Red Sox

‘World’s Greatest Leader’ Theo Epstein: ‘This stuff is ridiculous’

‘World’s Greatest Leader’ Theo Epstein: ‘This stuff is ridiculous’

BOSTON - Theo Epstein has a criminal mind.

The Cubs president is essentially a celebrity executive now, and he keeps getting tied to politics because he’s broken two of baseball’s most famous title droughts.

Fortune Magazine recently ranked Epstein the world’s greatest leader. 

David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former strategist, recently discussed a hypothetical campaign for president for Epstein with Politico. 

But speaking before a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later, Brookline’s finest made clear Friday he doesn’t want to follow in JFK’s footsteps.

“I just laughed,” Epstein said. “Crumpled up the piece of paper, threw it in the garbage. ‘Cause you know, this stuff is ridiculous, all these articles. I think I need to go do something really ill advised or commit a felony or something. I can put a stop to it in a hurry. But people who know me... would just laugh at that.”

Epstein is in many ways responsible for the public fascination with baseball executives and front offices these days, a condition he finds odd — or at least overdone. 

“I barely can get out of bed and get my job done the right way in the morning most of the time. It’s a group effort,” Epstein said. “Every time a team wins a championship, it’s because of hundreds of people making sacrifices and it’s just a sign of the times. These days the GM gets a lot of credit for it when it’s an organization wide effort. 

“When I was growing up, the ’84 Tigers, you didn’t know who the GM was, you just knew it was [Alan] Trammel and [Lou] Whittaker up the middle. You didn’t know it was Bill Lajoie behind the scenes drafting those guys. And I wish Bill Lajoie got more credit, but I wish I got a lot less. It’s just kind of weird the way the game’s evolved.”

Epstein seems deadset on winning a few more World Series in Chicago. But the question of what he does in another five years, more titles or not, will probably linger.

"Just thinking about this series, trying to see if we can win two out of three from the Sox at Fenway, not an easy thing to do," Epstein said when asked if he thinks about his future. "But no, we’ve had a great group of young players who I really admire and respect and they’re talented players who are great guys off the field and care about each other. 

"Almost all of them are going to be here through at least 2021. That’s rare in this day and age if you can have a group like that together for a long period of time. So we want to see if we can maximize it, get through as many Octobers as we can, try to get through as many Octobers as we can and that’s all I’m thinking about going forward."

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.