Theo Epstein Squeal Watch: Compensation to Boston Still An Issue

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.]

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

82 responses to “Theo Epstein Squeal Watch: Compensation to Boston Still An Issue”

  1. Deer

    Great coverage the last few days Brett. I was online quite a bit looking at different Cubs-related sites and found this one to have the best info and updates.

    That real-estate blog is really stepping out on a limb saying Theo is going to be a buyer soon. No kidding, I thought he was just gonna live in the Ritz like Manny did for years.

  2. TWC

    Ace, you must’ve missed Greg Couch’s “Cubs still suck” hackery column from yesterday.  I found it at the end of a link train, so I’m not really sure where I ended up, but I think it was on Fox Sports.  In short, his argument was that the Cubs basically suck, and have sucked for 103 years, so they’ll always suck and Theo won’t change that.  It’s not really worth a read, kinda like a Rosenbloom article, ‘cept Couch uses slightly bigger words.

    Oh, and the explanation for the Zero Wing… safe to say if you haven’t been clobbered by that meme, you ain’t gonna figure it out by reading Wikipedia.

  3. Fishin Phil

    I say offer the Sawks Campana and $500. 00.  Stick that in your leverage Mr. Luccino!

    1. cccubfan

      I still say give them Quade……

  4. The Big Mustafa

    This is one your best articles ever.

    Exactly. While business is business, once a man is announced as being out the door, he’s gone. He knows his own authority and gravitas within the organization is done. I agree with the demand for compensation, but it should more financial, and fairly nominal.

    This a good thing…good days…from the belly button out, and in every direction.

  5. Bails17

    Great read and another grrrrreat article by Haugh!  I know that it is “typical Cub-Fandom” to say anything is possible.  But…BUT we finally have some one that has a history of making changes for an organization that has made them winners!  LOVE IT!!!  Again…I must clean my drawers!!!

    1. Fishin Phil

      I can’t remember ever agreeing with Haugh so completely.

      Signs of the Apocolypse:

      1) Cubs land Epstein

      2) Fishin Phil agrees with David Haugh

      If the Cubs hire Sandberg, y’all better get ready for The Rapture!

  6. Hawkeye

    Love the field guide link.  Had to work hard to contain the bursts of laughter while at work.

    1. Bails17

      Right…you can add this to the list:

      Boston –  Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

      Chicago – Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau

      I will take the latter you motorboatin son of a bitch!!

  7. MichiganGoat

    Do you think we could get the Sox to take Tito Jackson? I’m sure he needs a job.

    1. EQ76

      They’ll want Jermaine too… he’s dynomite!

  8. Hawkeye

    Brett, can we be expecting anything new from your side business T-shirt company with a Theo reference?

  9. Paul H.

    It cracks me up that all of the comments from Cubs fans are celebrating that Theo will turn the franchise around and that he is the best in the business, but by the way, they shouldn’t have to give any compensation for him. Talk about wanting something for nothing.

    Do you really think the Sox couldn’t take Theo back? It’s already happened once before, and they won a World Series the next season. What would the reaction be in Chicago if this deal falls through? The Cubs have a lot riding on this p.r.-wise, and I don’t think they are about to be making any take it or leave it offers. The Sox should hold firm for a legitimate prospect (or a deal requiring the Theo to take Lackey with him to Wrigley).

    1. Bails17

      Shut up Paul!  No one asked you any way!!  LOL

    2. jstraw

      You funny.

  10. BFM

    I love the fact that Ricketts is trying to make this a better club and he went and got the best GM in the game. However, I hope people don’t think that Theo is a wizard. It will take some time for him to turn things around. He can’t just waive a magic wand and get the Cubs to the post season. It took a little time in Boston too. However, I think if he has free reign to make the decisions he wants/needs to make, it is a HUGE step in the right direction!!

    1. Edwin

      I agree. In fact, Theo could do everything right for the next 10 years, and the Cubs still might not win a world series. I’m not as much looking at this move as a step towards a World Series, as much as it is a step towards building a respectable team for the long term. With the assets the Cubs have at their disposal, and with a strong GM in place, they should turn themselves into a baseball team that seriously contends 2/3 years. The Cubs should change from a team of lovable losers into a team that actually plays competitive baseball year in and year out, which is all a fan can ask for.

  11. die hard

    This is turning into a s#*t show courtesy of Mr. Ricketts not doing his homework before going down this path…..and at the upcoming news conference watch for any tells…such as his put on smile….if we see that we know Boston squeezed him…and got away with murder, killing any chances of our team going forward in a meaningful way..

    1. Bails17

      Die Hard…In the words of Ace…whateves!!!!!!!!!

    2. TWC

      I like cookies, too!

    3. Internet Random

      Is there either a WordPress or Chrome extension that allows a user to filter out certain comments/commentors?

    4. Wilbur

      Die Hard, have you ever been involved in any large organizational change? Your perceptions on how the world acts, or should act, are from my perspective unique at best.

    5. ari gold

      Die Hard is Rosenbloom

      1. Fishin Phil

        OK, now it makes sense.

  12. Edwin

    Thank goodness Rosenbloom submitted the anti-Theo article he was working on, it would have been awkward if he would have submitted his anti-Friedman piece instead.

  13. Caleb

    Great pic

    1. Jeff

      He’s been trying to get in shape for the premier of his banana hammock.

  14. Internet Random

    Rejoice, Cubdom. Soon, a baseball Theocracy rules the North Side.

    Oh. God. How embarrassing for Haugh.

  15. johnnyqb

    Great stuff, Brett. Actually, the Rosenbloom column does not sound unreasonable, from the “we will always be cursed” perspective anyway. I am ready for the topic to switch to the next manager. Does anyone wonder why Sandberg has not received any offers to manage a major league team? I mean, Robin Ventura gets a job while not ever having coached and while not even looking for a job, and Ryno slogs through half a decade of managing AAA teams and he can’t get beat out Mike Quade or anyone else, evidently. Is the perception that Sandberg “‘lacks fire” the main factor? It will really be fascinating to see what, if any, consideration he gets for this Cub job. They can’t interview him and not take him, as that would be rubbing salt in the wounds…..

  16. ricosanto

    I think Boston may want Vitters and the Cubs want them to take Jay Jackson.

  17. die hard

    If Theo answers only to Mr. Ricketts then there is no check on Theo’s moves cause Mr. Ricketts wont know if planned or actual moves beneficial cause he knows nothing about running a baseball team. Unless Mr. Ricketts to use someone outside organization to let him know if Theo doing the right thing. In this case, Theo wont be very happy. So, point is, Mr. Ricketts needs a long time baseball guy to add a layer between them just to keep an eye on Theo. So far, I have not heard plans for this. Not good. Also, my idea of RedSox paying us compensation as part of a package may being discussed. Cubs are not happy with the way they are being pushed around and want something more than Theo if taking Theo.

    1. Rancelot

      Dick Tidrow anyone?

    2. deej34

      Die hard? Are you actually a cubs fan? It seems like all you do is rip every move the Cubs make… or try to make. You are worse then the cards fans that stumble across this site.

      1. TWC

        Deej, baby, die hard is an internet troll.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Don’t sweat it.  Ain’t no logic to those posts, just flinging feces against the wall to see what sticks, trying to rile up the locals.  It seems to work every time.

        And, FWIW, I have a sort of grudging admiration for CardsFan.  You gotta be a little off to show up on your rival’s site and actually engage in dialog (however misguided).  Unless, of course, it’s the Aaron Miles thread.  That’s Bizarro World over there.

      2. Carl

        Well, when all those moves end up in a 5th place team I think it is pretty fair to rip most of the moves, obviously they are not the right moves. He is a diehard Cubs fan like me and he wants the Cubs to win more than anything thats why he is critical sometimes, if you say your a “diehard fan” and your not disappointed in a 5th place team than your not a fan at all.

        1. deej34

          There’s a difference between a disappointed fan.. and b*&%$ing about everything and anything that comes across the message board.

          But maybe I’m still put off that die hard lobbied Brett for weeks to remove the She-View….

    3. Ron

      Does a rain cloud fallow you around all day?

      1. Hawkeye

        Let’s not be to hastey to run diehard out of town.  He is what makes this place such a community.   He brings us altogether with one common tying thread….we all think he is crazy.  This site would just be another blog and not close knit group.   Please take no offense Brett, I suppose you do deserve a little of the credit for what you have created.

    4. TWC

      Yum!  Cookies!

    5. Cubs Realist

      Die Hard you really are an idiot

      1. JulioZuleta

        Motion among the regular posters to ignore any and all post made by die hard. He wants us to react like this.

    6. Joe Cartwright

      I call bs! You are not die hard! I’ll admit it was a good try! You got the crazy in there but you didn’t have enough periods and you had too many commas! This is the type of post we’ve come to expect from our good friend die hard:

      “This is turning into a s#*t show courtesy of Mr. Ricketts not doing his homework before going down this path…..and at the upcoming news conference watch for any tells…such as his put on smile….if we see that we know Boston squeezed him…and got away with murder, killing any chances of our team going forward in a meaningful way..”

      See? Look at all those periods! And not a comma to be seen! I will now be forming a search party to find the original. If you have any idea what he looks like, it would be very helpful.

  18. JulioZuleta

    Any ideas as to who is on this list Ricketts gave to Wilken Bush and Fleita?