Theo’s back????!!!!

InsideTheParker

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Why don't you go on Twitter? Just curious. You expect everyone else to report back to you, like Pete Abraham or Chad Finn?
I regard so many of those sites, like Xitter and Facebook, as toxic. They allow, and even encourage, through their algorithms, misinformation and division.
Many, many other people feel as I do, but we are losing that battle, I know. Nonetheless, I can't click on them. Some people on Sosh understand this, and even though they post tweets (if they're still called that), they don't mind summarizing the content. I don't "expect" anything, however.
 

tims4wins

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I regard so many of those sites, like Xitter and Facebook, as toxic. They allow, and even encourage, through their algorithms, misinformation and division.
Many, many other people feel as I do, but we are losing that battle, I know. Nonetheless, I can't click on them. Some people on Sosh understand this, and even though they post tweets (if they're still called that), they don't mind summarizing the content. I don't "expect" anything, however.
With Twitter, you can choose who to follow; and you'll only see their content in your feed. You don't ever have to look at comments. You can absolutely control your feed.
 

JimD

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The instant feeling of optimism I felt upon reading this news was just so welcome. It has been a real slog lately to be a Red Sox fan and I honestly felt my devotion slipping away in recent months. There is no way that Theo Epstein is going to be involved with this organization if its crown jewel is going to be allowed to continue to devolve into a national laughingstock. He will be the voice we need in the ownership suite.
 

InstaFace

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Well, I don't click on Xitter, so I don't know the details. Is this just an investment? Will he and his family continue to live in Chicago? Is he moving back to Boston? So many questions, but it seems like exciting news, IF TRUE.
Here is the direct link to the Sportico article:

https://www.sportico.com/personalities/executives/2024/theo-epstein-returns-to-fenway-1234765152/

Is this true? is it confirmed?
Firstly, Sportico is an excellent source about business-of-sports topics, I've read them for a while and there are some aspects of it that they have either exclusive sourcing on, or the best analysis / journalism on. They're right up there at the top of the list in that niche, along with Front Office Sports and Sports Business Journal.

Second, the article quotes Epstein talking about the new role / investment in a video call. That's not something they can make up. This isn't anonymously sourced or anything, it's direct from his mouth.

"At [Fenway Sports Group], Epstein will work on sports initiatives across the business’ holdings, which include Liverpool FC, the Pittsburgh Penguins, RFK Racing, TGL’s Boston Common Golf and a recently acquired stake in the PGA Tour, in addition to the Red Sox.​
...​
According to Kennedy, the ownership group at Fenway has been looking to bring Epstein back to the organization for some time. “The reunion comes at a special time for us, as we’re looking to double down on winning in Boston, in Liverpool, in Pittsburgh and now with the PGA Tour,” Kennedy said. “Helping us think through people issues, investment issues, league matters, new opportunities—it’s really an investment into Fenway Sports Group. Theo is trusted here."​

I guess it's good to have him in the tent one way or another. And frankly, this doesn't preclude him becoming Commissioner, if and when Manfred is ousted / retires. He's staying close enough to the game to be social with its power brokers and advise on its high-level problems. That's how a lot of Commissioners are made.

This is great news. Kinda surprised though. I thought Theo had a cushy job at MLB HQ, will they allow him to be a part owner and stay in that role?
No, he’s leaving.
That's not what the article says:

"Epstein leaves his role as a special consultant to MLB with the move to FSG, but he will continue to informally serve the league’s competition and on-field committees. The special advisor role is part time, allowing Epstein to continue as an operating partner to sports-focused private equity group Arctos Partners, which has an investment in FSG."
 

chrisfont9

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My apologies if I was one those that mocked you. I was skeptical of rumors of Theo being named to Breslow's role, as that would have been a step down for him. Did not envision him being named into this new role.

Only regret I have with this move is that I wish it was made before the Yamamoto bidding began.
Would him being an advisor to the ownership group have landed Yamamoto? I get that people want to read all sorts of things into this, like he's the GM behind the GM, or he knows how to open up Henry's wallet. But the idea that Yamamoto was coming to Boston doesn't seem to have ever had any reality to it.
 

Harry Hooper

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This is what I wrote over in the thread about Breslow's hire back in October:

Of more concern would be Breslow's lack of experience in deciding how to allocate his finite time and attention as executive over a large set of staff. I hope, officially or unofficially, he has a coach like Bill Lajoie with experience sitting in the big chair. Maybe Theo can be that.
 
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Max Power

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Jul 20, 2005
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Sadly his health will prevent Tito from coming back to be Don Zimmer to Cora's Joe Torre.
Why don't you go on Twitter? Just curious. You expect everyone else to report back to you, like Pete Abraham or Chad Finn?
When the posts referenced are direct posts by writers, it's appropriate to just refer someone to Twitter. But if the post is simply a link to an article, why put the Twitter post in the thread at all? Just link to the source material even if it doesn't include a pretty picture.
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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Theo Epstein To-Do List:

1. Save Red Sox
2. Save Cubs
3. Save Baseball
4. Save Red Sox Again
 

Quatchie

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My apologies if I was one those that mocked you. I was skeptical of rumors of Theo being named to Breslow's role, as that would have been a step down for him. Did not envision him being named into this new role.

Only regret I have with this move is that I wish it was made before the Yamamoto bidding began.
Honestly I don’t even remember who mocked me. I am just glad my “source” who to be clear- is not even close anyone high up the chain by any stretch remains a good pipeline of information ha! They are plugged in though. I think I heard Theo’s name come up April or May last year so this has been in the works for a long time.
 

soxhop411

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More from the Globe
Last year, Red Sox president/CEO Sam Kennedy broached the idea of Epstein coming back to the organization he left in 2011. The longtime friends and Brookline High School classmates initially agreed that the proposition was a stretch, according to a source familiar with those talks, in large part because of the improbability of successful second acts in one’s hometown.
A newsletter about everything baseball from the Globe's Red Sox reporters, delivered weekdays during the season and weekly offseason.
Still, Epstein, who was exploring similar positions with other ownership groups, was intrigued enough to continue talks with Kennedy. When FSG principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and president Mike Gordon joined the conversation, the five agreed there was a fit that benefited everyone and closed the deal.

Epstein was enthused about the opportunity to work with people he knew and trusted, make an impact by helping others, and assume new professional challenges. An added bonus was getting to Boston more often, though he and his family will remain in Connecticut.

Epstein will work behind the scenes with Red Sox chief baseball officer and fellow Yale alumnus Craig Breslow in an executive capacity and also travel to work with Penguins executives in Pittsburgh, Liverpool brass in England, and to other FSG outposts.

In a statement, Henry lauded Epstein’s past contributions as a reason to bring him back at a time when FSG is intent on growing its global holdings.

“There is no question that Theo left an indelible mark on our history that represented a transformative era,” said Henry, who also owns the Globe. “Welcoming him as a member of our ownership group and in the role of senior advisor to the broader company brings with it a sense of completion.

“With his strategic mind, leadership, and unwavering passion for sports, Theo brings invaluable assets that will drive us forward across our diverse enterprises, especially in our sporting operations across hockey, EPL football, and baseball.

“We take great pride in welcoming him to the FSG family and eagerly anticipate the insights and contributions he will bring as we continue to build on the legacy of success he played a pivotal role in helping us shape.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/02/02/sports/theo-epstein-fsg/
 

BringBackMo

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I think Theo’s arrival is an indictment of Kennedy’s stewardship of the club. In his work with the Sox, Cubs, and MLB, Theo really has become an all-purpose baseball executive, and has started to take on a kind of elder statesman role in the game. people have been clamoring for him to be commissioner, etc.

I think he can help with baseball operations, fan experience, and PR. I hope he becomes the guy present for all the press conferences, signings, etc. I believe Theo is here to help repair the club’s relationship with its fans, which began fraying pretty much the moment Lucchino left and Kennedy took over. I think this is a very savvy move and I’m beyond thrilled to have Theo back.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This was always in my mind in the background; mentioned a couple times in the GM/POBOPS thread. I figured he'd take the Lucchino role; this is perhaps slightly farther away from baseball ops, but directionally similar.

Theo is not perfect, and the rest of the pieces need to perform. But he is proven and has the trust of ownership which are huge components of this all working better
 

AlNipper49

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Theo takes over baseball operations after Henry retires/dies, and a group of investors run the business side.
Henry's existence almost doesn't matter as it applies to the Red Sox if the best case scenario is assumed. FSG will have a rock-solid and defined succession plan for business operations to continue without him, as will be the case with all key persona to operations.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The thing about this too.

Craig Breslow is not going to be able to get John Henry to spend on someone.

He has to be convinced.

Theo can convince Henry if he feels it’s the right thing to do.

Our prodigal son is now a part owner and our Ops will have direct access? And people are tepid?

This is the best news we’ve had in years.
Smashing the like button on this. Do I think the owners are stupid? No, of course not. Do I think being a billionaire makes it more difficult to trust something that exists outside your vision and worldview? Uh, yeah. If I became a billionaire partly from getting high on my own supply for years, I’m sure I wouldn’t give the time of day to normie opinions either.

Even if the timing is coincidental this feels like the first “OK WE HEAR YOU” move the team has made in a while. The Devers extension I guess but I don’t think there was even really a decision there. Letting him go would’ve accelerated the torch and pitchfork time even faster.

Edit: I can’t stop hearing “We hear. For you.” In my head now.
 
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John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I expected his next role would be MLB Commissioner, so this is a surprise development.
It wouldn't surprise me if he sees this role with the Sox as the stepping stone he needs to be MLB Commissioner (assuming that he wants it).

I do wonder why he left his old position in the MLB office? I thought that his ideas (or the ones attributed to him) were terrific and maybe he had more but Manfred just wasn't listening to any of them? Who knows. Glad he's back in the Fens.
 

YTF

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It wouldn't surprise me if he sees this role with the Sox as the stepping stone he needs to be MLB Commissioner (assuming that he wants it).

I do wonder why he left his old position in the MLB office? I thought that his ideas (or the ones attributed to him) were terrific and maybe he had more but Manfred just wasn't listening to any of them? Who knows. Glad he's back in the Fens.
I would guess that MLB has executives/owners from teams who sit on various committees and have the ear of the Commish. Possibly something similar to what the NFL has with the rules committee, completion committee, etc... If so, there should be no reason why Theo can't serve I some capacity.
 

GlucoDoc

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I wonder if the presence of Theo will stabilize the image of the Red Sox enough for free agents to be more favorably, inclined to consider coming here?
 

cfmoran13

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Truly, the first thing for Red Sox fans to get excited about since hearing Tom Werner utter the completely false "Full Throttle" line. Hopefully, Theo's first move as a member of FSG will be to advise Henry to get his head out of his @ss and empty his pockets a little for the Sox. They can't just sit around and wait for "the kids" to come up. One, that's a lot of pressure to put on a bunch of rookies. "Hey, guys... Don't get too nervous, but we've put all our eggs in your baskets. If you don't pan out, this franchise is totally screwed!" And, two, the guys they're waiting on play catcher, shortstop and outfield. Last I checked, you don't get too many IP's from those positions. We have nobody in the pipeline as far as starting pitchers.

Congrats, Theo! Now, let's get this train moving forward again!
 

absintheofmalaise

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Add my voice to the chorus here. This might have been mentioned already, but think this move will also help show free agents that yes, the Red Sox are still a smart baseball operation and quell whatever doubts they might have about signing with the team. This qoesa long way to correct that perception.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I doubt Theo would want to be MLB commissioner as long as the job is what it has been for a long time now: doing whatever the owners want and taking all the heat from it.
He seems more likely to be interested in the role he had (and reportedly will continue to have informally): advising the commissioner and telling them/convincing them what can be done to improve the game.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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The one day I'm not on SoSH all morning and something like this happens. I need to get back to working a normal schedule. This is the best news I've read in quite a long time. Love it.
 

mauidano

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I'm sure Theo will have his plate full with all the titles.

I see his role as it relates to the Red Sox as an adviser. A "What's your thoughts Theo?" role; another voice in the room. He's not getting his hands in the mix on a daily basis.
 

DeadlySplitter

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That "team is not as good as they think" is an interesting line from Gammo indeed... who is they in this instance, the FO group of Eddie Romero, Raquel Fererria, Brian O'Halloran etc.?

The defensive and pitching core right now is not good, but now I'm wondering if something radical like trading Raffy in the next year or two is on the table. I love Raffy, but if he keeps being bottom 5 in baseball on defense and is stuck at 25-30 HR power instead of the 40-50 potential he has because his plate discipline so often goes through horrible stretches - that contract WOULD be the new Sale in albatross levels.
 

tims4wins

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That "team is not as good as they think" is an interesting line from Gammo indeed... who is they in this instance, the FO group of Eddie Romero, Raquel Fererria, Brian O'Halloran etc.?

The defensive and pitching core right now is not good, but now I'm wondering if something radical like trading Raffy in the next year or two is on the table. I love Raffy, but if he keeps being bottom 5 in baseball on defense and is stuck at 25-30 HR power instead of the 40-50 potential he has because his plate discipline so often goes through horrible stretches - that contract WOULD be the new Sale in albatross levels.
Holy hyperbole Batman! Devers putting up 3.5 WAR is literally infinitely better than Sale not pitching.
 

BravesField

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Henry's existence almost doesn't matter as it applies to the Red Sox if the best case scenario is assumed. FSG will have a rock-solid and defined succession plan for business operations to continue without him, as will be the case with all key persona to operations.
For the short term sure. Then the heirs sit in JH's chair. For some reason the Angelo's family keeps popping up in my head.
 

Sille Skrub

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Can he pitch?

This is nice and all, but unless FSG stops treating the Red Sox like a small market team and uses their financial muscle, we will continue to rack up last place finishes.

I truly hope Theo can change the current mindset on Jersey Street.
 

CR67dream

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I see his role as it relates to the Red Sox as an adviser. A "What's your thoughts Theo?" role; another voice in the room. He's not getting his hands in the mix on a daily basis.
Another voice in the room? I mean, it's Theo Epstein's voice.

Enormous Weight

They don't need him in the mix on a daily basis. They need someone with a baseball mind that can communicate with both ownership and baseball ops. Someone who is very much trusted by both. Someone proven to have an almost peerless understanding of both the game and the business.

I'm hoping he takes the lead on messaging as well, time will tell, but how much instant credibility is gained if Theo's out there putting his rep on the line making the case for the team's direction instead of Werner and Kennedy continually stepping on rakes?

This guy is not just our young Theo anymore, he's probably the most respected man in baseball, and well earned. FSG is damn fortunate to have him.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Last year Rob Manfred’s contract was extended by the owners through 2028. That could have played into Theo’s decision to focus on FSG and ownership (for now).
 

soxhop411

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More from the Athletic on his responsibilities

Turmoil has been festering in Boston for the last several years over the direction of the Red Sox. The Pittsburgh Penguins are entering a rebuilding phase. And Liverpool Football Club is in upheaval over the impending departure of its successful and beloved manager, Jurgen Klopp.

Fenway Sports Group, the conglomerate that owns all those franchises, has entered a crucial period certain to determine its future. In that sense, the timing seemed right to bring in a man that Fortune magazine once featured on their cover for ranking No. 1 on its list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”
Theo Epstein will be joining the group as a senior advisor, FSG announced on Friday. According to Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy, one of Epstein’s most immediate and highest-profile tasks will be consulting as Liverpool hires a replacement for Klopp, who presided over nearly a decade of stability and success ahead of a summer that threatens to be one of enormous upheaval.

In his new role, the former Red Sox general manager and executive vice president will now advise FSG owners John Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon and Kennedy on company operations across the portfolio, which recently added the PGA Tour to the mix. He will also consult on strategic growth and investment initiatives.

“Given the desire to win everywhere, we viewed this as tripling down on our commitment to winning,” Kennedy told The Athletic. “If our teams and clubs aren’t winning, there’s nothing to talk about. No one knows better how to win than Theo.”

Aside from working alongside Gordon on finding Liverpool’s replacement for Klopp, Epstein will have a high-level consulting role on big-picture endeavors and major strategic initiatives for FSG. According to Kennedy, Epstein will also act as a “sounding board and executive coach” for Penguins GM Kyle Dubas and new Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow.
https://theathletic.com/5247635/2024/02/02/theo-epstein-fenway-sports-group-liverpool/
 

cfmoran13

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View: https://twitter.com/maccerullo/status/1753450331428536385?s=46


This is as bullish of a way to look at this as possible.
Unfortunately, those big splashes haven't really done anything to improve the on-field product for 2024. Hopefully, Breslow and Bailey can help improve the pitchers we already have. However, on paper, I think we're actually worse than the team that won 78 games last season. We've lost about 55 HR's and 200 RBI's in Duvall, Turner and Verdugo and replaced them with nothing substantial. Plus, is Story now our clubhouse presence?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Unfortunately, those big splashes haven't really done anything to improve the on-field product for 2024. Hopefully, Breslow and Bailey can help improve the pitchers we already have. However, on paper, I think we're actually worse than the team that won 78 games last season. We've lost about 55 HR's and 200 RBI's in Duvall, Turner and Verdugo and replaced them with nothing substantial. Plus, is Story now our clubhouse presence?
As in a veteran leader? Is it a bad thing if he is? I think a veteran who voluntarily runs an off-season "captain's practice" style camp for young infielders is a guy you want leading those young men.
 

BringBackMo

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Unfortunately, those big splashes haven't really done anything to improve the on-field product for 2024. Hopefully, Breslow and Bailey can help improve the pitchers we already have. However, on paper, I think we're actually worse than the team that won 78 games last season. We've lost about 55 HR's and 200 RBI's in Duvall, Turner and Verdugo and replaced them with nothing substantial. Plus, is Story now our clubhouse presence?
Whatever 2024 holds for the Red Sox, the list of additions your were responding to is about much, much more than a single year. And Raffy Devers has been here longer than any other Red Sox player and is a big star. I’m not sure a team has to have a single clubhouse presence but if it does, I suspect that he is more than qualified.
 

YTF

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Unfortunately, those big splashes haven't really done anything to improve the on-field product for 2024. Hopefully, Breslow and Bailey can help improve the pitchers we already have. However, on paper, I think we're actually worse than the team that won 78 games last season. We've lost about 55 HR's and 200 RBI's in Duvall, Turner and Verdugo and replaced them with nothing substantial. Plus, is Story now our clubhouse presence?
I'd be curious to read your take on this.
https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2024/01/why-red-soxs-trevor-story-held-winter-camp-to-entrench-himself-with-team.html
 

staz

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Unfortunately, those big splashes haven't really done anything to improve the on-field product for 2024. Hopefully, Breslow and Bailey can help improve the pitchers we already have. However, on paper, I think we're actually worse than the team that won 78 games last season. We've lost about 55 HR's and 200 RBI's in Duvall, Turner and Verdugo and replaced them with nothing substantial. Plus, is Story now our clubhouse presence?
For 2024? Sure. But 2025, and 2026 look a lot more interesting all the sudden.

Also interesting... how Henry timed this announcement right after the PGA story broke. The other way around makes a lot more sense.
 

Reardon's Beard

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Smart move by Henry. He knew the pitchforks and torches were coming out.

So he put Theo between him and the people.
 

Mike473

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No doubt, but Breslow also wasn’t in charge there. These guys all have egos and Breslow doesn’t want to be undermined.

I’m not losing any sleep over it, just curious. Not that we’ll ever find out.
Breslow's long term outlook just brightened considerably. I am sure he is thrilled to be honest.
 

Kull

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I'm not as optimistic as most of you. Theo on board is good, no doubt about it. Worst case it's all window dressing, a "look at this" puppet show meant to alleviate the justifiably large dark cloud hovering over this organization. Best case he helps Breslow chart a path for an earlier road to respectability. But nothing I've read tells me there's going to be any movement toward addressing the needs of this team in 2024.