I’ve been trying to digest and process my reaction to a scathing article by Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe last week. I still don’t know what I think.

The article, as they all were in Boston last week, is about the Red Sox’s continued clubhouse issues, and the ways that they’ve spilled onto the field over the last couple years.

At first blush, Abraham’s article is a piece designed to defend Bobby Valentine’s efforts to turn around a corrosive team culture, and to explain the Red Sox’s underachievement of late. But, when you comb the essence, you find that it’s really about deep flaws that Abraham perceives at the top of the Red Sox’s organization dating back as far as five years ago.

That’s when guys like Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod were running the show.

Among some of the more harsh words from Abraham:

It has become apparent over the last calendar year that the Red Sox front office made some serious miscalculations when it came to assessing the character of players they signed to large free-agent deals or contract extensions.

John Lackey and Carl Crawford are obviously uncomfortable in Boston and it has affected their play. If Adrian Gonzalez was indeed the ringleader against Valentine — and he didn’t deny Passan’s charge that he was — that speaks poorly about his character, too. It is worth noting that Valentine was a staunch defender of Gonzalez in the spring when the first baseman was hitting .256 and going weeks between home runs.

Josh Beckett, hailed as the leader of the pitching staff when he was signed to a huge extension, has been anything but. Unless, of course, the Red Sox wanted their pitchers led by somebody who doesn’t seem to much care what happens to the team ….

Finally, there is the overriding idea that the front office and ownership has allowed this to happen. The Red Sox seem intent on appeasing their players as unprofessional behavior often goes unchallenged. The players are unhappy about a doubleheader? Bribe them off with headphones and a yacht trip. The players are out of shape? Fire the strength and conditioning coach. The players quit on the manager? Fire the manager. The players are unhappy with the new manager? Rush to New York and have a meeting with them.

This started years ago, not when Valentine was hired.

In other words, the problems developed and marinated on Theo’s watch.

On some Soxenfreudian level, we’ve all been pleased to watch the Boston crap show develop from afar. The men that were left – other than, perhaps, Ben Cherington – put the Cubs through the ringer, probably unfairly, when Epstein left in favor of his current gig with the Cubs. They came off like douches, and we were content to see them flounder.

But I’ve always sensed in myself a little uneasiness about the swiftness and depth of the decline in Boston after Epstein’s departure. Obviously he did some tremendous things in Boston, but he faced criticisms that he had allowed a mess to develop, and then was running out the door when ownership handed him a mop and asked him to start doing some cleaning. I’m not sure that’s an entirely fair criticism – it is, at a minimum, too simplistic – but the worse things get in Boston, the less unfair it seems.

Certainly, the issues of player entitlement are probably not a terrible concern here in Chicago. Well, they won’t be for many years, anyway. Further, there were a number of egos involved at the top of the Boston food chain – above Theo’s head, even – that complicated that situation sufficiently that I’m not sure the same problems could develop in Chicago, even if there were some fatal flaw in Theo’s approach. Indeed, the issues that developed in Boston are probably far more reflective of a toxic mix of things unique to Boston than of some chink in Theo’s armor.

So, I suppose that’s why I land in a place where I’m not sure how to best contextualize the Abraham article. Obviously the media there is driven by a variety of incentives, none of which are likely to lean toward defending Theo. Then again, they are the closest to the situation – certainly closer than I am – and, when they speak on things like this, we can’t help but listen. I don’t think my image of Theo or my hopes for the future are fundamentally altered by what’s happening in Boston (or, I suppose, more precisely, what has happened). This is all just additional information for the file.

I think I still feel good. Yeah. I still feel good.

  • Featherstone

    Yeah part of me wants to find a comfy seat, grab some popcorn, and watch the whole Boston saga explode in their faces with a shit-eating grin on my face the entire time. Although, It does trouble me a bit that Theo signed some of these players that led to the environment that exists today, but I wonder if the rumors are true that he didn’t have full control of the reigns in some of the signings that he was overridden by people above his head on the Crawford signing and potentially a couple others. I still think the Adrian Gonzalez trade and signing was a stroke of genius given what they gave up to acquire him and the contract that got him to sign given his production and the way the market is heading. When all is said and done Theo is a flawed human that makes mistakes, but I appreciate that he has the courage to make a gutsy call and have it blow up in his face than let it pass because he’s afraid of the downside. Anyways, just my 2 cents in the matter.

  • Luke D

    Theo spoiled his players too much: gave them security, lucrative contracts, and gave them faith in themselves and their team — all good things in essence, but potentially harmful when distorted from their original intent.

    Boston is clubhouse full of walking zombies, spearheaded by a clueless and sourpuss manager who has lost all loyalty from his players and associates. A dugout full of Carlos Zambranos is a terrifying prospect, but could soon be the case.

    This is not what Theo intended. He took care of his roster and made it one of the best in baseball, and for that he deserves full credit. However, it is the mess he left behind.

    • EQ76

      eh.. maybe. remember, none of us are in the clubhouse and really know.. also, Bobby V. may not be a good fit. We also need to give credit to Theo and Co. that they’re doing things differently now than they did in Boston. We don’t know how much of the big contracts were Theo and how much of it was Luccino.

  • HawkClone

    I would definitely take a major clubhouse implosion 10 years from now for 2 World Series titles in the meantime…

    • Spriggs


    • SouthernCub

      S O L D!

    • ReiCow

      Precisely what I was going to say. Just give me a championship!!


  • Spriggs

    You often hear that the best measure of someone (or something) is not so much during good times, but how the bad times are handled. During the bad (this year and last), no one associated with the Sox looks very good right now.

    At this point in my somewhat advanced years, I would settle for the same good times they brought Boston.

  • BluBlud

    I do think Theo played a large part in the troubles of the Red Sox. Any Cubs fan who thinks he didn’t is drinking Kool-Aid. Theo is not a perfect man. However, if he brings us 2 chips and then leaves, with the team in shambles, I’ll take it a million times.

    I hope Boston figures it out, because unlike most Cubs fan, I don’t hate them. I cheer for them over every team in baseball not named Cubs, Rays, Orioles.

  • Deer

    The Crawford deal was too much, but that and the Lackey deal made some sense at the time. The Beckett extension I’ll never understand. Way too many years for a guy whose best days were in the past.

    • CF

      But how many times have you heard Theo comment on not paying for a player’s decline? He is at least talking-the-talk of having learned from some of the big free agent contracts. In a sick way (not really, it’s Boston), it might be the best case scenario that this stuff is happening now in Boston so the front office can learn from it with no repercussions to the Cubs.

      Theo may not have been perfect in Boston, but if he’s anything, it’s intelligent. I’d put money on him taking a second look at contracts like the Beckett extension in the future.

      • Boogens

        “But how many times have you heard Theo comment on not paying for a player’s decline?”

        Agreed — you’re right on. Additionally, it’s an easy argument to make to suggest that Theo’s regime is now paying for the poor decisions made by Hendry’s regime. We paid peak market dollars for players whose performance declined only a few years into a multi-year contract (Soriano, Zambrano, etc.). I sincerely hope that Theo does believe and abide by that credo.

    • Cub Style

      If I remember correctly, that Beckett deal was lauded, at least to the extent of keeping him for an extended period of time because many thought he would continue pitching at a very high level. I have a hard time believing you were one of the few detractors who saw Beckett’s impending decline.

  • JB88

    I have a hard time engaging (or analyzing) this article without really truly knowing the role Lucchino played in acquiring some of these players. Given the fallout over the last year plus, I have a very hard time seeing Theo as the complete maestro of Boston’s mess.

    But, even assuming that everything Abraham said was competely and squarely directed at Theo, at least one of those WS have to be placed at his feet. And, if that’s the case, I’m okay with that.

    • SouthernCub

      I couldn’t agree w/ you more JB88, esp. regarding Lucchino. That guy is an ultra jackass.

      • MightyBear

        Ultra jackass, I like that. Thanks SC, I will put that in the repertoire.

        • Spriggs

          Yep, sounds way better than my super jackass. Replaced!

    • P hertz

      Yep…There’s a lot more to that story we’ll never hear and I bet Lucchino plays prominently in it.

    • guy

      Yeah, I think the ownership in Boston is terrible and it’s hard to know how to apportion the blame correctly. Notice the way every person to leave Boston is immediately attacked with nasty rumors and innuendo that all seem to come from team ownership – it happened to Manny, Theo, Francona, Youkilis, everyone. They leave and horrible, unforgivably dirty rumors (addicted to pills, etc.) are leaked to discredit them. I can’t help but think that an ownership that would engage in such petty attacks also probably steps in to force GMs to make certain decisions.

      Tangentially, you gotta wonder how much that mudslinging hurts the Red Sox in the long-term. The BoSox usually get free agents by paying them tons of money, but at least a few people have to be dissuaded from joining the team given how classless the operation is. Jim Henry was many things, but he was always considered a class act, and free agents knew they’d be treated with respect by the Cubs.

      • MoneyBoy

        very, very well said guy!!!

  • Fastball

    IMO last year and this year are not the 1st years of team player issues. There has long been an ongoing issue with players in Boston. Manny Ramirez and the Manny being Manny saga as well as several others. These were all players during the Theo tenure. I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that Theo was very young during that time frame. Just because your smart doesn’t mean you know what your doing when it comes to running a business. Theo had a lot of qualities and skills but he had no experience from which to fall back upon when it came to managing people. That is an art that is developed over time through trial and tribulation. I don’t fault him for any of that. You can look at a lot of organizations and see the same issues. Look no further than our own clubhouse when Sammy was around, Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano etc. Jim Hendry and all the other GM’s in baseball are predominantly baseball men who move up through the ranks and don’t really have the personality management experience they probably need. I think former players are probably more suited in that area because they played around Ego’s their entire careers. It’s interesting to me that the players in Boston are going to Sr. Management with a list of complaints rather routinely. It shows a serious sign of weakness when you let your troops get away with any kind of insubordination. They are now in a position of too many chiefs and not enough indians as we used to say in the Navy. I think when players or employee’s feel like it’s okay to get out of line and start to really get the bitch sessions started is a problem. Bobby Valentine probably tried to enforce some authority early on. His problem was he is a talker and not a leader by example. Players/employee’s see right through that crap in a hurry and when they call it bullshit or him bullshit there is no respect left. So Valentine is now just a figure head. His players have moved on without him. Now I wouldn’t say they have moved on in the right direction so that is where Ben Cherington needs to put his butt in that Clubhouse and start General Managing his employee’s until there is a direction and everyone stays in line. The problem they have is that they never handed down any kind of punishment for getting out of line. So when players and employee’s don’t know what it’s like to get their hand slapped they don’t stop. Kinda like when the burner on the stove isn’t hot it doesn’t hurt to touch hit. I don’t know who is too blame in Boston. Theo probably gets some because this started on his watch. I hope he has learned a lesson or two from what started to get away from him. Lesson’s not learned the hard way don’t usually stay learned has been my experience over my career. So if Theo has any smarts to him he will have already taken notice to what his former policies and approaches to handling players and employee’s and made some notes. He is a smart guy. You have to pay attention to everything that’s going on when you run a business. Got to have eyes in the back of your head and pay attention to everything or things will get away from you.

  • MightyBear

    I still think the reason Theo bailed is because he was over ruled on decisions by Lucchino and Henry. I think he wanted to run the show his way and that’s why he’s in Chicago. If the Cubs end up with clubhouse problems in the future, we’ll have our answer. If not, it’s probably higher up. That being said, winning tends to make these issues get glossed over and losing makes them stick out like a sore thumb.

    • hansman1982

      Ya, it’s amazing how in 2003 the chicken and beer in the clubhouse showed the players being loose.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        *snort* By some accounts, the difference between the 03/04 Sox clubhouses and a wild west brothel was that no money was exchanged……

  • Frank

    The implosion in Boston has been fast and furious (and I have to admit, after this winter, fun from a Cub fan’s perspective). We have to remember that there’s a reason Bobby Valentine didn’t have a MLB managing job for, what was it? 5 years? He had a reputation for being difficult and egotistical and controlling before he was hired in Boston. And as I recall, it was reported that Ben Cherington didn’t want to hire Valentine at all, but was overruled by Lucchino. Theo did make those signings, but if he was pushed by Lucchino into signing players he didn’t want, he can hardly be blamed if the signings go bad. A GM can try to create a culture by signing players of a certain character, but in the end, the day to day problems in Boston reflect the fact that Valentine was a poor hire for that team. Players don’t have to get along–the As won a couple of World Series with a roster that hardly defined cohesion and chemistry, but the manager made it work by the day-to-day atmosphere and culture he created in the locker room. Not to be an apologist, but to me, the evidence seems to point more at Lucchino than it does at Theo.

  • AP

    I used to work at a place where higher executives routinely undercut the efforts of those below them in the pecking order. The moment Lucchino and Henry undercut Cherington’s decisions on who to hire as manager, the players knew that no one short of Lucchino and Henry had any power in that organization – they may have known it long before that and it could have been a reason for Epstein leaving. We’ll never know if Epstein aided the subversive culture in Boston or left because of it, but I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say he didn’t create it. So as long as he has learned and will continue to learn from the mess that is Boston, I think we’ll be in a good spot. Another thing to note is Ricketts v. Henry, if Ricketts starts undermining the authority he has given Epstein then this could move very quickly into being like the Boston fiasco, but, from afar, I think he knows better than to do that. In short, yes, no, maybe – take your pick, there are a lot of variables here and many arguments that can be made every which way, but I’m good with Epstein & Co.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    theos in chicago now, and i support him simply because we have to be behind our FO and its plans for the future. if i was going to support any team of execs to get the job done it would be this one. the sox mess comes at a time when its not as easy to be optimistic about the team. when your winning everything is a pink cloud. but when your loosing, egos come out of the sky and start pointing fingers. the mix of mega talent and mega contracts make for mega egos. when your big ego guys start pointing fingers rather than rally the troops back into winning form, your role players fallow suit and your front office all of a sudden has to make some changes. these changes come at a cost of someone being the goat…the players are rarely held accountable as you think they should be. hard to turn a sinking ship around without unloading some major cargo, but of coarse that also happens to be valuable cargo and some times with NTC. it will get worse before it gets better, my only hope in this situation is that our situation in chicago nets us some championships and perhaps theo has learned from any mistakes he made or witnessed the club make in boston.

  • Fastball

    I know one thing. You don’t always get to pick every player on your team in the real world. Sometimes shit happens and the bosses boss hires somebody that you have to manage. You have get over it and do your job. Theo needs to have eyes in the back of his head. I do give him credit for getting his one known cancer out of this clubhouse before spring training even got close. Mr. Z was gone and his bullshit I’m sorry story didn’t fly on Theo. So that tells me a little bit about Theo and that he learned a lesson before coming here.

  • TT

    I think there’s a reasonable point to be made that the Red Sox lack of success reflects as a weakness of Theo’s. I mean, we kept pointing out the consistent 90 win seasons as a major appeal. On the other hand, there’s a lot of question as to what decisions were entirely Theo’s and not influenced by Lucchino, and the new regime pretty much sat out this past offseason. More to that point, they may have sat out the offseason because they reached the limits of their resources they were able/willing to use, which does reflect on Theo’s decisions. However, in the 10 months they’ve been on the job, frivolous overspending is about dead last on the list of things I’m worried about the current regime doing to their own ruin.

    As for the real focus of that article, that not enough consideration was given to the character of the players? I could not possibly care less about how that reflects on Theo, and if his problem is getting rabble rouser 5-7 win players like Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia, I think I’ll be real happy. The only thing that whole saga reflects poorly on is the Boston media, with a hat tip to Lucchino and friends for making as hilarious a hiring decision as Valentine was.

  • The Dude Abides

    We shall see how this works for the Cubs, time will tell but undeniably he left Boston in a mess. My two teams are the BOSOX and the Cubs so I am often amused at how unfamiliar or in denial this board seems to be about Theo and how completely different the two teams he inherited were. One team a player or two from a championship the other a player or two from what we are looking at today.
    Obviously he is bright guy and he may have left simply because he saw he was losing control of his responsibilities to Larry Lucchino and John Henry as the upper management frustrations continued to mount, he certainly would not have left for more money and a better job title.
    Regardless, as long as Ricketts truly allows him free reign in all baseball personnel moves and doesn’t cut him off financially he will have as good a shot as any of turning this around after he retools the front office and builds a little stability in the minors (even if he plans on trading some of these guys in a year or two for established players). Hang on I think it will be a wild ride…

  • DocPeterWimsey

    If Adrian Gonzalez was indeed the ringleader against Valentine — and he didn’t deny Passan’s charge that he was — that speaks poorly about his character, too

    I would question the character of any player who didn’t try to do something about Valentine. Viva la revolucion!

  • Rocket

    I wonder if this is why Theo has a VP position and not the GM job. A little farther away from the players and the emotions in the clubhouse. Still able to dictate what players and contracts he wants but when someone needs to be put in place Hoyer gets the call.

    • Featherstone

      I think Theo is President of Baseball Operations with Jed below him as VP and GM. So basically Theo is now where Lucchino was in Boston and Jed is where Theo was.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    a smart guy like theo is on a learning curve just like the rest of us. i can see him making his weekness in boston his strength in chicago. smart guys learn from there mistakes and the colossal mistakes they see clubs make. i find alot of confidence in that, your second trip to baseballs promise land will not be without recalling any bumps you went over the first trip.

    • fortyonenorth

      I couldn’t agree more. Having said this, there are those who would look at the situation in Boston and say, “…not my fault..I had nothing to do with it…” and there are those who would say, “…what did I do–if anything–to contribute to the debacle…” Let’s hope Theo is in the later camp and can, indeed, objectively analyse his complicity and learn from the mistakes.

  • cb4

    This is on everyone in the organization. And just because that group of players did it, doesn’t mean another will. IMO, last year was a boiling point of what had been happening for a while, but they were winning. When you win, nobody cares what you’re doing. But you stop winning, and all of a sudden, everyone’s critical about the things you’d been doing.

    The locker room/workout/field incidents are on the players (and managers) first and foremost. Ortiz said it best in an interview this winter – he said the managers can tell them what to do, but in the end, it comes down to the players actually doing it.

    Boston needs a top-down change of attitude and action. The hard part is, they are handcuffed in having to compete with the Yankees and spend a ton of $ on the best players. Also I imagine they’re stuck with a lot of players that they can’t trade, because of contract + decline + attitude + NTC’s, yet they don’t want to waive them.

    It is indeed the bed they made, but I think it’s on everyone in the organization, and I don’t think Bobby V was the right person to take over the team.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    You think Theo Epstein would have hired Bobby Valentine? End of discussion.
    This team won 95 games a year in the AL East over a 9 year period with teams built by Theo.

  • JR

    I think Theo was under extreme pressure to win at all costs and keep up with the Yankees. Obviously, a lot of the signings he made were terrible. From what he has said in interviews recently, i think he has learned from those mistakes. But, like others have said I would take one title for the trainwreck the Red Sox are now. Plus Luccino is a complete dbag, and I am one that is loving the Red Sox drama.

  • Chris

    While I think Theo has some blame to accept with the Boston mess, I believe the bulk of fault should fall at the feet of Lucchino and Henry. The Redsox way did bring in great character guys like Pedroia, Elsbury, and Youkilis. When it came time to spend some money on free agents, or trading for players, that seems to be where Theo and co. missed on character issues. Another poster noted that Theo didn’t have any experience to fall back on to possibly address issues like this, but now he does. He’s certainly smart enough to learn from his experiences in Boston, and I don’t feel he’ll make the same mistakes in Chicago. Lucchino and Henry certainly didn’t set the team up for success by bringing in a manager that is known to cause drama with his players. If you want a no-nonsense guy, you hire Buck Showalter. If you want drama just for the sake of drama, you hire Bobby Valentine. If you don’t want you’re players to come to you directly with grievances, you allow your GM to actually pick his manager. Once you undercut the GM, you set a precedence that is tough to reverse. Theo is not going to undercut Jed Hoyer publicly. Tom Ricketts will not undercut Theo. Sveum was hired as a no-nonsense guy, but one who can get along with his players. Theo has already shown he can learn from his mistakes, simply by not immediately hiring Terry Francona, when that would have been the easy thing to do. It’s interesting to watch what’s happening in Boston, but I’m more interested in watching Theo and crew build the Chicago Cubs into winners, relying on all of their previous experiences in Boston to make the right decisions.

  • donnie kessinger

    I am sure Theo made some moves he would like to do over, as all GM’s would. He was going all out for another world series. Boston needs to accept they are not playing winning baseball… and stop playing the blame game. I am happy he is in Chicago and given the freedom to rebuild the right way. I am sure he has learned valuable lessons from his time in Beantown, and should be better this time around.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Brett its an intellectually fair question. Far too many are whistling past the graveyard and refusing to be realistic. Another year of this kind of performance will dramatically shift the mood. Hendry wasn’t Satan, and Theo isn’t God. I’m pulling for him, but truth is, absent the mechanics and view of scouting and analysis, Theo and Hendry had more in common than most will ever want to admit. And unlike most, I believe Henry when he says he had to be talked into Carl Crawford, one of Jim Hendry’s favorites.

    So while the results were different, yes I think this is something to watch. One more thing. Most Cub Fans are too filled with hate for Hendry to acknowledge the impact of the fall of both Wood and Prior. They legitimately had the Cubs moments from a WS in 03 and had they stayed healthy would have had more chances. Luck has so much to do with the game in terms of injuries. And point blank, unlike Castro and others, pre those devastating injuries to their arms, both were ticketed with HOF talent. Its hard not watch this team the last 56 and wondered if they aren’t damned, snakebitten or zapped by roving bands of Gypsies. No offense to Gypsy mystics.

  • willis

    Obviously everyone involved in something disasteous is accountable. Saying that, probably the reason you leave an upper level position with one of the most storied franchises in sports has to be because your seeing/realizing the culture is poisen. Did he help create that? Absolutely because he was the GM. He was also a GM with his hands tied at points because of the power structure of the organization.

    If anything dude was smart to listen to Ricketts and get the hell out of dodge. Should we fear any of the crap going on in Boston? I think not I think with Theo being in charge it’s a new world and opportunity for him, and we should all root like hell for him. And try not to worry about things he may/may not have done in a different position with a different club. The results were mostly very positive and recently the train has derailed. I have faith that he will help improve this franchise immensely.

  • ssckelley

    One wonders if Theo learned from his mistakes in Boston, which is a big reason why the Cubs shied away from making big deals with Pujols or Fielder in the off season. Boston now has 300 million dollars tied up over the next 5 to 6 years for players that will be in their middle 30s at the end of those contracts. I know a lot of us Cub fans were clammoring for this big free agent signing and we now see first hand what happens to players when they get past the age of 35 (Soriano). Pujols & Fielder will be paid close to 500 million by the end of their contracts, Fielder will be 36 and Pujols will be 41. The old regime would have went after these players so we should all be thankful that Theo learned from his mistakes in Boston and has came out of it even better than he was in Boston.

    • timmy

      I agree with this.

  • Timmy

    I’m not sure I’ve seen much vision in Epstein’s approach so far besides an extreme conservatism about spending money on qualified players — but he’s definitely not to blame for the bad egos of talented players. The guy signed the best players he could for the positions they had open. And it wasn’t entirely his call, there were many administrators contributing to each decision. In the end if players are acting unprofessionally due to whatever clubhouse culture has emerged there, it’s entirely on them. They’re millionaire adults with children on the most part and they need to just shut up and play.

  • pfk

    This is classic Boston media doing their usual thing – loving you when you are with them and winning and tearing you apart if you leave. The problem is always with those who left. Theo didn’t have to start at the bottom and rebuild, like he is now. He had a good nucleus and added the parts needed to get over the top AND got some youth too. Almost everyone in upper management in baseball will tell you that the Cubs were brilliant in getting Epstein.

  • jstraw

    “John Lackey and Carl Crawford are obviously uncomfortable in Boston…”

    What does that even mean?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You would be uncomfortable too, if you needed arm surgery. However, in Sports Talk Radio Land, injuries reflect one thing and one thing only: bad attitude. We only have to look at Mark Prior for proof of that: his “injuries” were nothing more than a lack of desire to play for the Cubs, and magically disappeared once he left the Cubs.

      So, Crawford really does not need TJ surgery: he just wishes he were not in Boston!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think he’s either asserting something he knows (without detail), or suggesting that their crappy, pre-injury performances were “obviously” the result of being uncomfortable in Boston.

  • Jarder

    One thing people sometimes forget is that Theo did leave the sox for a time for undisclosed reasons. Some of the blame should be at his feet, but we will never know how much those above him cut his feet out from under him on decisions.