[There are many reasons to love my job (and I do). You’ll never hear me complain about it. But you will hear me comment that there are times it’s not easy – like when I get back from a wedding at almost midnight (after, eh hem, a few cocktails) only to find that the Internet is blowing up with Theo Epstein to the Cubs rumors. When I hopped on my computer last night to post the small update, my wife says she had to get on after me to make sure that what I posted was coherent. Suffice it to say: I take this job seriously.]
A number of other sources are commenting on the Theo Epstein to the Cubs rumors that surfaced yesterday, in addition to Joel Sherman’s very pointed tweet. It’s possible that they’re all talking to the same misinformed people, but it’s also possible that this is the smoke that suggests an almost indescribably wonderful fire.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Epstein to the Cubs actually could happen. He quotes a major league source who said, “The Cubs are obviously interested in Theo and the talk is not going away. I think it’s possible.”
- Peter Gammons, who remains as plugged into the Boston baseball scene as anyone, says Epstein is interested in the Cubs’ job. He’s not sure whether the Red Sox will fight to keep Epstein.
- Phil Rogers quotes someone “close” to Epstein, who says that Theo is “very interested” in the Cubs’ job. But he quotes another source (again, “close” to Epstein – which could mean any number of things), who says, “If they said to Theo, ‘You have to stay and help fix it,’ I wouldn’t be surprised. Letting him walk wouldn’t (surprise me), either. Strange times there.”
- On the flip side, Dan Roche, a radio anchor in Boston, says that, as of yesterday, the Cubs hadn’t asked for, and the Red Sox hadn’t granted, permission to speak to Epstein. But, in a telling hedge, he says, “Down [the] road, who knows?” That, to me, reads like someone who wants to make sure he isn’t wrong – Roche had emphatically denied a connection between the Cubs and Epstein earlier in the day.
- When asked about Epstein’s status with the team on Friday, Red Sox President Larry Lucchino dodged the question, saying, “We’re not prepared to answer that question here. Theo is under contract with us, so it is an issue that has not been addressed or discussed.”
- Many folks are pointing out the fact that assistant GM Ben Cherington participated in all of the high-level meetings immediately after the Red Sox’s collapse, suggesting that it means the Red Sox are preparing for a transition. I’m not really sure how much you can read into an assistant GM participating in organizational meetings, though. I mean, it’s kind of his job.
- Buster Olney notes that how things play out in the near term may indicate whom the Cubs prefer, Epstein or Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman.