More Theo, Plus a Little Bit of Pats…

A few updates from the late edition and smaller papers. (Keep scrolling through the post, as more stuff just keeps getting added.)

Rob Bradford, in one of his final columns for the Lowell sun before he moves onto the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune says that Theo kept the secret that he was willing to walk away right down to the very end. Bradford observes:

Many knew about Epstein’s increasing disdain for the lifestyle his job had lent itself to, but what few took into account was his disgust in what the Red Sox had become. Instead of focusing on the inner-workings from innings one through nine, the group running the franchise preferred to drive the fans’ passion using Red Sox Nation citizenship cards and images of champagne toasts in the midst of breaking in ‘Wild Card Champions’ baseball hats.

He then goes to say how Epstein was leaning towards accepting the contract offered him by the Red Sox, but that something changed his mind:

But then, shortly after waking up around 7 a.m., an article in The Boston Globe was brought to Epstein’s attention. The piece struck a chord for Theo, not only because of the content (much of which defended Lucchino while diminishing Epstein’s stature within the organization), but also because of how familiar the verbiage sounded. Many of it was all too familiar to words uttered by Lucchino to his general manager earlier in the week.

Elsewhere, Mike Fine says that Theo just had enough and that the rift with Larry Lucchino was too great to overcome. Alex Speier, David Borges, and Bob Stern all also report on the Red Sox losing their GM. Stern also looks at whether Theo’s departure is a good thing or a bad thing for the Red Sox. David Heuschkel also reports and examines possible replacements. Bill Burt says that Theo accomplished a lot while on the job, and perhaps he really wasn’t long for the job.

After re-reading Shaughnessy’s efforts to prove that Larry Lucchino is indeed a “baseball man”- even more so than Theo Epstein is, I couldn’t help but think back to Will McDonough’s final column with the Globe before his death which contained some harsh words towards Lucchino. McDonough said at that time:

Lucchino was knighted as the baseball director of the Red Sox by Selig, even though Lucchino knows nothing about baseball personnel. His alleged specialty is getting stadiums built. But he is smart enough to know that he doesn’t know baseball, so he attempts to surround himself with baseball people, looking for consensus opinions, to solidify his own lack of baseball knowledge. When the year was over, he led the Boston baseball public through the wacky chase for a new general manager, and wound up with his own young understudy, Theo Epstein. Why Epstein? He’s loyal. So when Lucchino goes back to his home in La Jolla, Calif., right outside San Diego, Epstein can watch the office.

So…since that time, Theo has seemingly outgrown the “understudy” role and Lucchino has become a baseball guy.

The Boston Phoenix Red Sox blog with Mike Miliard goes after Shaughnessy for his alleged exculpatory column this morning. Shaughnessy has also inspired his own dedicated “watch” blog: Dan Shaughnessy Watch. Nationally, Deadspin is all over Shaughnessy as well. Definitely worth a look.

I’m getting a headache trying to keep up with everything. Dan Kennedy is all over this stuff too. Bill Simmons also assesses the situation.

Shaughnessy will be on with Mike Felger on ESPN Radio at 4:00 this afternoon. It’s 890 or 1400 on your radio dial, or online streaming is available at www.espnboston.com. Shaughnessy has already been on with Mike Barnicle on 96.9 FM this morning, and with WFAN New York this afternoon. Bryan Person tells me that Shaughnessy started the day early with an appearance on Kiss 108 FM this morning.

David Scott from Scott’s Shots will be on Newsnight with Jim Braude tonight around 8:30 on NECN to talk about Theo, Shaughnessy, the Globe and all of this mess.

Tedy Bruschi continues to headline all Patriots stories. Tom King says that the return of Bruschi did help the Patriots to a point on Sunday night. Glen Farley and Eric McHugh look at what effect Bruschi’s return has on the rest of the Patriots linebackers, particularly Chad Brown. Ian M Clark notes that even though the Patriots got the win, there are still plenty of areas of concern around this team. Farley also looks at the Colts chances of going unbeaten this season. He seems to think they’re got a pretty good shot at it. McHugh’s notebook looks at the Patriots getting thinner and thinner at running back.