Theo’s back????!!!!

Al Zarilla

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I mean, he’s most likely the best baseball execute in the history of the sport. And he accomplished that before the age of 45.
Branch Rickey did everything you can in baseball: player, manager, GM with four WS champions (Cardinals), and what he is best known for: bringing Jackie Robinson into major league baseball while breaking the color line. Rickey would win for the last accomplishment alone.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I understand the ambivalent nature for some, but I have to say I'm incredibly excited. I think having Theo in the Bill Lajoie role is going to be very helpful for Breslow.

Obviously he's not going to be choosing players and making trades, but having him to be an (exclusive now) sounding board with access to information about the players in question is going to be a really good thing. Also, I think it's going to lend an air of credibility to the organization that has been missing for some time.

Also - I think it's important that FSG has in fact now realized that there IS a problem. Recognizing a problem is a massive first step in fixing it.
 

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I love this news. I guess I could be cynical about it, if I really tried. But man, at a time when it looked like the curtain was closing on a golden era of Boston sports, Theo's return manages to crack it back open, just a bit.

I'm just going to choose to enjoy that today, and worry about the rest later.
 

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CR67dream

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Most of us dont care about Theo's journey.
You speak for most of us, huh? Sweet. I must have missed the memo.

Hope he doesnt sully his reputaion with Sox fans by being part of some charade
Yeah, the most respected executive in baseball is going to sully his rep to be a stooge for FSG. That's what's likely happening here. Sure. I mean who else would hire the guy, amirite??
 

Pat Spillane

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You speak for most of us, huh? Sweet. I must have missed the memo.



Yeah, the most respected executive in baseball is going to sully his rep to be a stooge for FSG. That's what's likely happening here. Sure. I mean who else would hire the guy, amirite??

Most of here one can assume are just baseball fans. Whether Theo gets some executive job overlooking all the FSG projects is of little concern to Boston Red Sox fans

He would get a job no problem as a baseball executive/ Almost every club would hire him but that is not the job he is getting here. He is going up to high level exec job here not baseball. I dont think he would be coming here for a baseball job. Looks to me like smoke and mirros to keep us happy by announcing the baseball bit. Kennedy said its temporary probably letting Theo know its only short term to appease the masses. He is going upward and wiill be drifting away from baseball
 

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Most of here one can assume are just baseball fans. Whether Theo gets some executive job overlooking all the FSG projects is of little concern to Boston Red Sox fans

He would get a job no problem as a baseball executive/ Almost every club would hire him but that is not the job he is getting here. He is going up to high level exec job here not baseball. I dont think he would be coming here for a baseball job. Looks to me like smoke and mirros to keep us happy by announcing the baseball bit. Kennedy said its temporary probably letting Theo know its only short term to appease the masses. He is going upward and wiill be drifting away from baseball
Sure. Theo's got nothing better to do then join FSG to appease the masses. Awesome take.
 

BringBackMo

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Interesting from Stark's article is that hiring Theo seems to have been driven by Sam Kennedy — Kennedy had the idea, pitched it to Theo, got ownership involved, and persisted trying to construct the right role until Theo came onboard.

There was some speculation that hiring Theo was an indictment of Kennedy, but it really seems to have been his baby.
Perhaps this is exactly how it all went down. I hope it is. But it also strikes me as precisely the kind of thing the club would—very smartly—say in an attempt to blunt any perception that Theo was being brought in to compensate for weaknesses in Kennedy’s game.
 

HfxBob

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Most of us dont care about Theo's journey. Stinks to me of coporate PR to appease the masses. He was getting the upper job anyway but lets make a pretend role in the company to keep the proletariat happy. CEO's of multinationals are always doing these smoke and mirror operations to let on everything is ok. Hope he doesnt sully his reputaion with Sox fans by being part of some charade
I'm not feeling as cynical about this move as you are. But I will say that if the Red Sox don't upgrade the rotation between now and Opening Day, this will seem like a hollow gesture to a lot of fans.
 

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I'm not feeling as cynical about this move as you are. But I will say that if the Red Sox don't upgrade the rotation between now and Opening Day, this will seem like a hollow gesture to a lot of fans.
One has nothing to do with the other. They don't give out an ownership stake as a gesture of any kind. That's absurdist thinking.

And for those who don't see that having a mind like Theo's exclusively working for FSG as a huge positive for the Sox, well, I don't know what to tell you. I've said my piece about it more than once, and I'll repeat that bringing in Theo Epstein in the trusted advisor role is just what this organization needed, and will end up far more valuable to the Sox future, and shows a much larger commitment to that future than any signing they make for this year.

He certainly wasn't brought in to fix 2024, nor should he have been.
 

Pat Spillane

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One has nothing to do with the other. They don't give out an ownership stake as a gesture of any kind. That's absurdist thinking.

And for those who don't see that having a mind like Theo's exclusively working for FSG as a huge positive for the Sox, well, I don't know what to tell you. I've said my piece about it more than once, and I'll repeat that bringing in Theo Epstein in the trusted advisor role is just what this organization needed, and will end up far more valuable to the Sox future, and shows a much larger commitment to that future than any signing they make for this year.

He certainly wasn't brought in to fix 2024, nor should he have been.

I dont think anybody is saying they are giving him the ownnership role to appease the fans. He was coming in anyway but lets make up this baseball advisor role while he is. They were very quick to state it temporary.
 

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One has nothing to do with the other. They don't give out an ownership stake as a gesture of any kind. That's absurdist thinking.

And for those who don't see that having a mind like Theo's exclusively working for FSG as a huge positive for the Sox, well, I don't know what to tell you. I've said my piece about it more than once, and I'll repeat that bringing in Theo Epstein in the trusted advisor role is just what this organization needed, and will end up far more valuable to the Sox future, and shows a much larger commitment to that future than any signing they make for this year.

He certainly wasn't brought in to fix 2024, nor should he have been.
Why did Lebron get a stake then? Plenty of folks have his money. Did they really need his business savvy?
 

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Why did Lebron get a stake then? Plenty of folks have his money. Did they really need his business savvy?
LeBron is an Icon, and any brand would be glad to have him, and he will certainly help with the inevitable foray into the NBA.

Why are you comparing him to Theo? The two situations/roles couldn't be more different. Theo's savvy for sports and business and the melding of the two is why he is so valuable. LeBron is LeBron.
 

sezwho

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LeBron is an Icon, and any brand would be glad to have him, and he will certainly help with the inevitable foray into the NBA.

Why are you comparing him to Theo? The two situations/roles couldn't be more different. Theo's savvy for sports and business and the melding of the two is why he is so valuable. LeBron is LeBron.
I’m being admittedly pedantic, as I think he’s here to help the baseball team, but to this brand Theo is an icon.

Im not sure he has any value to Liverpool or the PGA, and I’m not sure why anyone would expect he does.

The Dolphins ownership includes Gloria Estefan, 57; Emilio Estefan, 61; Marc Anthony, 46; Venus Williams, 34; Serena Williams, 33; Fergie, 39. It happens.
 

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Perhaps this is exactly how it all went down. I hope it is. But it also strikes me as precisely the kind of thing the club would—very smartly—say in an attempt to blunt any perception that Theo was being brought in to compensate for weaknesses in Kennedy’s game.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. Between that and Kennedy's other recent quote

Sam Kennedy today called Theo Epstein's new role "an interim stop before his next stop" and reiterated that he won't be involved in the day to day operations of the Red Sox in his role as senior advisor.
It seems that someone is pushing back on the "Theo is coming back to save the Sox!" narrative with a little "The Sox don't need saving!".
 

CR67dream

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I’m being admittedly pedantic, as I think he’s here to help the baseball team, but to this brand Theo is an icon.

Im not sure he has any value to Liverpool or the PGA, and I’m not sure why anyone would expect he does.

The Dolphins ownership includes Gloria Estefan, 57; Emilio Estefan, 61; Marc Anthony, 46; Venus Williams, 34; Serena Williams, 33; Fergie, 39. It happens.
I have no idea what point you're trying to make with Dolphins ownership, are you implying Theo's all for show? Why would Theo ever agree to that? The guy is likely going to be at the top of the list to be the next commissioner of Baseball, if he wants to deal with that crap. His efforts for MLB in speeding up the game and making it entertaining again are already legend on top of his already hall of fame career. He is long removed from being the local boy wonder.

The man has no incentive at all to be a figurehead or stooge for any entity. It's beyond laughable. And if you truly don't think an executive of Theo's caliber has value to FSG in sports outside of baseball, I really don't think you understand his skill set. The man is as talented as anyone on the planet at reconciling the sports/business aspects of an organization. His talents transcend baseball.

Add to that the trust Henry has in him, and Theo's history and rapport with Breslow, and it seems there's now a cog in the wheel that will be really helpful in bridging any communication gaps between ownership and baseball ops. It's not a day to day role, nor should it be. I just can't see Breslow, or Henry, being anything but thrilled that Theo's on board in that kind of role for the time being. I mean, everything's temporary.

Also, it allows Theo to keep growing and expanding his experience while he figures out what's next. I mean, the guy is just 50 years old. He is most certainly not just a JAG. He's still got places to go.

My bottom line is that having him around at this point is way better than not having him around, and for me that has very little to do with how the 2024 off season finishes up.

To frame this as some grand plan to appease the masses just doesn't hold any water. Every organization/entity should always be looking to add elite talent at every level, and do so when the right deal is there in front of them. That's what FSG did here, and while I certainly gripe about a lot of shit they've done, this is a big freaking win.
 

sezwho

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I have no idea what point you're trying to make with Dolphins ownership, are you implying Theo's all for show? Why would Theo ever agree to that? The guy is likely going to be at the top of the list to be the next commissioner of Baseball, if he wants to deal with that crap. His efforts for MLB in speeding up the game and making it entertaining again are already legend on top of his already hall of fame career. He is long removed from being the local boy wonder.

The man has no incentive at all to be a figurehead or stooge for any entity. It's beyond laughable. And if you truly don't think an executive of Theo's caliber has value to FSG in sports outside of baseball, I really don't think you understand his skill set. The man is as talented as anyone on the planet at reconciling the sports/business aspects of an organization. His talents transcend baseball.

Add to that the trust Henry has in him, and Theo's history and rapport with Breslow, and it seems there's now a cog in the wheel that will be really helpful in bridging any communication gaps between ownership and baseball ops. It's not a day to day role, nor should it be. I just can't see Breslow, or Henry, being anything but thrilled that Theo's on board in that kind of role for the time being. I mean, everything's temporary.

Also, it allows Theo to keep growing and expanding his experience while he figures out what's next. I mean, the guy is just 50 years old. He is most certainly not just a JAG. He's still got places to go.

My bottom line is that having him around at this point is way better than not having him around, and for me that has very little to do with how the 2024 off season finishes up.

To frame this as some grand plan to appease the masses just doesn't hold any water. Every organization/entity should always be looking to add elite talent at every level, and do so when the right deal is there in front of them. That's what FSG did here, and while I certainly gripe about a lot of shit they've done, this is a big freaking win.
That’s not what I’m saying and I’m definitely not trying to agitate!

I thought it was explicit in saying that I think Theo is here to help: I think it’s great that he’s here. I happen to think he won’t be very valuable to anything besides baseball and the ‘generalist manager halo’ is mostly a myth, but fine if you disagree.

My point, which I’ll stop making, was to say that ownership groups definitely make decisions for show and I don’t think it’s absurdist. I thought I provided a concrete example of that in the Dolphins. As I said, didn’t mean to be controversial or rundown Theo move, I seem in upper half of expectations here on his contribution anyway.
 

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If we were to apply Occam's Razor, wouldn't it seem that Sam Kennedy realized that he wasn't the best person available to mentor Craig Breslow? Perhaps he learned something from the Bloom years and came to the conclusion that having a sounding board for Breslow would be infinitely better than what Kennedy may or may not have been with Chaim. Good executives tend to be self-aware. This might be an example of it. Looking for something else may be trying to find palace intrigue where it might not exist.
 

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If we were to apply Occam's Razor, wouldn't it seem that Sam Kennedy realized that he wasn't the best person available to mentor Craig Breslow? Perhaps he learned something from the Bloom years and came to the conclusion that having a sounding board for Breslow would be infinitely better than what Kennedy may or may not have been with Chaim. Good executives tend to be self-aware. This might be an example of it. Looking for something else may be trying to find palace intrigue where it might not exist.
Kennedy initiated discussions with Theo a year ago. I guess it's possible the hiring of Breslow pushed things over the line, but that doesn't seem like it was the main reason for bringing him aboard.
 

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If we were to apply Occam's Razor, wouldn't it seem that Sam Kennedy realized that he wasn't the best person available to mentor Craig Breslow? Perhaps he learned something from the Bloom years and came to the conclusion that having a sounding board for Breslow would be infinitely better than what Kennedy may or may not have been with Chaim. Good executives tend to be self-aware. This might be an example of it. Looking for something else may be trying to find palace intrigue where it might not exist.
My read is that Kennedy thought that he needed another person with Henry's ear that could help him with the Sox specifically. With Theo wanting to get more involved at an ownership level and being a close friend of Kennedy's, it was a unique opportunity to accomplish that
 

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Perhaps this is exactly how it all went down. I hope it is. But it also strikes me as precisely the kind of thing the club would—very smartly—say in an attempt to blunt any perception that Theo was being brought in to compensate for weaknesses in Kennedy’s game.
That's entirely possible but given the relationship between Kennedy and Theo (something Gammo loves to tweet about), I find it highly unlikely that Theo was brought in without Kennedy knowing about it or without Kennedy's explicit blessing
 

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Well I don't know anything for sure, but to me Occam's razor is that things went down more or less like Stark reported:

1. Theo and Kennedy have been friends since high school
2. Theo was in enough contact with the Sox to have been asked his opinion on hiring Breslow
3. Theo made it known around the industry he was interested in his next job having some ownership involvement
4. Kennedy thought it would be great to have that next job be with the Sox and pushed for it until they found something that worked

So the position was created for Theo, not created because the Red Sox felt they had a problem. But I, like some of us, are still optimistic that Theo's presence may help solve a problem whether that was the intention or not, by giving Breslow a sounding board and potential advocate at the ownership level.
 

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Well I don't know anything for sure, but to me Occam's razor is that things went down more or less like Stark reported:

1. Theo and Kennedy have been friends since high school
2. Theo was in enough contact with the Sox to have been asked his opinion on hiring Breslow
3. Theo made it known around the industry he was interested in his next job having some ownership involvement
4. Kennedy thought it would be great to have that next job be with the Sox and pushed for it until they found something that worked

So the position was created for Theo, not created because the Red Sox felt they had a problem. But I, like some of us, are still optimistic that Theo's presence may help solve a problem whether that was the intention or not, by giving Breslow a sounding board and potential advocate at the ownership level.
All points that make sense and made it clear that there was mutual interest, but... it seems clear that Kennedy had something in mind as far back as a year ago as @Max Power aptly pointed out. I doubt very much that they opened up an ownership position just to have Theo on-board. I suspect Kennedy had a very clear idea for the role that he needed Theo to fill and how to get Theo on-board. That they're lifelong friends helps to avoid any trust issues. It's a perfect fit.
 

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That's entirely possible but given the relationship between Kennedy and Theo (something Gammo loves to tweet about), I find it highly unlikely that Theo was brought in without Kennedy knowing about it or without Kennedy's explicit blessing
I'm sure you're right that this move wasn't sprung on him in any way. But I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that ownership--and perhaps Kennedy himself--took a look at his role and wondered whether everyone wouldn't be better served by having him stick to real estate development or negotiating broadcast rights or authorizing merchandising deals and leave anything to do with baseball operations and, especially, public relations to someone else. I do not know that this is the case! It's just something that "feels" to me to likely be the case--and I may well be wrong.

I do feel pretty strongly, though, that particularly since the end of the 2019 season but stretching all the way back to Lucchino's departure in 2015, the team has struggled to connect with fans. Someone posted that Kennedy is very smart and a talented business executive who comes across very well in more intimate gatherings. I'm sure that is correct. But I don't think he's done well at all in his role as ownership's public face. In fact, I think he's been a detriment. He doesn't project or inspire confidence in the team's plans and future. Not everyone agrees that fans are owed an explanation of the club's big-picture strategy and vision, but I definitely think that more and better communication from the Sox would help reduce the temperature, which might make it easier and less emotionally fraught to implement whatever form of rebuild Breslow is plotting. We don't know that Theo will be a sounding board for Brewlow, or that he'll take on a public-facing role...but I sure as hell am hoping that he will! Whatever his role, though, Theo was guaranteed to electrify the Sox fan base in a way that would overshadow Kennedy, and for this reason I think it was always going to be important to take particular care to present his arrival as Kennedy's idea.
 

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The guy is likely going to be at the top of the list to be the next commissioner of Baseball, if he wants to deal with that crap. His efforts for MLB in speeding up the game and making it entertaining again are already legend on top of his already hall of fame career. He is long removed from being the local boy wonder.

The man has no incentive at all to be a figurehead or stooge for any entity. It's beyond laughable. And if you truly don't think an executive of Theo's caliber has value to FSG in sports outside of baseball, I really don't think you understand his skill set. The man is as talented as anyone on the planet at reconciling the sports/business aspects of an organization. His talents transcend baseball.
I just snipped out these two parts of your post because I think these are probably the two best paths he has to choose from in the future right? I'd love to know what Theo has mapped out for his career going forward and unlike most of us schlubs that do career development plans at work he's set himself up to really do whatever he feels like doing.

If he wants to go down the path of leading MLB, like you said he's got to be on a short list of people to do it but the FSG stake, whatever size it is, would have to be unloaded I assume. If he stays with FSG for 5ish years he'd be the same age as Manfred when he got the commissioner role. I imagine the math there is an assumption that his stake would appreciate over that span and give him a nice gain when it has to get divested.

If he stays with FSG long term, does he end up positioning himself to move into a Werner/Gordon role either under current ownership or as part of a new ownership group when (if?) Henry decides to sell? I mean Theo's rich by normal standards but he's not in a position to personally buy a meaningful stake in a $5B-$7B company but could he end up being someone that steers the ship in exchange for X% of an equity stake? Notice the question marks here because I don't know if that sort of thing can/does happen with these ownership groups.
 

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But I, like some of us, are still optimistic that Theo's presence may help solve a problem whether that was the intention or not, by giving Breslow a sounding board and potential advocate at the ownership level.
I really just don’t see this. Sure, he may get involved here and there, but Theo probably isn’t interested in being a PBO at this point in his journey. He got paid for the status he’s built himself. Saving the Boston Red Sox from mismanagement isn’t really a thing he needs to pad his resume.

Not to mention, given that he and Breslow are already close, Craig could certainly have consulted with him as it was.

The team could’ve said he’d be involved more with no reprecussions. That they didn’t tells me this is all just as it seems.
 

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I mean Theo's rich by normal standards but he's not in a position to personally buy a meaningful stake in a $5B-$7B company but could he end up being someone that steers the ship in exchange for X% of an equity stake? Notice the question marks here because I don't know if that sort of thing can/does happen with these ownership groups.
Ironically, he is perfectly-positioned to serve the Larry Lucchino role for a new ownership group.
 

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I really just don’t see this. Sure, he may get involved here and there, but Theo probably isn’t interested in being a PBO at this point in his journey. He got paid for the status he’s built himself. Saving the Boston Red Sox from mismanagement isn’t really a thing he needs to pad his resume.
I am a lazy piece of shit compared to Theo Epstein, and there is no fucking way I would be able to be THAT lazy in a paid role. I'm guessing he won't be either.
 

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So Theo's window in Boston is 5 years.
I'd argue that it's more like any prospective new MLB ownership group has five years to convince Theo to join them.

I think being Commissioner is strictly Plan B for him, he's smart enough to know that he'd be doing the bidding of a bunch of rich owners and wouldn't have the power to do what's right for the fans and the game if his bosses were being selfish idiots. I cringe at the thought of Theo being the face of MLB in a future lockout.
 

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I think being Commissioner is strictly Plan B for him, he's smart enough to know that he'd be doing the bidding of a bunch of rich owners and wouldn't have the power to do what's right for the fans and the game if his bosses were being selfish idiots. I cringe at the thought of Theo being the face of MLB in a future lockout.
Probably, and this is likely just daydreaming, but: the reason I love the idea of Theo as commissioner is that I think he is probably the only person on the planet with the credibility and fan support that he could maybe break out of that dynamic and do what he thinks is right, at least sometimes.
 

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They also have an unbelievable direct impact on the game and there has been like 9 of them in the history of baseball.

It’s enormous
If he wanted to be the next commissioner, why wouldn’t he just stay working for the league and eventually move into that role?

Doesn’t it make sense that he wants to be part of an ownership group, since he joined an ownership group.
 

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If he wanted to be the next commissioner, why wouldn’t he just stay working for the league and eventually move into that role?

Doesn’t it make sense that he wants to be part of an ownership group, since he joined an ownership group.
Kennedy recently said it’s a short term thing.
 

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If he wanted to be the next commissioner, why wouldn’t he just stay working for the league and eventually move into that role?

Doesn’t it make sense that he wants to be part of an ownership group, since he joined an ownership group.
Having ownership experience greatly strengthens your resume to be commissioner.

Seems obvious at this point.
 

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I don't see why he would want the job of commissioner. The commissioner is not some powerful impartial leader who oversees the owners and players, the job is to do whatever the owners want and to take all the public heat for them. Whoever has that job ends up hated by most baseball fans, and the only positive seems to be the money.

Theo is definitely not hurting for money, so why would commissioner be the job he would want, out of all the many powerful, high-paying jobs he could have?
 

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I don't see why he would want the job of commissioner. The commissioner is not some powerful impartial leader who oversees the owners and players, the job is to do whatever the owners want and to take all the public heat for them. Whoever has that job ends up hated by most baseball fans, and the only positive seems to be the money.

Theo is definitely not hurting for money, so why would commissioner be the job he would want, out of all the many powerful, high-paying jobs he could have?
There could certainly be an ego thing involved too. Theo is not without ego, and being commissioner puts you on a very short historic list. I can understand how that would be appealing to someone like him.
 
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I don't see why he would want the job of commissioner. The commissioner is not some powerful impartial leader who oversees the owners and players, the job is to do whatever the owners want and to take all the public heat for them. Whoever has that job ends up hated by most baseball fans, and the only positive seems to be the money.

Theo is definitely not hurting for money, so why would commissioner be the job he would want, out of all the many powerful, high-paying jobs he could have?
Bart Giamatti was the last Commish who did "the game of baseball's" bidding at least as much as the owners' bidding. The owners won't make that mistake again.
 

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I don't see why he would want the job of commissioner. The commissioner is not some powerful impartial leader who oversees the owners and players, the job is to do whatever the owners want and to take all the public heat for them. Whoever has that job ends up hated by most baseball fans, and the only positive seems to be the money.

Theo is definitely not hurting for money, so why would commissioner be the job he would want, out of all the many powerful, high-paying jobs he could have?
The guy loves the game and might want to shepherd it into a better era?
 

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The guy loves the game and might want to shepherd it into a better era?
It's a nice thought, and maybe Theo is the rare example of someone with the fan support and gravitas to pull it off, but realistically, I just don't see it. Take the current sh*tshow with John Fisher and the A's - would the other 29 owners just stand aside and do nothing if Theo told Fisher that it's in the best interests of the game for him to stop being a dick and to negotiate the best deal he can get with the city of Oakland? There is zero chance IMO, because they would all be afraid that they might be next if the Commissioner is allowed to wield such power again.
 

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Having ownership experience greatly strengthens your resume to be commissioner.

Seems obvious at this point.
Does it? Only one commissioner (of 10 total) has had ownership experience. On the other hand, half of them have had experience with the league offices before their hiring (Frick and Giamatti each served as NL President, Kuhn was a lawyer for the NL, Vincent was deputy commissioner, Manfred was CEO of MLB among other jobs). Seems more obvious that continuing to work in MLB's offices is a more advantageous path to the commissioner's office than being an owner.
 

nvalvo

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SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,852
Rogers Park
I don't see why he would want the job of commissioner. The commissioner is not some powerful impartial leader who oversees the owners and players, the job is to do whatever the owners want and to take all the public heat for them. Whoever has that job ends up hated by most baseball fans, and the only positive seems to be the money.

Theo is definitely not hurting for money, so why would commissioner be the job he would want, out of all the many powerful, high-paying jobs he could have?
Perhaps someone with the experience and gravitas of a Theo Epstein occupying the role could change what the role actually was.