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Farewell, Red Sox Nation

Oct 25, 2011, 8:42 AM EDT

Carl Crawford Signs with the Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Theo Epstein will be introduced as the new President of the Chicago Cubs later today.  This morning he wrote an op-ed goodbye to Red Sox Nation in today’s Boston Globe. The whole thing is here, and it’s nothing short of fantastic.

Epstein talks about his love of the Sox from his youth, the joy of breaking the curse and winning two championships, his decision to leave the team to go to Chicago and, of course, the September collapse. It’s these last two areas which are the best parts.

In them he describes his thought process on joining the Cubs in a way that makes the move make the most sense in the world, both for Chicago and for Boston.  And he also puts the September collapse it an eminently reasonable perspective:

It may not seem this way now, but I am convinced that we will look back at September of 2011 not as some harbinger of the demise of the Red Sox, but as an anomaly in the midst of a decades-long run of success for the franchise. Some good may even come from it. I know the climate is especially hostile right now, and our mistakes are well documented, but I encourage fans not to lose faith in the players or in the organization. Red Sox Nation is a fantastic place, and it’s even better when we take a deep breath and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

So Epstein’s last act as the leader of Red Sox Nation: telling everyone to chill out.  There’s something about that I absolutely love.

  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    everyone to chill out

    Should have told everyone to not go ape [shit] on each other =\

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    “So Epstein’s last act as the leader of Red Sox Nation: telling everyone to chill out. There’s something about that I absolutely love.”

    What else is new…Craig and I diametrically opposed on a subject :D If Ruben Amaro were to have left the Phillies and said this to me, as a Phillies fan I would have felt like this…SCREW YOU DUDE!!! Good luck and God Bless with the Cubs, but don’t tell me to give anyone the “benefit of the doubt”. The Red Sox ripped out the hearts of their fans in September. It is going to take months, if not years for many fans to get over this choke job. Sorry, Theo, but take your “benefit of the doubt” and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      I know you’re just one guy, but it’s hard to read things like this without reaffirming my belief in some of the “stereotypes” surrounding the Phillies’ fan base.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        Why? Explain to me how I should give the team the benefit of the doubt when the blow a 9 1/2 game lead in September? How am I supposed to react when the GM of my team is leaving and telling us on the way out to “chill out” ? Yeah, maybe in some towns, it is “Oh well, we’ll get ‘em next year guys” But in Philly, we love OUR teams. And we don’t go quietly in the night. The Phillies had a colossal failure of a season this year, in some ways, much worse than the collapses of both the Braves and the Red Sox. And I wouldn’t want my GM to tell me to chill out and give the team the benefit of the doubt.

      • SmackSaw - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Yeah, it it would’ve been Amaro, Chris would finger puke on a kid. That’s a typical Philadelphia fan.

      • jeffro33 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        This is truly just one bitter guy. Every fanbase is full of them.

        I am a passionate 4-for-4 Philadelphia fan who has loved our teams since 1984. I went almost 100 seasons without a championship before the Phils brought one home. I choose to rather focus on the fact that this team was as hapless as the came just a few years ago with an ownership that lied to us daily, to now being a perennial contender that uses the revenues from its tremendous fan support into putting a winner on the field…

        While we are as passionate and knowledgable of a fanbase as there is in sports, we are also the most angry one.

      • tomemos - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        “The Phillies had a colossal failure of a season this year, in some ways, much worse than the collapses of both the Braves and the Red Sox.”

        Get over yourself, for heaven’s sake!!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        tomemos, does that mean you disagree with me? How so? Would you characterize the Phillies season as anything other than a failure?

      • sportsdrenched.com - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Explain to me how I should give the team the benefit of the doubt

        Because people who are good at their jobs have options. Theo Epstien had a good run in Boston, and there are only a handful of teams that wouldn’t take him over their own GM.

        So what do effective people with options do when their situation becomes that of unattainable expectations? They leave.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        sportsdrenched, I think you misunderstand what I am saying. I don’t care that Theo left for the Cubs. I said good luck and God Bless. But don’t try to tell the fans on the way out to give the team the benefit of the doubt and, as Craig characterized it, “chill out” when they are still getting over one of the the worst choke jobs in the history of baseball. That’s all. My opinion. No biggie if everyone on HBT disagrees. Nobody cares about their team as much as I do mine on here, so it’s to be expected.

      • tomemos - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        It certainly wasn’t a bigger failure than the Red Sox and Braves failures, no. Talented teams lose five-game series literally every year. September collapses like we saw this year are much more rare and comprehensive. And I wouldn’t even care except that you’re using it as yet another reason to brag about the Phillies! “Our failure was worse! We’re so angry! We’re bigger fans than anybody!” GET! OVER! YOURSELF!

      • tomemos - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        “Nobody cares about their team as much as I do mine on here, so it’s to be expected.”

        Are you seven years old?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        LOL sorry I got you so upset tomemos. Maybe you should save some of that anger for your team, whoever they are, instead of getting angry how I feel about my team.

      • tomemos - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        I’m angry about how you feel about yourself, you arrogant clown, and how you can’t keep that off the boards of this website–a site devoted to a sport you don’t even like.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Chris, I think you might be an ignoranus.

        I’m not judging, just an observation.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        paper, I’m curious as to why you think I am ignorant because I root for my team differently than you and most of the people on this board? Just curious is all. Unlike you, I am not making a judgment about anyone on this board, nor do I care how someone else roots for their team. Nor would I ever try to tell someone else how to root for their team, as you and many others have done to me.

        Seems to me, it is a tad more ignorant to try to impose your feelings on someone else, don’t you agree?

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        It isn’t because of how you root for your team, it is your apparent opinioin about how others root for their teams and the assumptions (which are wildly inaccurate) therein.

        PS: you might want to check the spelling a little more closely on my previous post :-D

    • aaronmoreno - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM

      Years to get over it? I think some fans need some better perspective.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        There are Philadelphia fans older than myself who still feel lousy about 1964. I am sure there are Mets fans who still get pissed when they think about 2007…and 2008. Just as I know there are Yankees fans who still think about 2004 from time to time. I think some fans just feel differently than others. Doesn’t make either type of fan right or wrong.

        The only people wrong in this debate are the ones who insult how others take their sports team’s defeats.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        In the end, it’s just baseball. It’s there for our pleasure and amusement. When your team wins it all (albeit rather infrequently in Philly), the good feeling lasts a few days then it’s back to the real world.

        The same should hold true for losing in “soul-crushing” fashion. It hurts for a few days, then…..big deal. Go play with your kids or hang with some old friends. How one’s favorite team fares shouldn’t have too much of a lasting impact if they’re over the age of 14.

        …..or maybe I’ve been an Oriole fan for too long.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        nolan, i’m a different kind of fan than you. When my team wins, I revel in it the entire off-season. I wear Phillies jerseys to Christmas parties. When they lose, I can’t even stand to look at anything red until pitchers and catchers report. I would never say that either one of us is wrong…just different. Some people have to make themselves feel better by mocking me, and that is OK with me. Still, I feel how I feel and would never change no matter how many thumbs downs I get or how many people tell me how I should feel more like them. To each his or her own.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        What is it that makes it so important to you? To each his own, I say. But I wouldn’t let the athletic performance of some guys you don’t even know effect your general mood for too long. It doesn’t seem worth it.

        You’ve written on here in the past that you’re “not a baseball fan, you’re a Phillies fan”. Is it civic pride run amok?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        nolan, it’s just that as a sport, I don’t get into baseball as much as football or even hockey. It’s slow and pretty boring when I don’t have a rooting interest. I watch the Phillies and Red Sox to win and the Yankees to lose. When they are all done, it’s see you in February.

        And for me, it’s a zero sum game. I put as much into the winning as I do into the losing. If I am just going to go “Yay!” when they win, then I just go “Oh well!” when they lose. But I do neither. I go overboard both ways…when they win and when they lose. Doesn’t make me wrong, does it?

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        No, it doesn’t make you wrong, I guess. It just seems to me that that “anger” is what leads to fans punching other fans in the face only because they root for a different team. Those same “fans” then riot in the street and loot businesses as a way of celebrating victory.

        Frankly, I don’t think the players themselves get as down or up as you describe yourself feeling. Perspective.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        Nah, nolan. It isn’t a physical thing. It isn’t even anger. It’s disappointment. It’s sadness. I hate fans who heckle people on the other team. I never do that. I always respect other fans who come to CBP. I go to a lot of other stadiums and wear a phillies cap and always enjoy a little fun debate, but never anger and certainly never any violence. Just fun. The Phillies loss in game 5 took a lot out of me. I don’t watch anything related to the Phillies. I see a scroll across the bottom of the screen that they didn’t pick up the options on Lidge and Oswalt and I think “Who cares? It’s too soon for that” But that isn’t anger. It’s disappointment.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        Chris, take Mama’s advice . . . if you want to be a lifelong Philadelphia fan, pace yourself . . . learn to breathe in and out.

        I say that as a hardcore Phillies fan who follows every game, pre-season, post-season and hot stove. I’ve celebrated 2 championships had my heart stomped upon, and everything in between.

        And Nolan, when the championships do come, the good feeling lasts for more than a few days!

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        “SCREW YOU DUDE!” and “take your ‘benefit of the doubt’ and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine” sounded more like something an angry person would say, rather than something someone who was merely disappointed would utter.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        True, but it hatched from feelings of disappointment? :D

      • halladaysbiceps - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        Chris is 100% correct with his statements. True Phillies fans are still disgusted and ashamed that this team was knocked out of a 5 game series by a Cards’ club that wasn’t fit to carry their jock straps on the field talent-wise.

        I’m angry too. When they lost, I punched a hole in the wall of my garage with my fist. I just patched it up the other day.

      • nolanwiffle - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        You root for a team that’s won two championships in 128 years. You, of all fan bases, should know that it ends badly more often than well. Relax and enjoy it for what it is…..a fun diversion.

        Though ’83 was quite glorious.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      Whether you buy into it or not, it was a classier farewell than trashing the team on his way out of town.

      BTW, I don’t think there are many similarities between the Sox’s month-long collapse and the Phillies loss in a short series. Keep calm and carry on.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        I agree that for the most part, the farewell was classy. However, I don’t agree at all with him telling fans to give the team the benefit of the doubt. Not right now. It’s still way too soon for that. At least in my opinion. But on this board, your team loses, and in a couple days, it’s “Oh well, skippy, we’ll get ‘em next year.” Thus all the thumbs downs. Which is fine. To each his/her own.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Chris, just relax. He’s an executive leaving for an opportunity he wants, and is leaving in the classiest way possible. It’s bizarre, frankly speaking, that you’re this worked up over any of this.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        I agree there, matt…I am actually happy for Theo. And he did a great job with the Red Sox. And for the most part, I liked his article and thought it was very classy of him. I just don’t like the one “chill out” part. Which is what Craig highlights as his favorite part. :D That’s what got me worked up.

    • Lukehart80 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      The team has won two World Series in the last eight seasons. If you can’t get over missing the playoffs, even in such dramatic fashion, so soon after two championships, you should get out of the sports’ fan racket, it isn’t going to be worth the strain and frustration.

  3. proudlycanadian - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    A very well written piece by Epstein. He deserved an opportunity to place his spin on events. I am unable to buy all of his story; however. I suspect that he had other reasons for wanting to bail on the team after the 2012 season.

    • phukyouk - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      ” I suspect that he had other reasons for wanting to bail on the team after the 2012 season.”

      So much so that he did it a year early :-)

  4. toddyballgame - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    who cares already? never seen such a big deal made of a gm leaving a team. a team that provided him the support to sign whoever he wanted, boo f-ing hoo. half the time being a gm is pure luck. look at guys in the WS making impacts: Napoli & Cruz from Tex. Rhodes and Dotel are on social security.

  5. kopy - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    • El Bravo - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      win.

  6. hooks024 - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Red sux nation might be an alright place, but it’s a yankees universe. It’s nearly 4 times as good.

  7. thebuzzonny - Oct 25, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Good Luck Theo. Class act. He was just what the Red Sox needed after 80 plus years of losing. Good Luck in Chicago. You’re gonna need it

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Nice to have a pleasant comment in the middle of the madness of this thread.

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Holy crap, wonder if this might be a factor:

    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-in/21149846/yocum-examines-lackey-resolution-near

    So Lackey might get TJS, Dice K already had it, Wakefield wasn’t at his best end of last season. 3/6 starting pitchers not available for next year already? Ouch

    Also, is that provision true? If Lackey gets hurt his contract triggers a 6th year? That makes zero sense, doesn’t it?

    • Jay Seaver - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      Actually, I think it’s a pretty clever move – think of it as the Red Sox paying Lackey the minimum for the year he recuperates from surgery and still getting the five years of pitching they paid for.

  9. rcali - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Hope Chicago is willing to spend $200 mil to buy the players they need to make Theo look like a real GM.

  10. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Welcome aboard, Theo.

  11. 8man - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Chris Fiorentino – Oct 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    What else is new…Craig and I diametrically opposed on a subject If Ruben Amaro were to have left the Phillies and said this to me, as a Phillies fan I would have felt like this…SCREW YOU DUDE!!! Good luck and God Bless with the Cubs, but don’t tell me to give anyone the “benefit of the doubt”. The Red Sox ripped out the hearts of their fans in September. It is going to take months, if not years for many fans to get over this choke job. Sorry, Theo, but take your “benefit of the doubt” and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    You mean like how it took us that long to get over the Bruins collapse against the Flyers in 2010? Really? Dude, it’s not that bad. There weren’t enough reasons for Francona and Theo to go. Everyone over reacted. I’ve lived through 1978 and 1986. I’ve seen the Celts lose game 7 to the hated Lakers. I’ve watched a Giants offensive line hold up the wazzou so some scrub could catch a football with his head and help derail a perfect season. We’ll get over it.

    That being said, Red Sox Nation will recover as soon as pitchers and catchers report and it’s good to see the Cubs have renewed hope.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      The city of Boston has one many, many championships over the last decade. Superbowls, NBA championships, Baseball World Series’ and a Stanley cup. We in Philly have won 1 stinkin’ championship in the last 27 years. One. So, our threshold for losing is pretty low. We get angry.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        Is “one many” twice as much as “two many”?

      • 8man - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Yeah. See? Everyone needs to get off the ledge and listen to Philly fan. He knows what pain and disappointment truly is.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      8man, that’s exactly my point. Red Sox nation has NOT recovered. It won’t recover until pitchers and catchers. As I said above, I agreed with 99% of what Theo wrote I really did. The thing I did not agree with is exactly what Craig chose to highlight here…him asking Red Sox nation to “chill out” even though Theo didn’t use those exact words.

      Again, 99% of what I say gets lost when the idiot zealots take one or two phrases of what I write and mold my entire opinion on those phrases.

      I said congrats Theo and good luck and God Bless with the Cubs. That’s all fine and dandy.

      I also said he can stick his request for fans to “chill out” about the horrible collapse. It was a horrible September, and like you say 8men, once pitchers and catchers report, it will be a memory. But last I checked, that doesn’t happen for another 3 1/2 months.

      Personally, I think the Red Sox should have kept both Theo and Tito around. Get rid of guys who like to sit in the locker room and do whatever during games instead of those who actually give a crap.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      p.s. the fact that you are easily recalling stuff that happened in 1978, 1986, celts game 7s, 2008 for the Pats…makes you exactly the kind of fan that I am.

      • 8man - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        It’ll be an exciting winter for the Sox with a new manager and several new faces in the mix. The Yankees didn’t take advantage of the Sox poor finish and neither did Tampa Bay. Hope will abound come late February. All is good.

  12. foreverchipper10 - Oct 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    If I had any artistic ability I would make a picture offering Theo a red pill to stay in Boston or a blue pill to come to Chicago. Since Theo seems to be “the one” who Chicagoans will turn to to save them.

    • foreverchipper10 - Oct 25, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      Maybe the owner of the Cubbies can be Morpheus….

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