Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I'm serially obsessed with news stories, but some just end up falling under the radar for me. I went from reading everything about Harriet Miers to about three days with nothing really too interesting to read about, and now I'm reading everything about Theo Epstein resigning as Red Sox general manager. Yeah, yeah, it's only baseball. I have nothing really to say about Judge Alito. I don't know anything about him, he seems like what the right expected Bush would pick to begin with, he's not glaringly unqualified like Miers, so I don't find myself drawn to the articles. But Epstein -- this is big news!

It appears to be a fairly interesting drama... Epstein was first hired as an intern in San Diego by Padres then-President Larry Lucchino. Lucchino served as Epstein's mentor, and Epstein excelled. When Lucchino became President of the Red Sox, he offered Epstein a job. When the Sox fired their last GM and couldn't get a big name like Billy Beane to take the job, Lucchino boldly made Epstein the youngest GM ever, at age 28. Then the Red Sox won the World Series. Now, the story in the media is that there's a power struggle, Lucchino meddles too much, Epstein wants more control... and they couldn't reach an agreement. The son revolts against the father. Or something like that. This article in Sunday's Boston Globe, saying the contract was done, Epstein was coming back, apparently had an impact, according to other articles. Epstein didn't like that Lucchino went to the media with it. I have trouble thinking the blame lies with Epstein for any of this, and that's stupid because I obviously don't know anything besides what I read... but he's apparently turned down 1.5 million dollars a year to continue doing the job he always wanted to have and has thrived in... for someone to give that up, to give up the job as GM of the Red Sox, something big must be screwing things up in the front office. I would think.

The Epstein thing comes on the heels of the Dodgers firing Paul DePodesta, another of the new breed of young GMs. There's now Jon Daniels in Texas (who, someone e-mailed me when I first posted about his hiring, apparently went to the same high school as I did, and graduated a year before me), and Andrew Friedman in Arizona. The GM job has transformed from a job given to old people to a job given to smart young people. Over just the past few years. It's really quite an interesting shift.

Wouldn't shock me if, like the A's managerial change from earlier this off-season -- Ken Macha leaves, Ken Macha comes back -- if Epstein ends up re-hired in the next couple of weeks, the differences are ironed out, and everything works out in the end. Also wouldn't shock me to see Padres GM Kevin Towers go to Boston and Epstein get hired under Sandy Alderson in San Diego. Or Epstein to get the vacant L.A. job and DePodesta to end up in Boston. Clearly there's about two readers reading this (and I know who you are...) who actually care this much about who's the general manager who what baseball team. But I'm semi-obsessed, so I figured it would get a post.