We’ve reached a level where I can no longer say we’re obsessing only about the Cubs’ open general manager position. We’re also obsessing about Theo Epstein, specifically. So, here we are…
Buster Olney said this morning that a front office executive told him, “If he met with the Cubs, what it means is that if he gets the offer he wants, he’s gone [to Chicago].” Is there such a thing as a double if being a definite yes? I didn’t think so. So, keep the statement in context: the executive is saying only that Epstein will come to the Cubs if he “gets the offer he wants” (i.e., big money, probable promotion) and if the Cubs were allowed to speak to him at all.
Jon Heyman continues his quest on the other side of the coin, reiterating his position that “most think he’ll stay in Beantown.” “Most” what? Baseball sources? Fans? Former ‘Golden Girls’ cameramen? Heyman doesn’t say.
Heyman quotes an executive who says one reason Theo might not want to come to Chicago is because “the Cubs aren’t going to win for five more years,” which is such a profoundly stupid statement that I can barely believe Heyman printed it, let alone that an “executive” actually said it. By way of example, the Tampa Bay Rays were the worst team in baseball five years ago. Since then, they’ve made the playoffs three times, and that’s without the luxury of a huge budget to turn things around quickly. The Cubs might not win for five years, but the idea that you can state such a thing with certainty now and still have a job in baseball makes me wonder where I can apply to become an “executive.” Five years ago, the Cubs had just signed a 16-year-old kid named Starlin Castro.
Nick Cafardo sounds like a writer who believes Epstein is gone. He’s already writing articles about how Larry Lucchino’s role as Red Sox president may change if/when Epstein leaves for the Cubs. It could be a rhetorical device, or a ploy to get clicks, but the entire article is written as though Epstein is definitely leaving.
Terry Francona says he knows nothing about Epstein’s machinations.
Boston Globe reporter Amelie Benjamin says Epstein should stay in Boston and “fix his mistakes.” She does, however, concede that the Cubs’ job must be alluring to Epstein.
There’s a rumor floating out there, purportedly from MLB radio, though no one seems to know what program or what person, that Epstein called Jim Hendry last week to ask him what the Cubs’ job was like. Hendry, allegedly, was magnanimous and complimentary of the Cubs. Until someone comes up with a name sourcing this rumor, I’m filing it under “incredibly suspect.”
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