Friday, January 20, 2006

Theo returns

Theo returns and I'm still confused. Does this mean there will now be a three-way GM? Will Hoyer and Cherington be 'demoted' with Epstein in charge? How will this work? Will Larry Lucchino be ok working with someone who embaressed him so? I mean, how can you fit him back into the fold when the fold has closed up behind him?

There are many unanswered questions here, and noone, not even John Henry or Theo Epstein, know how this will end. Henry is meeting with the limited partners today and part of the discussion, I'm sure, is going to center around these questions. Perhaps that's the real problem. It seems like the people in charge don't know what's going on from day to day. That was something that Theo brought to the table and I would assume that, if they can find an open spot, he will again provide some sort of long term planning and foresight (or at least they will look like they're thinking things through).

Let's recap the whole thing, shall we? Theo is offered a long term deal at 5x what he made last year. At the last moment (October 31st), he rejects the deal. Noone ever says why he rejected the deal, although there is a lot of speculation about Globe stories popping up with unnamed sources. Blame for the leaks is placed on Lucchino or his 'supporters'. Theo is forced to leave hidden in a gorilla costume at the end of the day.

After Theo leaves, Lucchino is ordered into hiding by principal owner, John Henry, who takes the blame 2 days later at a press conference for not stepping in and making sure the deal was made. It's not until November 10th that Larry speaks on the issue, but he reveals absolutely nothing about why things fell apart.

Despite not having a position for the Red Sox, he sticks around helping them set up for the upcoming winter meetings. It's reported that he 'advices' his former workmates on all issues that come up, up to and including after the time the co-gm arrangement is announced on December 12th. The Co-GM arrangement is a strange site in Boston, although it worked so well (sarcasm) in Baltimore.

During this time, Henry keeps speculation about Theo's return alive by stating time and again that Theo he would be welcome to return at any time. A few days ago, it was reported that he would return as an advisor to the team. And now, he has a job with no title, no salary announced and no job requirements.

The only thing we know about Theo's new position is that he will report to Larry Lucchino, the man he had issues (reportedly) with in the first place. What's changed? It's also been stated that he will not return to a position below what he left at?

It's also interesting to think about Theo's reaction to many of the off season moves, including the trade of Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has been almost a pet project (as indeed, the build up of the entire minor league system) for Theo. Also, there still remains many roster issues, including Manny Ramriez and David Wells requests to be traded which have not gone through. Also, the Red Sox are still lacking a starting center fielder and shortstop (unless you count Stern and Cora).

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