Reporting Dan Roche
BOSTON (CBS) – The biggest “next” question of the Red Sox off-season is will Theo Epstein stay or go?
I know that Red Sox ownership expects Theo to be at the helm as they find a successor to Terry Francona as well as re-sign free agents Jonathan Papelbon and David Ortiz.
However, I’m sure if Theo went to John Henry and asked out, that John would let him go. And, I’m also sure that wherever Theo wanted to interview that he would get the job. He has an incredible resume as well as the brilliance to build an organization.
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I found Peter Gammons’ tweet over the weekend about Theo being named co-CEO quite interesting.
Is Epstein interested in Cubs? Sure. What Henry does to keep him @ co-CEO, makes Cherington GM and go forward remains to be seen.—
Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 01, 2011
That tweet says it all.
Theo was under Larry Lucchino in San Diego and is under him here in Boston. John Henry is loyal to both. Larry runs the business side of things and takes any and all heat away from John. Theo has done a great job running the baseball side of things, but doesn’t want to be a GM his whole life. And, not only would he aspire to be a team President, but I’m sure he would be successful going outside the baseball world some day too.
I also think that if Theo’s team had won another World Series or had even came close, then he probably would have taken the Cubs job for the challenge. However, leaving the Sox after their September collapse doesn’t look good.
So, what does John do?
I think if he can get Larry to maybe become “Assistant to the owner,” just CEO, or co-CEO, it could work. Theo then becomes president with Ben Cherington taking over as GM while Sam Kennedy runs the marketing/business side if things. Theo would also have Larry there (again) to help Theo with any and all aspects of the operations.
Finally, all parties would remain intact when it comes to making critical baseball decisions. To have John, Tom Werner, Larry, Theo and Ben Cherington giving input over these critical calls is huge. It allows for great discussion as these decisions get hammered out. The more opinions the better. That’s what has made this franchise successful since John bought the club 10 years ago.
If Larry and Theo can’t come to an agreement on titles and job descriptions, then the Sox will lose the GM that led them to two World Series titles.
Now, I think Cherington would be a more-than-capable replacement for Theo and the Sox will be OK.
However, I also think it doesn’t need to happen just yet. So, why should it?