Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Theo's return makes sense of it all

The front office has been up and down and all around this offseason. But with Theo returning, all the moves and non-moves finally make sense. They weren't just hoping that Theo would return, they were actively pursuing him.

Let's review. After Theo leaves, reports have continually circulated about how Theo was still hanging around, still consulting with, and just basically working for free from day one. Through all of the winter meetings, trades and roster moves, Theo was there. Now why would he be allowed to "consult and advise" when the Sox should have been worried that Theo would find a new job somewhere else?

Theo turned down several offers from clubs. LA and Washington were both pursuers, and both rejected. While Theo was reportedly flattered by the attention, it didn't seem to make a lot of sense (from the outside looking in) why he would turn them down flat.

Then there was the delay in and protracted search for a new GM. Obviously, Larry and Henry were hoping that they could convince Theo to return, but eventually they had to start looking for someone else. It also explains the eventual hiring from within of the co-GM's Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer. Following in the footsteps of Baltimore is never a good idea, and that's what was being pointed as a role model for the new setup.

Now that we know Larry and Henry were hoping all along that they could convince Theo to return it all makes sense. They obviously discussed the possibility with Ben and Jed and hoped that they would sign up for a temp job, filling in until the day. Ben and Jed may have hoped (in their secret heart of hearts) that they might be the successor if Theo continued to hold out, but don't tell me they weren't aware of any dealings with Theo. And please, just please, stop telling me they were screwed and that I should feel bad for them. That's not true at all. Giving how involved they were in 'consulting' with Theo in the offseason, you can't tell me they weren't aware of what was going on.

It finally makes sense. Things have been righted (although I wish I did know what was wrong in the first place). Maybe it's just that I connect better with Theo than I do with Larry or Henry (both out of my age bracket), but I feel better knowing he's there as GM (I'm not going to use the long drawn out title) once again.

Want to see the official press release on Theo's return? I think the best part is near the bottom, where a joint statement is made by "TOM WERNER, LARRY LUCCHINO and THEO EPSTEIN REGARDING JED HOYER AND BEN CHERINGTON" -- We all owe a debt of gratitude to Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington" It's nice that Jed and Ben feel free to thank themselves in this situation.

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