Gresh and Zo kick off Thursday’s show discussing Theo Epstein. The former Red Sox GM is making his rounds with the Boston media with the Sox and Cubs set to begin a three-game series on Friday.
Gresh and Zo break down Theo’s comments on the “monster” that the Sox have become. Who is to blame, and did Theo have any power in Boston near the end?
“It is evident that Theo Epstein broke away from his core principles. I think it is more than fair to say that,” said Gresh.
“I don’t think the place that he worked for allowed him to do that,” Zolak said of Theo’s approach. “Maybe this new place will.”
“He definitely compromised some of the baseball beliefs when it came to placating the owners,” said Gresh. “He understood the room he was working, but if he really believed in the philosophy he had come up with with baseball ops, he could have went down with the ship.”
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How did the Red Sox approach to “expanding their brand” hurt them on the field, and how does it differ from that of the New England Patriots?
“The difference is the people at Gillette expand the brand in ways that don’t compromise the product on the field. Thats where I have a real issue with Theo talking about the culture, Theo talking about his core principals. Let’s not act like this team stunk. Lets not act like, even the Patriots have missed the playoffs, and it didn’t hurt the brand. But when you have two world series wins, you’re in the mix for the playoffs every year, have done well against the Yankees and at the time had likable players, that to me is the difference. That’s where I think this ownership group effected Theo, and how Theo lost his way. They wanted to expand the brand, but they really, only did it by throwing money and trying to get high-priced players on the field.”
“The Boston Red Sox are a great brand,” said Gresh, “and it’s about milking ever dollar out of the brand. But you don’t do it by bringing in John Lackey and paying him too much money, because it ticks off the fan base. It makes you wonder what the hell they’re doing over there.”
“If it was about the ‘Monster’ that was created, you still have to separate the Baseball operation and the business side. Theo, I think, has made it very clear that the business side of the Boston Red Sox meddled too much into the baseball end of it,” said Gresh.