Theo Epstein Should Have No Place In Baseball
One day, Cooperstown is going to come calling for Theo Epstein. After all, he was the leader for two franchises who broke curses.
Epstein was the GM for the 2004 Boston Red Sox who won a World Series for the first time in 86 years. Winning with the Red Sox apparently wasn’t challenging enough for him.
No, Epstein took over as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. Whereas with the Red Sox he fortified an already great roster, he built the Cubs from the bottom up to lead them to their first World Series title in 108 years.
Now, that he’s stepped aside, everyone wants him in another important role. As jobs open up, more and more people will push for him.
Currently, he’s a consultant for Major League Baseball. There’s a push for many to name him the next commissioner. There was a push for the Mets to hire him, and there was an article from Larry Stone of the Seattle Times about how the Seattle Mariners need to hire Epstein in the wake of the Kevin Mather fallout.
There’s a certain irony in the push for anyone to hire Epstein right now, as he is emblematic of many of the problems baseball currently faces.
In terms of the Mariners, Mather “re-signed” partially as a result of his admitting to service time manipulation of Jarred Kelenic and other prospects. In some ways, Epstein is really the worst hire.
With the Cubs, Epstein dealt with the same issues with Kris Bryant. Like the Mariners intended to do with Kelenic, the team didn’t call up Bryant until they could gain another year of control.
That led to Bryant filing a grievance, which he eventually lost. He also rejected numerous attempts to sign a contract extension with the team.
In terms of the Mets, they’re still dealing with the fallout of the Mickey Callaway and Jared Porter harassment claims. Notably, the Porter harassment didn’t occur when he was with the Mets. Rather, it happened when he was with the Cubs.
As we learned, the Cubs first advised the victim to not go further with the complaint. Instead, they advised her to try to leverage her position. On multiple occasions, they followed up to ensure there would be no embarrassing law suit.
Seeing what happened under his leadership, it’s clear he has no place in baseball right now. He’s not the guy to clean up the problems. Rather, he’s the guy who helped create, and at a minimum, led organizations who actively disregarded and cover-up problems.
Unless we get an investigation and answers to very pointed questions, Epstein should not return to any MLB front office in any role. He’s created and perpetuated problems.
There may come a time for his return to baseball, but that time has not yet arrived. It can’t until he had