Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Adios Theo Epstein, Welcome Ben Cherington
I spent a good portion of my afternoon watching Theo Epstein's introductory press conference with the Chicago Cubs as president of baseball operations and Ben Cherington's first press conference as Boston Red Sox executive vice president/GM. Since I will never get that time back, I'll share some of my initial thoughts.
The Cubs are MLB's biggest joke of a franchise, a team that has been nothing but losers for virtually all of its existence, especially in the modern era. That's why I understand how Theo has received the amount of savior slurping that has already happened in the Windy City. Epstein doesn't have to get his hands dirty as much, he'll make more money and he faces a whole new set of challenges. What isn't to like? Sure, the Cubs might never do anything under his tenure but will most of their drunken fans even notice? I say no.
With Cherington, I worry that he'll be more of the status quo at Yawkey Way. He's worked so closely with Theo for years so who's to say he's really developed his own unique ideas and thoughts? Obviously, he's a very smart and qualified guy but let's not tip toe around the fact that Epstein left this franchise in bad shape: the formerly vaunted Red Sox farm system is almost completely depleted, the major league roster is full of bloated contracts (and players) and pretty much all of the true fans are sick and tired of this ownership group (Warner, Lucchino, Henry). Shoutout to Warner and Henry for not bothering to show up today. Ugh.
Truly the best news to come out of today was that John Lackey will have Tommy John surgery, meaning that piece of trash will miss the entire 2012 season. Fingers crossed that he along with Dice-K never throw another pitch for the Red Sox. That's a start.
Boston was always a baseball town but that has changed in the last few third-place seasons by the Red Sox. The Bruins won a Stanley Cup, the Patriots are always contenders and we use to have an NBA team around here, I forget their name. Now the Red Sox have to fight for fans' attention and not simply bank on the eternal heartbreak that made everything seem so important. I know I'm not the only one that doesn't really enjoy going to Fenway Park anymore which is something I never would have thought (five or ten years ago) that I would say in my life.
As Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti have said, Fenway is a theme park. You go, pay exorbitant prices, take some pictures, sing Sweet Caroline and at the end of the game, far too many people don't really care if the Red Sox have even won or lost. Not to mention getting in and out of the park is a pain with parking and public transportation being about as difficult as possible.
Stop trying to make every last cent on the team through merchandise, useless shit (Fenway bricks) and crappy concerts (Dropkick Murphys, Neil Diamond) that nobody cares about. If the ownership group go back to caring about winning over everything, the fans and passion will return. If not, it's just going to be more of the same bullshit that has permeated through this organization since 2008.
PS. The Red Sox still need a manager and thanks to MLB's snail pace, the compensation package for Epstein hasn't been settled. Thanks Bud, you useless clown.