Theo Epstein the Best of the Best

I wrote a guest column for Goatriders yesterday, on why Theo Epstein is the best GM in baseball. I’ve posted a teaser and the links below…
On November 25, 2002, Red Sox baseball changed forever. On that day, Theo Epstein was hired by president Larry Lucchino to take over the GM duties of Red Sox baseball. Dan Duquette had been fired, and Mike Port had served as interim general manager over the 2002 season. The Red Sox courted Billy Beane and agreed to a contract before Beane pulled out at the last minute. He wanted to stay in Oakland. And thus, the wonderboy, the 28-year old Theo Epstein, got his job. Epstein had opened in Baltimore as an intern and got to know Larry Lucchino that way. He moved to San Diego when Lucchino did, and went to law school while working for the Padres. Theo put in unimaginable hours, slaving away day after day to one day reach that pinnacle. He worked so hard he was asked by Lucchino and the new Red Sox owners (point man John Henry and partner Tom Werner) to accompany them to Boston. Just a year later he was running the Boston ballclub, and almost instantly, the Red Sox fans bonded together and created a saying that still reverberates today – “In Theo We Trust.”
In Theo we trust, indeed. For in the short span of 23 months and two days, Theo had done what no other general manager in Boston had ever done. He was the first general manager to bring a World Series to Beantown. Oh sure, the Red Sox had a dynasty that ended in 1918, but there were no general managers then, at least not in official name. It’s not as if Theo rode the coattails of Duquette and Port to victory. No, this was Theo’s team. While I don’t have the statistics for last year, I have statistics for this year. Out of the 58 that were in spring training, 42 of the 58 were acquired by Theo Epstein. Granted, there was a lot of player movement throughout this year, which resulted in 23 new members. So let’s subtract 23 from each equation. That means that 19 of 35 holdovers were products of Theo Epstein. And as I will show you, they were very important products of Theo Epstein’s tenure. And this doesn’t include three pivotal people that Theo brought in for 2004 that are gone – Orlando Cabrera, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Dave Roberts.
CONTINUE READING PART ONE
PART TWO…
PART THREE
In case you’re wondering … yes, that column is long.