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Bud Selig could intervene in Theo Epstein talks

Oct 21, 2011, 8:43 AM EDT

Bud Selig Reuters

If you thought the Theo Epstein situation wasn’t silly enough already, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that commissioner Bud Selig may act as arbitrator if the Red Sox and Cubs can’t agree on compensation for the former Boston GM.

Selig made the comments last night during an appearance on Sirius XM’s “Mad Dog Radio” with Chris Russo.

”It is a possibility. No question, it is a possibility.”

There were a few optimistic reports out of Chicago yesterday that suggested a resolution was close, but Red Sox owner John Henry said otherwise in comments to the Boston Globe. With Friday essentially ruled out, it now appears that an announcement will either have to wait until the next off-day of the World Series on Tuesday or after the series is completed.

  1. bravin4evr - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    I really didn’t think the sox wud settle for some scrub minor leaguers for theo. Those reports yday were just dumb. Why let him go for no less than one top grade prospect? The cubs want him make them pay the price!

    • bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      So I’m having a bizarro issue with the Thumbs Up/Down feature. I select a Thumb Up/Down, it momentarily shows my selection, then immediately reverts to the previous total – as if I didn’t select a Thumb Up/Down.

      Has anyone else seen this happen?

      • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        Me too. At first I thought it was Chrome – you know how high-strung this browser can be – so I tried logging on with Explorer and the same thing happened. This is almost as bad as the 2000 election in Florida, though I doubt that the results will be nearly as catastrophic.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        I have had that same thing happening for a couple of days. I thought it was my computer or something. Guess not.

      • bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Old Gator,

        Whenever Florida ’00 needs to be invoked – you know its a serious problem!


      • cur68 - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        You guys are right; the thumb thing is screwed. I hadn’t used them because I just don’t, but now I can’t change the total on the thumbs at all. Another thing, I’m also getting a “slow script” message when I click on given article. I have to tell Safari to stop running it to get the page to load. If I disable Java script it stops happening but then I can’t even see the thumbs. Its only on this portion of the sports site, too. The others have no problem. I think HBT has a problem….

      • henryd3rd - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Crazy! Bud must be behind this as well

      • foreverchipper10 - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:08 PM


  2. kiwicricket - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    I am struggling to think of a strange old uncle who even makes faces like that. Nice one Bud.

    • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      He’s smiling like that because he knows that nobody else on the dais is going to dare ask who just farted.

      Power intoxicates, don’t it?

      • kiwicricket - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        I would have to agree. That Sir, is most definitely a flatulence face.

  3. northsidechuck - Oct 21, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    It’s not like Boston has any leverage, if worst comes to worst the Cubs will wait a year and get him without giving up anything

    • Matt Aromando - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      Are the Cubs supposed to go a year without a GM or team president? Do they really want someone with the interim title for a whole year running the club, making key decisions, drafting players, signing free agents?

      • henryd3rd - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        The Cubs have been without a GM ever since the signed Hendry on as GM. When was their last World Series appearance? Talk about long suffering; but this is ridiculous.

    • mornelithe - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Yeah from my understanding, the Sox are the only one’s here with leverage. The cubs either give up something, or they go another year w/o a GM/Team President. They’ve got a decent enough payroll to let Epstein sit for a year.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        After this circus, not getting Theo now would be a PR disaster.

      • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

        Better yet – Theo announces that he’s had enough of the merry-go-round and has decided to go back to the Beanbags, since after all he does have a contract with them. Now wouldn’t that bring down serious pressure on John Henry’s hammer?

    • bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Once the Cubs made it known that they intend to sign Theo to a 5 year/$18.5 Mil deal, they lost what leverage they had. The Red Sox have their next GM, the Cubs do not.

      Even worse, the Cubs have obviously been feeding the “deal is imminent” media monster.

      Could the Cubs wait a year for Epstein? Yeah, I suppose. But a lot can happen in a year and John Henry could re-evaluate the Lucchino/Epstein dynamic and find a way to keep both. Lucchino is not signed beyond December.

      Eventually, the Cubs would have to move on to other targets like Friedman (if he isn’t already off the market) or (ironically) Hoyer.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I can’t put into words how irritated I am at how long this is taking.

    • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      Great opportunity for a Mad Libs contest. Everybody ready? OK –

      Gee WhenMattStairsisKing, just how irritated are you?

      “I’m so irritated that_______________________________________________________________”

      I will bake the winning entry a batch of my world famous jalapeno and cheese sweetcorn cakes.

      • Cris E - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        …I could eat a jalapeno and cheese sweetcorn cake.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        I’m so irritated that I’m willing to beg Allan to actually interfere with something to get it done. How’s that for irritated?

      • tacklemeelmo - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        I feel like I just had a colonoscopy.

      • El Bravo - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        I’m so irritated that I punched a kitten in the nuts.

  5. bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    One thing I do know . . . The CEO (Selig) has no business inserting himself into this unless both teams invite him to do so.

    If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out and each team will have to deal with the consequences, but Selig’s unilateral involvement would be his usual arbitrary reactionary self.

    • Cris E - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      I think there’s a role here for Bud to crush a nascent front office talent market cost explosion. Bud’s an owner at heart, and the last thing he wants are the clubs to start jacking up the cost of what’s traditionally been a fairly cheap part of the operation. As it becomes clear that dumping a couple million into operations makes more difference than incrementally improving your sixth inning guy, and as execs start making names for themselves as difference makers, then you’re at risk of throwing away the established gentlemen’s agreement to allow interviewing and creating a marketplace where things used to be free. I can easily see him anxious to settle this behind the scenes and establish some sort of protocol so that teams know what to expect in the future (and to prevent unprofessional dumbness from creeping into this particular situation.)

      • Old Gator - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        Stop making sense, Cris. It has no place here.

      • bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        I have to admit, excellent analysis.

        The only thing Selig coudl do that won’t be viewed as favoring one side or the other is to declare Ricketts deal with Epstein null and void and order all future transactions of this nature will have to be negotiated via the Commissioners Office. I don’t imagine that would sit well with the owners.

        Ricketts is attempting to lure Epstein away with hefty sum of money – perhaps unprecedented as Lucchino is apparently positing.

        If Selig endorses the Ricketts strategy by unilaterally deciding the Red Sox must choose two mid-level prospects from a list, in effect compelling the Red Sox to consent to a deal they would not agree to under normal circumstances – then it’s likely we’ll eventually start hearing about all kinds of team protections being included future executive contracts.

        If Selig chooses to side more with the Red Sox view of the matter, in essence supporting your argument that he wants to set a premium on these types of deals and do so by granting them a couple of top prospects or a top prospect and a ML player, there will be owners who are outraged – Ricketts being front and center.

  6. sknut - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I am confused if Theo is being hired as team President isn’t that a promotion and do the Cubs still need to compensate the Red Sox for this? Or is it because different titles mean different things to the teams and thus they may view this as a lateral move?

    • thinman61 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Theo is under contract with the Red Sox through next season. The compensation is for buying out the last year of his contract, regardless of whether the move is lateral or not.

  7. El Bravo - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I think if Ricketts, Theo and the Sox crew sat down and chilled out with some good tunes, refreshments and some Bud it would be therapeutic for all involved.

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