Ready for the Theo articles? To shamelessly steal a phrase, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Theo Epstein era. I’m glad the Sox made this move. Yes, it’s a risk, but I don’t think it’s a huge gamble. I was reading somewhere yesterday that Theo could be the GM of the Sox for the next 30 years. He’d still just be 58 then. Imagine that. 2032 Theo Epstein retires after seven World Series championships. He recalls when the late Dan Shaughnessy ripped him for trading Nomar Garciaparra prior to the 2004 season. Little did Shaughnessy know that the Red Sox would receive two future hall of fame players in the deal. Epstein also recalled his long running feud with Herald writer Tony Massarotti who until the day he retired from the Herald five years ago, insisted that Theo channeled the spirit of Larry Lucchino before he made any moves.
*snap* Back to reality. To be fair, Dan Shaughnessy seems actually willing to give the kid a chance. Everyone please remember this article for the future. Tony Massarotti writes that there are a lot of hard decisions to made and though acknowledging that Theo said the right things yesterday, from the tone of the article, Tony Mazz is going to be watching everything very closely. Gordon Edes gives us a thorough background on Theo, his family, his upbringing, how he got to this point. Makes for a good read. Steve Buckley likes the kid, even gives him some advice on a pickup line he can use. Bill Reynolds says that this is a leap of faith, for sure. Gerry Callahan outlines how Epstein might be an ever better choice than Billy Beane. He’ll be more dedicated, less distracted, and cost the Red Sox a whole lot less to put in place. Brian McGrory steps over from the City & Regions side of the Globe to mock the appointment. Sean McAdam weighs in and produces an article that reads just like he sounds. Jeff Jacobs weaves in Casablanca references and generally provides a fairly entertaining column, while cautioning Theo that this region eats its young. Bob Hohler writes that John Henry was convinced about giving Theo the job when he considered “that it’s the young turks in baseball who at this point may be making the largest contributions in the game.” Jeff Horrigan gets Billy Beane’s reaction to the hiring, and has John Henry sounding like Anne of Green Gables talking about “kindred spirits”. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, Henry using that line, or me making that connection. David Heuschkel’s headline to his story says “Short Leash For Young Pup”. The story is not really like that however. It just talks about the circle that will be around to advise him and that the big decisions will be run by Lucchino and Henry, etc. This would be the case if Billy Beane were here too. Michael Silverman provides background on Epstein as well, and says heck, he could be commissioner by age 40. Lenny Megliola sounds a little skeptical. Boston.com compares Theo with the oldest GM in the game. Ken Fratus sizes up all the Red Sox GM’s through the years. Horigan has a notebook with word on Port and Thomas, as well as possible player and coaching moves. Mike Sullivan updates us on erstwhile candidates Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. Dennis and Callahan spent some time on WEEI this morning begging for an anti-Theo call.
Theo could pay other dividends as well. Over the past week, I’ve gotten a huge chunk of traffic from searches on Yahoo and Google, people, (Women mostly, I’m making the huge leap to assume) searching under terms like “Theo Epstein married”, “Theo Epstein bachelor”, “Theo Epstein girlfriend” and “Theo Epstein bio”. The Red Sox could capitalize on Theo and his Tom Brady-like chin, cashing in with females who had never been interested in a team General Manager before. Imagine the woman that lands him, bringing him home to meet the parents. “So what do you do for a living, son?”
Jackie MacMullan looks at Tom Brady, the pressure he is under, and the unfair criticism he receives for all his early success. Kevin Mannix provides a report card with a whole lot of “C’s”. Paul Kenyon writes that the Patriots are glad to be playing on Thanksgiving, but wary of the Lions. Alan Greenberg chronicles the quick turnaround this week, and recalls Brady getting his first NFL snaps in Detroit on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Mark Murphy looks at tough guy Joe Andruzzi. Nick Cafardo acknowledges the job Ty Law has done this season shutting down top receivers. Karen Guregian looks at the mess that is the Detroit Lions. Steve DeOssie (nice picture…gotta check it out. Wonder how soon this one appears on the WEEI website) writes about the Patriots for the Boston Metro. The notebooks all look at the return of Pat Patriot. The Globe, the Herald and the Projo.
Peter May looks at Antoine Walker’s frustration at not being considered for the Olympic team. Steve Bulpett looks at the bolstered point guard situation for the Celtics. May’s notebook deals with the prospective new owners missing their first deadline…not to worry though. Yet. He also compares the numbers this season of Vin Baker and Mark Blount. Bulpett’s notebook looks at some sickness going around the team and mentions that Tony Battie has a swollen knee.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins pushing all the right buttons and making all the right moves. Joe Gordon says the team is just going with the flow. Gordon’s notebook features Mike O’Connell shooting down trade rumors.
Bill Griffith previews tonight’s HBO’s “Real Sports” and looks ahead to Thanksgiving NFL coverage, including a planned segment on Charlie Weiss. Bruce Mohl looks at the impact NESN is having on increasing cable TV rates in New England. Jim Baker pans HBO’s boxing coverage and gives some opinion on the Patriots coverage from the weekend. John Molori praises Sean McAdam and Chris Collinsworth.
NESN has Bruins/Flames at 7:00. FSNE has BU/Harvard College Hockey at 7:00. ESPN continues coverage of the Maui Invitational, with semifinal games at 7:00 and 9:30. HBO has “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble” tonight at 10:00.