Quantcast

So ensconced in our minds is the Theo-Epstein-to-the-Cubs-compensation-fight issue that almost all of today’s bullets are about just that. Given the importance (and the day of the week – it’s Saturday, yo), I suspect you’ll understand…

  • A Major League source tells Dave Kaplan that part of the reason Boston is digging in its heels in negotiations with the Cubs is because of a personal vendetta against Theo Epstein. According to Kaplan’s source, “[Red Sox President] Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is looking to make a point at the expense of Theo’s happiness and his desire to go to Chicago. I didn’t believe that ownership group for one second when they said that they wouldn’t stand in Theo’s way if he wanted out of Boston. They are furious that he wants out and they are trying to make a point.”
  • The same source makes the point I’ve been making for days, namely that the only leverage the Red Sox have is threatening to cut off talks, and forcing Epstein to sit on the sidelines for a year. Unlike me, however, this source seems to think it’s genuinely possible that Lucchino and Red Sox owners would be willing to do that, thus making themselves the greatest villains in all of sports. And, you can be sure, if that happens, I will lead the charge that no one will ever forget how small, petty, pathetic, and disgusting that group of men is.
  • If the deal does go through – and it almost certainly will (more on that in a bit) – you can expect a number of “leaks” to the Boston media about what an awful executive and person Epstein really is, if past precedent offers us any value. You will be instructed to ignore those “leaks.”
  • Speaking of the deal going through, as noted yesterday, Red Sox owner John Henry was on the radio yesterday (he heard some talk radio guys trashing him, so he drove to the station and asked to be put on the air – balls), and he essentially said Theo is gone (he said he was sad to see “them” go, referring to deposed manager Terry Francona and Epstein). After the interview, outside the station, he went on to say that Epstein’s leaving was “not a surprise.” Again, I ask: how exactly do these guys have any leverage? Just make a reasonable deal, guys (something Kaplan’s source says Tom Ricketts is ready and willing to do).
  • Virtually everyone – media, pundits, me – believes that a compensation deal for Epstein will be completed by early next week, with Epstein being announced as having joined the Cubs some time before the Wednesday start of the World Series.
  • The Cubs’ Spring Training facility deal is just about officially official. The team would start playing there in 2014 – I can’t wait to check it out.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Sahadev Sharma runs down nine prospects in the Cubs’ system who are Epstein’s “type” of prospects (i.e., kids Epstein will be happy to have in the system).
  • One of those prospects, outfielder Brett Jackson, was removed from his Team USA game last night mid-game, leading to two frantic minutes of Twitter speculation that he’d been pulled because he was being traded to the Red Sox … which was, of course, ridiculous, because why would a guy be pulled mid-game from a Team USA game because of a trade affecting his professional team? Naturally, Carrie Muskat blasted the rumor by noting that Jackson had strained his foot, and was being pulled for precautionary reasons. It might be the first time in history Cubs fans were relieved to hear that their top prospect was hurt.
  • Totally random, meta bit of fun – as the proprietor of a web site whose success or failure is largely based on the number of folks who peruse this here place, I track various visitor statistics. Predominantly, I track how many people are here, when, and what they’ve read (helps me figure out what things you all like, and what you don’t like). But I also track how folks arrive here – directly, Twitter, Facebook, other sites, etc. A frequent method is via the ‘ole Google search. Why am I telling you all of this? Because sometimes, people arrive here via hilarious Google searches, and I saw one yesterday that I just had to share. Drumroll … “How much did Prince Fielder weigh when he was 1?” Yup. That’s how someone found Bleacher Nation. It fills the heart with pride.
  • Bails17

    The answer is……as much as a 1978 AMC Gremlin!  He was a big boy!!!

  • Dave

    So…..how much did Prince Fielder weigh when he was 1? I’m guessing a lot.

  • Dave

    And more importantly, how many people got here by Googling “short and informative”?

  • Sayueri

    I can understand the Sox not wanting to let Epstein go without receiving compensation. He’s under contract after all. But they’re just being petty now.

  • Cliffy

    Great statement made on 98.5 boston, it costs red sox 7 million if they keep Theo for next year cubs wait them out.

    • Jeff

      I was half joking when I said they should force Boston’s hand on this, but with the way this is playing out, it seems like they might be better off calling Boston’s bluff and hiring Josh Byrnes or another Theo disciple as the GM and waiting to hire Theo as Team President next off season. It would save them the 3.5 million dollar bonus and force it on Boston, and it would save the teams prospects.

  • Oswego Chris

    great bullets today!  I would have to think Kap is very plugged in to what is going on…one of my only concerns is that Epstein has one of his “trademark changes of heart”(Mr Burns referrence) like he did when he left Boston before….only to return a couple months later…

    man I used to kinda like Bawston but they are starting to make the Yankees front office look Mr. Rogers Neighborhood….

    I wonder who would run the team Fred, or King Friday?

    • hansman1982

      Lady Fairchild

  • Cliffy

    In the dave kaplan article, it says Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with.

    If you dissect that, who is the “I” person? Could only be Ricketts or Bush right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Kaplan’s great, but his source is not Ricketts or Bush. The source could be any number of people who know a bit about what’s going on now, and who have dealt with Lucchino in the past.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    So while we wait this out should we just keep discussing movies and music?

    I hate The Doors.

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

      Agreed

      • JulioZuleta

        Most overrated band ever…don’t get me started. My friends and I have gotten into many drunken near-fights over this topic.

        • CubFan Paul

          WTF?! seriously guys?? ..the Doors kinda rock ..i’m a younger guy whose mom was in grade school when the Doors were around and they’re one of my favs now ..just sayin

        • T C

          Yea really, they may be overrated, but still, its The Doors. Seriously, LA Woman, Light My Fire, and Riders on the Storm alone buy them all the credit as a good band they’ll ever need

        • JulioZuleta

          To quote Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character Lester Bangs in Almost Famous “Jim Morrison is a drunken buffoon posing as a poet”.

          • Lou

            If I could favorite that comment, I WOULD!

          • Mike Foster

            So what? I agree, but they were a great band. And by the way, that was a movie script, he was a poet, as much as Dylan, who was a junkie.

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

              To compare Morrison to either Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas is absurd. And Morrison was no poet, he was just a more famous trip-out kid who wrote sloppy, hallucination filled “poems.” As a English teacher Morrison being associated with poetry is disturbing.

              • hardtop

                I find it disturbing that AN English teacher would use an “a” before “english”.
                Just busting your goat balls, i’m assuming typo or autocorrect mishap.
                Definitely overrated, but somewhat unique, far from terrible, especially by todays standards. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan but I do like some of their tunes, especially roadhouse blues.

    • Laura

      I think The Police sum up the Theo to Lucchino situation quite well:

      “You consider me the young apprentice
      Caught between the Scylla and Charybdis…

      I will turn your face to alabaster
      When you will find your servant is your master”

  • Alex

    I hope Ricketts and his negotiators hold their ground here.

    In any negotiation; if you can’t come to an agreement, you need to be prepared to walk away.

    If Lucchino is being unreasonable, walk away. If Epstein was looking to bring Josh Byrnes on board with him, why not force Lucchino’s hand. Hire Byrnes to be the Cubs GM where he can start putting in Theo’s framework in 2012, while Theo takes a well deserved break and rakes in the $5.5 million dollars for staying home. The best part of it, is that Lucchino then gets Bupkis.

    Theo will come in next off season rested, focused and have Zambrano’s AND Dempster’s contracts off the books for 2013. The lower level prospects will be one step closer to the majors as well. Theo settles into his position as PBO and Byrnes continues to be GM moving forward.

    Henry, Werner and Lucchino have had a rough offseason so far. It would be of no benefit to them PR wise to come off as the bad guys here. Break up and move on.

    I still think this gets done.

  • Jeff

    This would be a promotion for Theo Epstein, which means Larry Lucchino and Henry are keeping him from getting a promotion to a job which will never be his in the Red Sox organization. After all the talk about it being a common courtesy to allow executives to leave for a promotion in another organization, they start acting like they should get their choice of Cubs prospects for compensation, this after they have already said that Cherington is moving into Theo’s job. I used to like the Red Sox and respected their organization and fans, but it seems they’ve all become a little too full of themselves lately and expect everything to go their way. I wonder what the package is that they are requesting and I also wonder how Emperor Selig feels about how they are trying to hold Theo and the Cubs over the fire during one of the most exciting post seasons in a while, taking a good deal of the spotlight away from the game. Maybe Bud can give John Henry a nudge and tell him “We saved you from that garbage job you did owning the Marlins and handed you the Red Sox, so make this go away and quit acting like a douche.”

    • Toosh

      Excellent post all the way through! I’d like it too if Ricketts came out in public and said something to the Red Sox along the lines of “Listen, dumbasses, we don’t HAVE to give you any compensation and we’re not going to.”

    • Todd

      Great post Jeff! I may be wrong but I assumed the compensation had more to do with Epstein taking staff members with him and less to do with Epstein leaving.

      As to your point about losing respect for the Red Sox, I’ve had my fill of this team’s personality for awhile now. How they’ve managed to play the role of underdog just because the Yankees have a high payroll is beyond me. The Red Sox are very douchey to me and I always root for the Yankees to beat them.

      Also, I love the Doors.

  • Cliffy

    Bruce Levine just said Lucchino originally wanted Matt Garza as compensation, now its down to minor league players.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Negotiation 101. If you are the opening ask, shoot high without offending the other side.

      I’m offended.

      • hansman1982

        So I shouldn’t offer you my 1979 Banana seat bicycle for ownership of this website?

      • Joe Cartwright

        I guess the Red Sox failed that class. I’m guessing there wasn’t a lesson on “When all else fails, get unreasonably petty.”.

      • cubs4life

        why couldnt they have asked for zambrano? the deal could have been done already….

  • LouCub

    When Theo gets here, one way or another Lucchino’s regret the shit he’s pulling now

  • TWC

    Well, it’s gonna be a busy day chèz moi due to the 250k that roll into my tidy beach community for our annual Pumpkin Festival, so I won’t be able to keep up with updates and the like. So in advance of any forthcoming inanity/insanity from die hard, let me just say this:

    Cookies = yum

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

      I’ll pick up the slack brother

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

    Speaking of google search I love that if you search any of our “handles” it brings us up in BN post, and our avatar images appear under images

  • Dan0mite

    Can’t the MLB and Selig step in at some point and over look the deal? If the Sox are asking for way too much and being giant turds, can’t the MLB tell them that and make them be more reasonable?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes, MLB could intervene in some way (they’re already somewhat involved). Not sure they’d tell Boston to accept lesser prospects, though.

  • die hard

    welcome to the major leagues Mr. Ricketts…..remember, theres no crying allowed in baseball…this didnt have to happen this way….walk away

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

      Oh a cookie, a shinny shinny cookie

      • Fishin Phil

        I just got a text from TWC.  Said “Cookies = Yummy.”

    • Joe Cartwright

      I know the quote but I don’t remember ever seeing “A League of Their Own”.

  • ACS

    The cubs need to hire a Chicago Guy for there GM job someone who brings Chicago heart to the job like North off of 670 Peter North

    • jfish1219

      Did you mean Mike North??? I think Peter North is a porn star

    • jfish1219

      But non the less I hope to god that post was a joke otherwise …………………………….COOKIES YUMMY

  • ACS

    Hey they need some kind of entertainment out there besides the circus that quade ran last year. Go for someone from Chicago and start getting your talent from Illinois that’s the team that will smack the rest of the central

  • CH

    Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald listed 5 prospects including McNutt and B. Jackson and indicated they may want 2 of them. Hopefully no one sees the compromise position as even 1 top prospect. Does anyone know if Ricketts there is a point where Ricketts will leave them holding the bag with $3.5m payout, no propects, and either an unhappy Cherington or unhappy Theo being paid, including whatever staff turmoil is created? If Ricketts caves, he will be repeating the Hendry process…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He’s just listing names he’s seen elsewhere – think of it this way, if we were trying to come up with Red Sox prospects we wanted, what would we do? We would look at what other people have written, look at lists, etc. I suspect the Red Sox scouts are taking a more nuanced approach.

      • Dave

        I hear they’re demanding a Cubs blogger instead of players or cash.  Something about needing a new “short and informative” approach to blogging.

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

  • die hard

    after Theo and Boston are done working over Mr. Ricketts he will look forward to dealing with cut throat stock brokers

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

      Cookies are good with milk

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

      • Joe Cartwright

        You should get your money back MG, I don’t think it works.

      • cubs4life

        how are you posting the pictures?

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

          If use an iDevice you can’t but I did those on a PC, you copy the image URL then select the little picture icon and paste the URL

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I’m told BN was mentioned in this Buster Olney article. I’d love to read it, but don’t have Insider. Anyone who does care to share the limited portion where BN is referenced (if it is in fact referenced)? Gracias.

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

      Sorry I refuse to pay ESPN anything

      • Lou

        ESPN–East Coast Sports Network.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    I hate waiting. Cookies and milk sound about right now.

    • cubs4life

      COOKIES!!

    • Laura

      Yep. And delicious homemade brownies. (thanks, hippie)

  • cubs4life

    ok failed twice on the pic, im done.

  • Todd

    When discussing Epstein to Cubs rumors, It features a link to your Aug 31 article, “Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Theo Epstein is Unlikely to Consider the GM Job, But What About President?” After posting the link, Olney includes an excerpt from the article, citing the BleacherNation website:

    Third, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner flatly rejected the notion that Epstein would consider leaving his post with the Red Sox. “It’s a complete non-story,’’ Werner said recently. “Theo is under contract and he’s very happy in Boston. He’s looking forward to leading the Red Sox into the postseason and to another world championship.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cool. Thanks, Todd.

      • Todd

        No problem. It was a nice feature and two people recommended that day’s blog for Facebook.

  • Lou

    I can see it now “The Bitterness of Larry Lucchino”–the latest bestseller by Brett Taylor. Now. In paperback.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    I hope this gets done before the world series because its been dragged on way to far!

  • MrCubs73

    I was listening to ESPN Chicago this morning and they were talking about how ignorant Ricketts was going after Theo before he knew what he had to give up, I seriously see so many comments, not on here but sites everywhere from ESPN to Twitter, from people that clearly have zero business sense. Who would negotiate compensation with the Sox before having a clue whether Theo would even come to Chicago.

    With the reports saying Theo cannot bring anyone with him, they should not focus on who he can bring at this point with there being such a hang up on compensation, get Theo in the fold and work on the assistants as a separate deal. Sometimes you get a better deal if you get the total package at once, but sometimes trying to get too much at once can kill it all. Since baseball is a business, don’t chance the target for the secondary pieces.

    This is just a hunch, but I expect Brett Jackson not be one of the guys. John Henry was opposed to Boston signing Crawford last season for multiple reason, one of which was the Red Sox did not need a left handed hitter, they needed a right handed bat. If that has not changed and they are looking for a minor talent that is ready for the majors, why would Jackson be the guy? I can see them using him as a negotiation piece to get whom they really want. I hate to see it, but gut feeling tells me Vitters will end up being included.

  • Cardfan

    I googled “Theodorgasm” and it brought me here immediately…

  • Pingback: The Theo Epstein Saga: A Question of Leverage | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Mike Foster

    I, for one, think Rickets is right in his zone and will come out just fine, with Epstein and a prospect we can afford to trade goes to Boston. Play offs next year, maybe. Series no later than 2014.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+