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Theo Epstein talks about the “monster” that was created in Boston

Jun 14, 2012, 10:04 AM EDT

Theo Epstein

Alex Speier has a great interview up with Theo Epstein over at WEEI today. In it Epstein talks candidly about what went wrong towards the end in Boston. Specifically, how a team that was built into a success with player development and home grown talent got into the business of signing people like John Lackey and Carl Crawford to mega deals.

Espstein says that success builds a “new baseline” and that they were always trying to do more. Which, in turn, caused the team — and he includes himself and everyone in the organization — to lose its way and forget its principles:

“Had we been completely true to our baseball philosophy that we set out and believed in and followed, we probably wouldn’t have made certain moves that we made anyway, moves that, as I look back on them, they were probably moves too much of convenience, of placating elements that shouldn’t have been important,” said Epstein. “Those were my mistakes, and because of that the last couple of years weren’t as successful as the previous seven or so.”

Great interview, not just for what Epstein says, but for how Speier describes and characterizes them. He’s one of the best in the business.

  1. natinals10 - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Its amazing how a guy can admit he did a bad job his last few years and the cubs still trade away talent for him.

    • mJankiewicz - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      I bet you he doesn’t make those mistakes again.

      • giselleisasucubus - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Why? He missed on EVERY big free agent, and the Beckett contract was idiotic. Good luck, Cubs. Don’t let this guy sign anyone from other teams because he is AWFUL at evaluating and projecting veterans. Awful. Hey Theo, I hear Bobby Jenks is available. Another Theo gem.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        We’ll never know how much of it was Theo and how much was Larry et al. But, ultimately, Larry et al pay the bills, so they’d have the final say.

      • bozosforall - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM

        Wannabescoutsucksbutts, as usual you prove to be a know nothing. So while Theo is on his second high paying GM job, you still live in your mom’s basement and collect welfare.

      • j0esixpack - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        How’s that slam dunk prediction you made of the Spurs – or anyone from the West – winning the NBA title there bozo?

        You’ve been awfully quiet over there – are you now just on a full time Boston Red Sox hating rant since you’ve proven you know nothing about the NBA?

    • paperlions - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      The Cubs didn’t trade away anything of value to get him.

  2. pisano - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Theo, the monster is you,and if the Cubs allow it, you’ll do it again.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Charles Manson is a monster. Theo is a brilliant exec who made a few bad moves like everyone else. As I’ve stated before, name one GM with a perfect track record. Don’t say such dramatic things.

      • lumpyf - Jun 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        He’s not brilliant. If he was, he wouldn’t be like everyone else.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    The Mitchell Report included illuminating passages about how general manager Theo Epstein considered steroid use in trade discussions, as if it were another skill, such as power or speed, to be weighed in player evaluation.

    Knowing they couldn’t do this anymore probably didn’t help either.

    • Old Gator - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      He danced with the one what brung him. What an ethically diseased ethos the backrooms of MLB were before the Mitchell Report. Before everyone hangs the onus on Bud Light – not that he doesn’t deserve Scar’s share of the carcass, mind you – consider how deeply corrupted by their shrugging acceptance of the situation the rest of the brain stem trust of MLB must have been. There’s plenty of disgust to go around for all of them. When you can collectively make Jose Canseco look like the hero, man, you really suck.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Amen. Everyone knew, no one spoke up, as it put butts in seats after the 1994 season. Banned substances in baseball is nothing new. MLB didn’t start focusing on this until Canseco spread like a wildfire.

      • natstowngreg - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        And BTW, Bud was himself one of the owners who looked the other way, before becoming Commissioner.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Chicks dig the long ball.

    • giselleisasucubus - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Theo didn’t consider steroids as a “skill”, he did his due diligence before making the move and ultimately decided to go with both guys(Gagne, Donnelly). He wanted to know because steroid guys break down faster. Also, for when you tell me I’m wrong, here is the link…

      http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071213&content_id=2325380&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

      • bozosforall - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Ramirez and Ortiz both tested positive for PED usage AS RED SOX PLAYERS.

        YOU FAIL

  4. Glenn - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Theo, like any good general manger, considered steroid use in potential free agents or trade fodder – not because he saw it as a skill, but as an indicator that maybe a guy wasn’t as good as his numbers because of PED use. So deathmonkey, you would not consider every factor when evaluating talent?

  5. giselleisasucubus - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    thank you glenn

    • Old Gator - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      I didn’t get the impression that deathmonkey meant Theo went looking for juicers because he wanted more piss and vinegar in the lineup; just that he trafficked in information about PEDs as matter-of-factly as he would any other physical contingency rather than as an illegal practice that demanded some form of overt action. Of course, when you consider, in retrospect, how widespread the practice was, about whom could he be absolutely sure they were clean? As I said above, there was plenty of disgust to go around for everyone.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        That is the way I took Monkey’s post as well Gator.
        And I am with you 100% and have stated many times previously.
        MLB turned their beady little heads.
        Very similar to the turnstiles that were in perpetual motion after the Big Mac/Sammy home run dual that helped bring people back after the strike.
        Dudes swelling up as big as houses.
        Home Runs flying out of the parks at record pace. What does MLB do?
        They investigate the Baseball Manufacturer to ensure the balls are being made in accordance with the rules.
        Hypocrites.

      • Old Gator - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        And how plastered did those baseball “investigators” get with the baseball manufacturers’ reps during happy hour those evenings? And how hard did they laugh and slap each other’s backs? I would love to have been the melancholy horse sitting at the other end of the bar.

      • Old Gator - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        Oh, PS – and don’t never say you never saw me stake out a conservative position, Remember: total cynicism is the new political independence.

  6. cereal blogger - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Chicken & beer in the clubhouse has nuttin to do wit nuttin

  7. tuftsb - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Chciks dig the long ball indeed.

  8. bozosforall - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    The Mitchell Report was an even bigger joke than MLB looking away as so many players used PEDs. The fact that Red Sox board member conveniently failed to find even one Boston star accused of PED use, despite the fact that both Ramirez and Ortiz were caught using in 2003 only magnifies the lack of validity of the whole process.

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