Roche: Red Sox Franchise At Crossroads

A blog by WBZ-TV's Dan Roche

BOSTON (CBS) – We have witnessed an incredible baseball run in this city for the past decade.

Since the day John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino took over this franchise we have seen:

  • A heartbreaking 7th game extra inning loss at Yankee Stadium in the 2003 ALCS.
  • The greatest postseason comeback in the game’s history as Boston overcame an 0-3 deficit to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS.
  • A sweep of the Cardinals to end an 86-year-old curse and win the 2004 World Series.
  • Another sweep, this time the Rockies in 2007, to win a second World Series.
  • A run to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008 against Tampa Bay.
  • A team that made the playoffs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009 A renovation of Fenway Park that most thought was never possible that made it arguably the best park in baseball.

And, now as we get set to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park, we have come to the first real fork in the road for this ownership group.

The manager, Terry Francona, who guided this team from 2004-2011 and the two World Series titles, is gone.

And, now will the general manager follow?

Theo Epstein is a brilliant baseball mind.

The kid from Brookline, who took over the Sox in November of 2002 as the youngest GM in MLB history, has developed the Red Sox from the top and bottom.

It’s a role model for many other franchises.

And, now Tom Ricketts has come calling. The man who owns a franchise that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908, has its own curse(of the Billy goat)and a ballpark in need of a makeover, wants Theo Epstein to be President and GM.

The question – do John, Tom, and Larry let him go?

In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer.

You have to say good-bye if Theo wants it.

You owe him that for what he has done.

Theo Epstein comes from a wonderful family. He was raised right. The family cares about other human beings. They are big on charity work and Theo has his own “Foundation To Be Named Later” charity.

He has grown the farm system to the point where it has produced players for the big league club as well as provided players that have allowed him to make franchise-changing trades.

Theo has also learned from Henry, Werner, Lucchino and many others within the organization.

He now knows what it takes to make a good franchise great.

He has grown up in his 10 years here in Boston.

And, now perhaps it’s time to move on to the next challenge in life.

Theo could lay claim to what many thought was not possible – take the two cursed franchises and win World Series titles.

The Red Sox and Cubs?

Hello Cooperstown.

Will he take the job?

If he doesn’t, it will be out of loyalty to the people who allowed him to do what he’s done in Boston.

Perhaps the way things ended this season will tell him to stay.

His wife and family will have a say as well.

Maybe he uses the Cubs as a bargaining chip, although I don’t see Theo doing that, to get more power.

If he goes?

Good luck to him, it will be a great challenge.

And, he will leave the GM job in the good hands of long-time comrade Ben Cherington (my choice).

John, Tom, Larry, Theo, and Tito have done great things in 10 years. The team is breaking up.

Let’s hope good things happen – in both Chicago and Boston.

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