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Theo Epstein takes issue with the excerpt from the Terry Francona book

Jan 17, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Theo Epstein AP

The other day an excerpt was released from Terry Francona’s upcoming book in which Theo Epstein was quoted as being highly critical of Tom Werner and John Henry’s ownership of the Red Sox. Specifically, that they cared more about image than winning and made some foolish-sounding comments about adding “sizzle” and that the Sox “start winning in more exciting fashion.”

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston spoke to Epstein, however, and Epstein takes issue with the way his comments about all of that are presented in Francona’s book. He says that his criticism was of marketing consultants, not the team owners, and denies that any moves he made were with an eye toward upping the “sizzle factor” in Boston. He also says that (a) Werner’s comment about winning “in more exciting fashion” was made as a joke; and (b) Francona’s claim that the team owners don’t love baseball is simply wrong.

As if the final days of the Epstein-Francona dynasty in Boston weren’t exciting enough, now we have a “Rashomon” aspect to all of it.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Less like Rashomon and more like The Outrage, no?

    Even so, it’s kinda nice that Epstein never said “my comments were taken out of context.”

    Or did he?

    Today’s cocktail party moment, as long as Craig had the perspicacity to invoke Rashomon. While he was making The Seven Samurai as Kurosawa’s set manager and controller on one end of the Toho studio building, Inoshiro Honda was making Godzilla at the other end as director. Honda had been working with and absorbing ideas and techniques from Kurosawa for years and years. So you gonna tell me that Honda never discussed what he was doing down the hall with Kurosawa? And you gonna tell me that Kurosawa never gave Honda centrally important advice about his top assistant’s Lucky Dragon project? And you gonna tell me that inserting Raymond Burr into Godzilla’s American release edition as a white identity figure, to provide yet another albeit politically sanitized perspective on what was going on, wasn’t a stroke of genius to insert an element of Rashomon into the film?

    That’s right: Godzilla was actually a Kurosawa film. Kinda changes the way you watch it now, eh? Let the truth be knowed.

    • natslady - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      Actually, I have never watched Godzilla. Nope, not once. But, carry on.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        maybe you mis-remember, Godzilla played for the Yankees, good player.# 55

        check it out.

    • mrfloydpink - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Another wildly helpful comment from natslady.

      So, you’ve never seen Godzilla. What, does that make you some sort of rebel? Why on Earth should anyone care if you have or have not seen the movie?

      • Old Gator - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Because the Zohar assures us that the Tikkun will not occur until everyone has seen Godzilla.

    • Pierre Cruzatte - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      TL;DR: Likable old guy from Florida.

    • anxovies - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Maybe Hisao Kurosawa will make a film showing the movie from Godzilla’s perspective.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:33 AM

        There was ackcherley a novel written from Godzilla’s perspective: http://www.amazon.com/Gojiro-Novel-Mark-Jacobson/dp/0802135390

        Could little K make a movie of it? Dear Buddha, I hope not.

  2. 18thstreet - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    As a Red Sox fan, I don’t really care if the owners love baseball. I live near DC, and it seems to me that Dan Snyder really loves football. It doesn’t help. Still, I’m eager to read the book because Francona always struck me as an honest and smart person and I’m looking forward to his perspective.

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    So the view is different from the manager’s angle than the GM’s. No huge surprise here. Its doesn’t sound like a very well run machine though when the field manager doesn’t think you care much about the sport.

  4. cryogenichead406 - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I buy what they both say. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

  5. mazblast - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    When making a “joke”, one should consider (a) whether it’s actually funny, and (b) how it would look in plain, dry print.

    From what little I know about the Stooges who own and run the Red Sox, this doesn’t sound like a “joke”. I think Werner was deadly serious when he made that stupid remark.

    • gloccamorra - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Good point. Tom Werner made his money in Hollywood. He probably DOES think of baseball as an entertainment franchise more than a sports franchise.

  6. hammyofdoom - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    The thing that scares me about this book is that it’s written by Dan goddamn Shaugnessey (if I misspelled his name I don’t care, not wasting the time to google him). Not saying that Theo was taken out of context or not, but it does seem like something ol’ Danny boy would do to stir up some extra shit on a story that he knows could get him some more publicity. I dont know many (maybe any) Red Sox fans that really respect this guy, so it’s unfortunate that a book about a guy I really do like in Terry Francona is being filtered through this jackass.

    • soxfan1966 - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Most of the times I’ve read Curly-Boy’s columns I get the distinct feeling that even if the Sox played to a 162 – 0 finish and went 11 – 1 in the postseason and took home a championship that he’d declare the season a failure because of that one loss.

      I’ll bet he kicks his dog, too.

      • hammyofdoom - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Seriously, doesn’t “Sure they win, but they win in such a BORING fashion it’s almost impossible to watch this team” sound like something this moron would say in one of his columns? I dont “hate” a whole lot, but I hate this guy’s reporting

      • soxfan1966 - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Yes, that does indeed sound like a Shaughnessy line. After the wins in 2004 and 2007 a lot of people started accusing Sox fans of becoming like Yankee fans (the sense of arrogance and entitlement). I can’t say that about any of the Sox fans within my personal circle of friends (we’ve all been Sox fans too long and well remember too many lean years and near-misses to have any sense of entitlement), but I think Shaughnessy fits that description pretty well. He’d curse a light bulb in the darkness for not being bright enough.

    • andyoursistertoo - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      shank started the curse of the bambino , cashed in on red soxs fans misery while hes running to the bank. Notice the zero dislikes you have talking about him

  7. markfrednubble - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I love Tito, but I think if you listed all the MLB owners who “loved baseball” in a way that Tito would approve of, and the ones who were calculating, independently successful business people, the second group would be a lot better owners. I know, there’s an overlap of course, and I doubt too many people buy baseball teams without loving baseball to some extent, but as a fan I’d rather have my team owned by smart people with a track record of building winning organizations in other fields. Because those people usually know to put experts in the key roles and to listen to those experts.

    Look, if this conversation took place five years ago, you’d have had a hard time finding someone who didn’t think these same Red Sox owners were the best owners in sports.

    I’d like to know who ultimately deserves responsibility for the worst stretch of expensive, high-profile free agent signings in the history of baseball. Theo? Lucchino? Henry? In what combination?

    Because that’s what really brought this franchise to its knees. Go through the list: Renteria, Lugo, Matsuzaka, Drew, Cameron, Lackey, Jenks, Crawford. All big multiyear contracts over about a 5-6-year span, and all pretty much failures.

  8. stevequinn - Jan 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    The Sox soap opera lives on.

  9. cur68 - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Theo’s just done Tito a favour: no amount of publicity is bad for a book. Lets hope there’s a big outcry from Henry et al, too.

  10. anxovies - Jan 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I hear that John Henry will write a book about how he wasn’t even at the meeting. He claims that he was in Liverpool trying to find a way to make the Reds’ losses more exciting. Rashomon.

  11. joestemme - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Not really a big surprise that Theo will find some fault with Francona’s book (this is just the opening teaser). When a franchise falls so quickly, a lot of blame is gonna go around.
    I think Francona is the most straight-shooter of the bunch (including ownership), so I will tend to lean his way.
    And, is it any surprise that Theo is not gonna slam the current Sox ownership too much? There is always the potential for trades and other transactions after all.

  12. kw27p - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Maybe they don’t care about baseball. After all they made a clueless move in hiring bobby V.

  13. d070033 - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    LOL, poor Theo.

    Keeps getting picked on – at least he has that silver spoon still in mouth to comfort him. Most over-rated GM in the business.

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