To those ready to chalk up Epstein as an epic fail, what were you expecting from him when you were celebrating his signing?
To immediately take what he was given and spin it into a contender? Because lest we forget, when he took over the Red Sox, he built off a perenial 90 game winner. Some of his large scale trades may have paid off, but at the time, his team was strong enough that he could afford to give up prospects for win now players. He could probably do some trades similar to those right about now, but it would derail what he's built, and even if he did use trades and big FA signings to crank us up to an 80-90 game winner, it wouldn't be long before we were back to a roster heavy in aging players with large contracts. Pretty much exactly what Jim Hendry would have done the past two offseasons.
His FA signing record doesn't seem to be anything special, at least post 2005. A lot of them were disasters. Lackey, Dice-K, Crawford anyone? Others like Beckett and A Gon may have worked out, but they were the type of signings that any big market GM would make.
His draft record and the farm system are where he shined. To anyone ready to railroad him out of town, turn off the crap on WGN, WCIU, or Comcast Sports Net for the next year or two and follow the minor leagues. Every level. But before you do so, take a look at what they looked like when he took over. To me, he seems pretty much as advertised so far as far as his existing strenghts.
Not his fault that fans had delusions of becoming an instant 90 game winner. My thinking is that rather than a "new aged" GM, a lot of the people who were so psyched about Epstein to begin with really wanted Red Sox ownership.