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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.”
  • 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.

  • Toosh

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

    • Andrew

      My sources said it was a Vespa.

      • 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!!

        • Toosh

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

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

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

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Package deal!

      • Bails17

        I didn’t get a look at either of their packages.  However…Jon Heyman just tweeted that sources (people) are saying that neither one of them are circumcised!  What are the odds?

  • jim

    this whole epstein thing is becoming incredibly stupid

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    For what it’s worth: I didn’t hear it, but folks are saying Rosenthal was on the radio this morning claiming the longer this drags out, the more likely Epstein is to come to Chicago (which makes sense).

    • Mikey

      then let it drag on all winter. and brett, do you know if you will have another epstein post today? i’m becoming increasingly obsessed by checking out BN at least once every 30 minutes to see if theres a new epstein post!

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Ha – only if something newsworthy/rumorworthy comes up. I’m not big on posting stuff just to get people clicking.

      • Internet Random

        If you’re only checking every 30 minutes, I think you’re exhibiting remarkable (witness the fact that I’m remarking about it) self-control.

  • 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.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com 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.

  • EQ76

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

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Hilarious… I never get tired of Chuck Norris comments.

    • 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.

      • EQ76

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

  • Toosh

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

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Nailed it.

      Breaking: The Chicago Cubs WILL announce Theo Epstein as GM today, assuming he has interviewed, was offered the job, and then accepted the job.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com 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.

  • Montelle

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

    • Bails17

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

  • 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.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nah – MLB doesn’t like announcements during the playoffs, but it wouldn’t require that the Cubs hold off on getting things going with their new GM just to avoid the conflicting announcement. See, e.g., the White Sox hiring Ventura. The Cubs need to get the new guy in ASAP so that he can begin process of getting up to speed, hiring the rest of the front office, starting on a manager search, planning for the offseason, etc. There’s a lot to do…

      • Toosh

        Yes, there is a lot to do. A new GM could have gotten a lot of work done already if Ricketts had hired one.

      • Sam

        If the Red Sox were going to deny Epstein from interveiwing with the Cubs they would have done it by now. They have a lot of organizational issues to handle, like finding a new manager, so they want to solidify their front office. I think Epstein has already talked with the Cubs and now they are just waiting on his decision.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If I were guessing – and that’s all I’m doing – I would agree. That seems the most likely scenario for where we’re at right now.

          • Wilbur

            Agreed

    • 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.

      • Toosh

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

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Oh, Lord: I’m told Pinzur (the guy who says he saw Epstein) will be on with Waddle and Silvy soon…

    • Joe Cartwright

      That was his plan all along….

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Got to stretch those 15

    • Internet Random

      Heard it.  I, for one, believe him.  I’m not betting the farm on it, but right now, I think he’s telling the truth.

      • Jason

        Sorry but I can’t believe it. Why would he go to a Sbux on Wrightwood and Racine? That location isn’t remotely close to a route that he would take to Wrigley. Even if he spent the night in Chicago, he’d probably stay somewhere on Michigan Ave in which case he would have taken LSD to get to Wrigley.

        If it were the one across from Wrigley, one on the way to Wrigley from the airport, or one in Gold Coast, the story would be much more plausible. This particular location meets none of the above requirements.

        • Internet Random

          Why would he go to a Sbux on Wrightwood and Racine?

          It’s not much of a stretch to think that, if he were trying not to be recognized, he might want to avoid the Starbucks nearest to Wrigley.

          Further, he could stay anywhere. If I were trying to maintain a low profile, I’d stay with friends. Theo seems like the kind of guy who might have friends in LP. I’m not saying that’s the case, but it’s one possibility out of too many to speculate on.

          • Jason

            Fair point and I thought about that – but I still think it’s a bunch of bs

          • hardtop

            Other question for the over thinkers, i posted this on the old post: where did he get a Honda SUV? i did a quick poke around the interweb and Honda makes 3 dork boxes that could be considered an SUV… no company rents any of them.
            When did this sighting take place? I thought it was on Saturday, which was Yom Kippur. unless Theo recently renounced Judaism, its not happening on Saturday. Or was this guys sitting around surfing Starbucks wi-fi on Friday? In which case we have an unemployed Starbucks weenie making the claim, another knock on his cred.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I’m not looking to defend the story (though, on the balance, I think this guy believes what he’s saying, and there’s at least a small chance it was actually Theo), but there are explanations for all of those. Maybe he was mistaken about the car. Maybe it wasn’t a rental agency (this guy is the GM of the Red Sox, after all) but a car service. As for Yom Kippur, maybe there are exceptions. Maybe Theo’s non-practicing. Maybe this was an extreme case where he simply had to be on the road, and he believes God will understand.

              Not defending – but, as I say, there are always explanations.

              • hardtop

                yep, there are always explanations…what we are testing is how reasonable those explanations are. i have no idea what his level of religious commitment is…but i do know a guy that eats bacon-cheeseburgers and pork chops all year and still observes yom kippur (not worth much).
                im just saying, in my opinion, the explanations are less likely than the guy actually seeing Epstein at starbucks. We’ll probably never know.

            • Internet Random
              • Again, if I wanted to maintain a low profile, I’d stay with trusted friends in town.  Maybe my friends have a Honda SUV.
              • Noah Pinzur, the witness, is Jewish.  He was in the Starbucks on Yom Kippur.  It happens.  It’s not at all uncommon that a person doesn’t take his religion too seriously.
              I’m still not saying I definitely believe this guy, but I don’t find it to be particularly extraordinary that the (most likely) number-one candidate for a job might be seen in the city in which that job would be based.
              Further, nobody is denying this, and nobody is stepping forward to say, “That’s BS, I sat next to Epstein at temple on Yom Kippur.”
              I can understand not buying into Pinzur’s story hook, line, and sinker, but I don’t see a shred of logic in dismissing his story out of hand… not based on what we know today.
              • Toosh

                Mazel tov!

  • 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?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I also think this would have become a MUCH bigger story if anyone thought there was ANYTHING to it. I say bogus.

  • Curt

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

  • 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.)

    • TWC

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

      Thought not.

  • 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….

    • EQ76

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

  • 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…

    • 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.

  • hansman1982

    Wait, if he was in a Starbucks that means:

    THEO EPSTEIN IS THE NEXT CUBS GM!!! HIRED JULY 28 BUT KEPT UNDER WRAPS!!!

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

  • 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…

  • 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.

    • Toosh

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

      • 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.

  • 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

    • T
    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com 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.

      • T

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

  • 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.

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