Yesterday was Theo Epstein Day, so what does that make today? Can Theo Epstein Day be a two-day holiday? Three days? Screw it. It’s Theo Epstein Month.
WEEI, the radio station that broke final word that Epstein was leaving Boston in favor of the Cubs, says that, despite other reports, the Cubs and Sawx have not met to discuss compensation for Epstein. Those meetings, WEEI says, will be taking place today.
A number of rumors went around last night about just what that compensation would be – Peter Gammons says Brett Jackson (guh?), others say Jay Jackson (ah), so it’s pretty clear that the Red Sox are looking to corner the market on Jacksons much in the same way the Cubs once had the market corned on Carloses. Then again, the Red Sox just dismissed a guy named Tito, so maybe they won’t want a Jackson after all.
As I and commenters here have pointed out, at this point, the Cubs have all the leverage. That Epstein is coming to Chicago is all but a given. It’s been widely reported, and there is no way he could carry on in a role of any import in Boston for 2012. Could Red Sox ownership pay him to do nothing for a year? Sure. Will they? And risk being labeled the biggest dicks in the history of professional sports (which, by the way, some folks are already close to giving them that label after the post-hoc shredding of Francona in the Globe yesterday)? No. They won’t. Stand firm, Misters Ricketts, Bush, and Epstein. Offer the Red Sox cash, a middling prospect, and move on.
Further improving the Cubs’ leverage? Reports this morning, recounted for the world on SportsCenter, have the Red Sox naming Ben Cherington as Epstein’s successor as early as today.
Scott Miller has a thoughtful write-up on the compensation piece, arguing that Red Sox President Larry Lucchino is going to squeeze the Cubs for as much as he can get.
Jeff Passan says the Cubs will be turned around quickly under Epstein, and the Red Sox are fools for letting him go.
As if you need any more pumping up, I defy you to read this David Haugh article and not suffer cheek strain from smiling so hard at the future of the Chicago Cubs. (Try to ignore the painful pun at the end: “Rejoice, Cubdom. Soon, a baseball Theocracy rules the North Side.”)
Phil Rogers is still beating the drum for Rick Hahn and Dan Evans. Look, if they want to join Theo Epstein’s front office, cool. But let’s just focus on Theo right now, mmmkay?
I love – LOVE – that, even in the face of universally awesome news like the Cubs landing the best executive in baseball (a move no one reasonably thought was possible a month ago), there are still hacky pokes out there writing contrarian pieces. Predictably, Steve Rosenbloom says laughable things like Epstein actually sucks, relied on juicers, signed stupid contracts, blah, blah, blah (don’t you dare click on that link). Gene Wojciechowski doesn’t go quite as far, but he does make a tortured comparison of Epstein and Jim Hendry in which Hendry comes out on top. You lose at the Internet, sir.
A real estate blog has sources that say Epstein is going to start looking at real estate in Chicago soon (near a certain Starbucks, perhaps?). I love Theo, but it’s nice to reminded of all the luxurious homes in which I’ll never live.
A hilarious field guide for Theo, explaining the differences between Boston and Chicago. Example: whereas Boston has the Atlantic Ocean, Chicago has Lake Michigan. Whereas Boston has Don Orsillo, Chicago has Len Kasper. Where as Boston has Deer Island Prison, Chicago has U.S. Cellular Field. Boom. Roasted.
[For those who don’t get the picture reference: here.]
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