Obsessive Theo Epstein Watch: Some Say He’s Coming, Some Say He’s Not

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.”

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

63 responses to “Obsessive Theo Epstein Watch: Some Say He’s Coming, Some Say He’s Not”

  1. Andy

    Unfortunately, “incredibly suspect” describes much of sports journalism these days. Unnamed sources and broad phrases like “most” and “people” are journalists way of never being wrong.

  2. Toosh

    Just saw Epstein and Friedman in a mini Cooper headed toward Illinois.

    1. Andrew

      My sources said it was a Vespa.

      1. Bails17

        It’s actually the new Fiat!  The top was down and Friedman’s hair was a mess!  Somehow…Epstein’s hair was perfect!  He might be too pretty for this town!!

        1. Toosh

          Epstein wanted to take I90 ’cause it’s faster, Friedman I94 for fewer tolls.

      2. MichiganGoat

        I hope its at least a Chevy Volt or another Michigan made car… our economy could use that kind of news.

  3. jim

    this whole epstein thing is becoming incredibly stupid

  4. Sam

    JESUS GOD MAN A man just saw what looked to be Epstein and Ricketts holding hands near the tribune building. My sources tell me that they don’t know shit about shit. And Jon “I talk out of my ass” Heyman will be reporing the news as it comes in later today.

    1. MichiganGoat

      I saw Chuck Norris meeting with Tom Ricketts in a steel cage.  Ricketts was using a robot boxer and Chuck still kicked his ass.  Remember Chuck Norris interviews with fist of fury and doesn’t sign contracts he signs death certificates.

  5. EQ76

    Chuck Norris once urinated in the gas tank of a semi truck, that semi truck is now known as Optimus Prime.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Hilarious… I never get tired of Chuck Norris comments.

    2. Jeff

      In related news, Alfonso Soriano once urinated in the gas tank of a new Rolls Royce, that Rolls Royce is now broke down and highly over valued.

      1. EQ76

        I heard Marmol kept trying to throw rocks at the Rolls Royce but couldn’t come anywhere near hitting it.

  6. Toosh

    I would not be surprised if Ricketts did not have a press conference today not introducing Epstein.

  7. MichiganGoat

    Breaking News: Heyman just reported that a unnamed source has confirmed that Samuel Adams Boston Lager will replace Old Style as the official beer of the Chicago Cubs.

  8. Montelle

    Nooooo! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! If we gotta drink that skunk water, I’ll take hendry back and keep on losing! LOL

    1. Bails17

      I would drink Natty Ice for the rest of my life to NOT have Hendry back EVER!!!

  9. fearbobafett

    No matter what are we not on hold for any annoucement (coming to Chicago) until the LCS’s are done per MLB?
    About the only thing we can possibly hear the next week are 1) The Red Sox announce that he is staying 2) more rumors 3) Possible leaks.

    1. Jim

      I’m pretty sure that MLB likes clubs to withhold major announcements while the World Series is happening.  Teams can make announcements during the Division and League Championship Series.

      1. Toosh

        In that case, Ricketts can drag this out for another week and a half.

  10. Joe Cartwright

    Considering how little information we’ve been able to get, I say the phone call is pure bs. I mean, if we didn’t know whether or not Theo was allowed to speak to the Cubs, then how the hell do we know who he’s calling on a very private phone call?

  11. Curt

    This whole thing has reached epic rediculous stages common already yes or no and move on with or without Theo please

  12. EQ76

    Maybe Theo can trade himself along with Elsbury, Lester & AGon to the Cubs for Big Z, Soriano and Koyie Hill? haha.. (please, nobody take this seriously and try to correct me, it’s a joke.)

    1. TWC

      Typical knee-jerk reaction from a psuedo Cubs “fan”.  Obviously you know nothing.  Have you ever even heard of Dick Tidrow?

      Thought not.

  13. die hard

    I agree Cubs at least 5 yrs away…so we need a GM willing to work for a $1.00 plus incentives based on wins and percentage of improvement each yr….

    1. EQ76

      5 years?? you’re smokin’ crack.. the right GM has them competing by 2013 easily.

  14. die hard

    hope you are right…but competing does not equal winning…..competing by 2013 maybe…winning playoff berth not until 2017 earliest is my guess…

    1. Andrew

      Any GM who can’t turn this team around to be in the playoffs by 2013 shouldn’t be hired. There is too much payroll to not be able to turn the team around to get into the playoffs 2 years in. If this was a small market team then 5 years may be realistic, but 2 good offseasons by a good GM (yes, even while cleaning up Hendry’s mess) should be enough to get to the playoffs.

      Once you’re in the playoffs it’s a crapshoot.

  15. hansman1982

    Wait, if he was in a Starbucks that means:


    If Dunkin Donuts is the sponsor of the Sox then clearly he would be nowhere near a Starbucks…

  16. die hard

    depends who was buying at Charbucks…ask girl who took order….if Ricketts bought then hes GM..if he bought then back to square one….and likely former Oriole, Twin and Cub McFail is our guy…

  17. JulioZuleta

    Back to the non-Brett-headshot news, the Epstein stuff HAS to be settled this week right? I don’t understand what the hold up is. I’ve got to think that it’ll be time to start shifting focus if there isn’t a clearer by the end of the week.

    1. Toosh

      The Red Sox want Epstein to stay without necessarily giving him more authority. He’s thinking that over right now. Among other things.

      1. JulioZuleta

        Yeah I know, but I’m getting a little worried that by making the Epstein push so obvious (I know the Cubs haven’t explicitly commented on it, but it seems to be common knowledge that he is their first choice) the Cubs are hurting their chances to land a Friedmann or a Beane. I don’t think guys with that type of cred in the industry will want to come in as a Plan B. It’s about time to set a deadline (Friday morning?) for Epstein’s decision, and if he says no, the Cubs need to do some damage control and deny a lot of these reports if they hope to land a top tier, established guy.

  18. Lou

    Well, according to the Boston Herald as of six minutes ago, Theo’s coming. http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1372633&position=0

    1. T
    2. MichiganGoat

      It the “something real” that concerns me, I’d hope it’s money more than prospects. Does anyone know of something comparable that has happened in the few decades? Specifically a executive that left before his contract was up and any compensation that resulted from that. I’d like to hope (and honestly believe) that Ricketts had such a hard-on for Theo that he’d offer a top 25 prospect.

      1. T

        As long as they don’t have to take Lackey in the trade because hopefully the players they give up are average

  19. King

    Even in light of the new developments that suggest Epstein is headed to the Cubs, the one thing to remember is that the only reason we heard about any of this is that someone leaked it in Boston. The Cubs may have and probably did speak to many candidates during the interim. I doubt that the other guys would see the Cubs as resorting the Plan B, even though the media definitely will.