        I blame Theo. I don’t, but this is fun all the same:

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:20 PM

      I blame myself. I should have left the TV off, rubbed that rabbit’s foot more, and wore more purple.

  2. dlevalley - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    How wild would it be if injuries to a few key players and the underperformance of a few more lead to the the Sox getting rid of the best GM and Manager in franchise history?

    • hittfamily - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM

      What does Dan Duquette have to do with any of this?

      • bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Absurd, but that’s what makes ur comment funny.

  3. drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    As the Chicago Cubs race to hire the architect and manager of the worst collapse in the history of ever, the rest of the world is reminded why they are the Cubs.

    • El Bravo - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      Call it what you will. Epstein and Francona would be a coup for the Cubs.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        I’m not so sure about Epstein. I could be wrong, but what’s his good FA signing? I’m sure I’m missing a couple good ones, but Lackey and crawford and Drew and Gonzalez (he had to trade good players to sign him to an above market deal). Was Matsuzaka his signing? whatever the organization tried to do to ellsbury was on him last year. He gave (the centerfielder that got cut this year and went to the marlins) too much money. I’m sure there’s more.

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        Okay, Mike Cameron for 2 years and $18M. That’s the guy whose name escaped me.

        Also his handling of the shortstop position has been beyond awful

      • drunkenhooliganism - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        I’m not even that negative on Epstein. I just think the Cubs should do a little more due diligence.

        And that they probably won’t.

        Because they’re the Cubs.

        They’ll make the big name signing and revel in the glory of it only to realize that the name alone isn’t going to win a championship.

      • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:25 PM


        You left out Rentaria, Lugo and Drew, .. but wh’s counting?

      • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        And, … there’s Penny Smoltz and Jenks, .. but again who’s counting?

      • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        A coup? You mean like the one in Bananas?

        And while we’re at it, Craig, it’s been a while since we’ve had a Miller’s Crossing allusion from you. Just don’t forget what the next line was: “I know I don’t know nuthin’.”

      • baseballisboring - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:18 PM

        He’s made some mistakes, for sure, but a lot of them didn’t look like mistakes at the time. Drew actually turned out to be pretty good except for this year. Gonzalez wasn’t a FA, Crawford’s only had one year, I still am optimiistic about him as a player, even though I thought it was an overpay at the time. Lackey I wasn’t too keen on, but I don’t think anyone expected it to be this bad. A lot of teams were in on Dice-K at the time and he did have a couple decent years, though still clearly a mistake. Just a risk/reward thing that didn’t work out, he was absolutely dominant in Japan. Smoltz and Penny were both low risk high reward signings that didn’t get much reward, that happens. Lugo was a terrible idea. Renteria and Jenks were both decent pickups at the time. I don’t think his free agent track record is THAT bad, especially when you factor in his trades and the homegrown players like Lester, Bucholz, Papelbon, Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Bard etc.

    • jamie54 - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Exactly……..biggest collapse in baseball history, so of course that qualifies him and Francona to take the Chicago jobs and repeat history there. To suggest by hiring them you’re getting highly qualified individuals is true, but caveat emptor, per the biggest collapse, etc. Could happen again especially to the Cubs, but hopefully after a couple of WS wins for Cub fans sake.

  4. trevorb06 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    It’d be something to see both Epstein and Francona go to Chicago. It’d be even more something if they both went to the Cubs. I imagine Francona will be sportin’ a different color of Sox next season though.

  5. jeffw - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I blame the media.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    You know who else had injuries and under-preformance from some of their players? Everyone.

  7. dailyrev - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I’ve got another plain, unretouched screen capture that, well, captures the meaning of this story. I call this one “Princess Theo”:

  8. theonlynolan - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    The reason Epstein would go to the Cubs is simple. The man has a chance to end infamous title droughts in two of the biggest baseball cities in the world. If he could bring a title to the Cubs he’d be a legend. He’d be the GM that broke the Curse of the Bambino and the Curse of the Billy Goat. No GM in sports history would be able to make a similar claim. I’m sure that exact thought has occurred to him.

    • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      ” He’d be the GM that broke the Curse of the Bambino and the Curse of the Billy Goat. No GM in sports history would be able to make a similar claim.”

      He’s also the only GM to take it on the lamb in a gorilla suit. So he’s got that going ofr him too!

    • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      Yeah. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic. Then she tried to fly the Pacific. Think about it, Theo.

      • bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM


      • theonlynolan - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Well played, Sir.

      • florida727 - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        POTY (post of the year) nominee! Beyond that though, the Cubs should go after the packaged deal of both Theo and Francona. Give them 5 years together and “Amelia-may-still-be-alive-on-some-uncharted-Pacific-island”. You never know…

  9. dailyrev - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    The Onion does it again (think of how much $$$ they’d make selling that stuff in NYC):,26212/

  10. patsandsox - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Please go to Chicago Theo, PLEASE GO and take Lackey and Drew with you!

    • patsandsox - Sep 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      Sorry I forgot Dicek, Beddard, and whatever free agent overrated SS there will be availabe this winter.

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