The Long Short Goodbye

Woke up this morning and found that Theo left a 1,600 word Dear John on the fridge.

Hey guys I’m leaving and just so you know I know September was all my fault and everyone else’s fault too except yours because you are the best fans ever but you should stop being so hard on me and the guys and me and 12-year-old me loves the Red Sox and everyone should remember that the Sox before September and right now and FutureSox are still totally awesome and I’m sorry I left the house a mess but it really isn’t and Ben is a super dude and he and some other guy will be great roommates and maybe they will even get along with Larry and we’re sorry for whatever we did or didn’t do that pissed you off and I won’t be here but we have a plan and I promise it won’t happen again unless it does and I’ll see you in June and maybe in October so anyway I love you bye bye now.

He kept his key.

32 comments… add one

  • How many times is this guy going to say goodbye? Get over yourself Theo. Holy cow. We get it you love Boston, Boston loves you, yada yada yada. The part about rooting for the Sox except for when they play in June should sit well with the Cubs fans. How about you focus all your power, time and energy (rooting or otherwise) towards getting this cursed team a championship? When Cashman goes I hope he just says thank you and moves on. I (Yankees fans?) don’t need an article in the paper and a full page add telling us how great it was to be the GM and how much he will miss us.

    John - YF October 25, 2011, 9:35 am
  • If you still love me check this box.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 10:58 am
  • But seriously, got up this morning, brought in my Chicago Tribune from the driveway (in my day the paper was delivered at least to the doorstep), and got a little depressed when I saw the front: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=IL_CT&ref_pge=gal&b_pge=1

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 11:00 am
  • Doorstep? I think that’s extra! I get to dig mine out of the thorn bushes in front of my house each morning. My newspaper delivery guy has Greg Maddux-like accuracy when it comes to putting the paper in the wrong spot.
    “If you still love me check this box”
    That’s just awesome!
    How do you guys (Sox fans) feel about this new GM Theo’s understudy?

    John - YF October 25, 2011, 11:05 am
  • And I will offer a mild defense of Theo for the editorial.
    He grew up nearby. His affinity for the team as a youth was well-documented. His GM term didn’t close well. And he still hasn’t addressed his reasons for moving on. He was the hometown guy who ended the 8+ decade drought.
    Perhaps the editorial should have been pared a bit. Perhaps both the editorial and the full-page ad were a bit much. (In hindsight, if asked, I’d have recommended he use an abbreviated version of the editorial as the full-page ad and skip the editorial.)
    On the whole, although I certainly understand John and gerb’s sentiments, I don’t have a huge problem with it. Maybe if I lived in the northeast, I’d feel different about it.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 11:08 am
  • One of the best lines from Roxanne.

    By “in my day,” I mean the 1970s when I was a paperboy. Which, of course, no longer exist after Johnny Gosch disappeared.

    For me, John, Ben Cherrington is a leap of faith for now. The Globies, present and past, speak highly of him. Been around since 1999. He’s had his hands in many of the decisions.
    Players excluded, JWH & Co. haven’t made any hiring mistakes. JWH has earned a pass from me on this. I’m willing to take his work for it.
    But at the end of the day, we’ll see.
    And who knows … maybe he’ll be able to work with Lucchino where theo could not. (For the record, I’m not willing to dump on LL because he and Theo apparently didn’t see eye to eye. nor am I willing to criticize Theo for seeking separatyion from LL. Sometimes there’s friction between people. It doesn’t mean someone is a bad guy or bad at his job. Not having been there and lacking in specific information about the conflict, it’s not fair for me to assign blame.)

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 11:19 am
  • “work” should be “word.”

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 11:20 am
  • AG, bravo.

    Nick-YF October 25, 2011, 12:10 pm
  • Ben: Lackey will have Tommy John, miss 2012 season.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 3:47 pm
  • I just wonder if Theo will be more or less hated than Damon, who did the exact same full-page ad thing.
    I mean, on one hand, Theo basically quit right after his worst season ever and before his contract was even up. And for all intents the team seemed to want him to stay on. On the other, Damon’s contract was up, he was a key contributor and a great player all 4 years, and he gave every chance for Boston to keep him.
    I don’t want to stir the pot, I’m genuinely curious: is Damon or Theo more well-loved by this fanbase?

    AndrewYF October 25, 2011, 3:59 pm
  • IBM, that seems so odd to me. I would be interested to know when this happened. Why was this not an issue before? Not trying to be a cynic but…Well that certainly makes Boston a legitimate landing spot for Darvish or Wilson now I imagine?

    John - YF October 25, 2011, 4:12 pm
  • On Cherrington: I’m going to wait to see how his off season goes before passing judgement. He has been heavily involved in the scouting end so from a talent identification and development aspect he should be good, I hope. Also I think whomever they hire as a manager (don’t think Farrell is the right choice) will be telling on what type of changes the team will have.
    On Lackey: Because of the loss of credibility I’ve had over the last month, I’m thinking that the team knows there is no way he can be traded so they might as well try and get something out of him. They probably figure he will be boo’d unmercifully next season so if he has surgery and comes back and performs in 2013 it won’t be as bad. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, they knew he needed surgery down the stretch, but he pitched anyway because they needed starters??? Nah, that would mean he put his health before the team….
    With Buchholtz coming back (read he is throwing 30-40 fastballs a week with no pain or issues and will be 100% for spring training) and if Lester and Beckett can clean up their act (more faith in the former), they will have a strong 3 man rotation. I don’t think they will go after Darvish, maybe Wilson. I don’t want another Dice-K in Darvish not being able to handle the pressure.
    Also hoping that management starts looking at the mental makeup of players more and not just at the stats and projections from “Carmine”. I’m a believer that certain players can handle the media, pressure, fans, etc of Boston (and playing in the AL East) and other can’t and some of the FAs they have signed over the last few years (see Rentaria, Edgar) have shown that.

    BillsBurgSF October 25, 2011, 4:54 pm
  • You mean the Lackey revelation, John?

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 4:56 pm
  • The other thing on Lackey, I also think he will do most of his rehab away from the team next year, maybe Arizona??? Wonder what Youk will say about that???
    Figure then if he comes back into the clubhouse in late 2012 there will be a new manager with new rules, hopefully some leaders will emerge during the season and we won’t have “Beer, Fried Chicken, and Video Games, The Sequel”.

    BillsBurgSF October 25, 2011, 4:59 pm
  • Yes. Just seems oddly timed. As I have mentioned before one of my pitchers could have TJ if he elected to, but instead he has chose to play through it and strengthen and get treatments. So I do completely understand that TJ doesn’t always present in the “Strasburg” way, but this just seems too perfect, timing wise. Maybe I am just a cynic, who knows.
    Blue Jays apparently will not allow Farrell to go to the Sox ESPN is reporting. I met the man, he’s a brilliant mind pitching wise, but he’s definitely not a (head) NY/Boston guy in my opinion.
    What about Ryne Sandberg? What’s he doing these days? He wanted a shot right? Maybe he’d be a good fit. Brings credibility of being a player, fits the “new start” movement…

    John - YF October 25, 2011, 5:11 pm
  • Wow, John, you are really tone-deaf to what Theo means to Sox fans, this year’s performance notwithstanding. The environment around the Sox was toxic (and, from a fan’s standpoint, tragic) for a long time before Theo arrived. Epstein was the manifestation of the change that occurred, first with Henry purchasing the team and then with the 2004 and 2007 championships. Growing up in Boston this has to have meant so much to him, as much as it meant to all the fans (he WAS a fan, remember). So the editorial is the closure, it’s the end.
    After the shitshow of the last few weeks it is actually a refreshing thing that Epstein has done. There’s just bald cynicism in your first comment above to me, a skepticism about motive in Epstein’s editorial. Why can’t you take it at face value? I am, and I am glad he wrote it.
    As for Lackey, his situation is a great example of why the universally acclaimed idea of “playing hurt”, of “being a warrior” is totally ridiculous. For it seems that Lackey knew there was something wrong, but kept pitching since the Sox were so hurt. But he sucked, so we hated him. But he played through injury, and Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t last year and was roundly scolded for being “soft”, and now how the hell do we define toughness, dedication to one’s team, sacrificing oneself for the greater good?! Lackey just f*cked this all up. Because he’s so unlikeable…

    SF October 25, 2011, 5:25 pm
  • Andrew, you’re ignoring one obvious thing (and I’m not advocating the poor treatment of Damon in Boston since his departure): Damon SPECIFICALLY SAID he’d never sign with the Yankees, and then he signed with the Yankees. Theo-Damon is not a good comparison. Leaving is not the same as leaving for the Yankees.
    Drew Bledsoe also did the full-page ad thing when he was traded to Buffalo.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 5:29 pm
  • Yeah, it does seem oddly timed. And yeah, you’re probably being a cynic, but I don’t think it’s unwarranted.
    Remember: Gammo mentioned TJ as a possibility for Lackey back in June or July. And Lackey poo-pooed it.

    Farrell as NY/Bos guy.
    I disagree. FO loves him, and it’s been reported that the FO two years ago had tagged Farrell as a replacement for Tito. But Farrell got tired of waiting and took the Toronto gig.

    Sandberg. He’ll replace Quade in a few weeks/months.

    I’m on the Mike Maddux bandwagon right now. We’ll see how long I stay there.

    CJ/Yu in Boston. I’ve gotta think FO will be gunshy on both. Pete Abes mentioned about CJ and the “inverted W” style that is attriguted to Joba’s demise. He’s sucked in the WS, and he’s not young. The SP market is weak and someone will overpay. (Confession: I was a huge advocate to sign Lackey.)
    On Yu, will anyone want to devote big $ to a Japanese pitcher ever again? No Japanese pitcher has succeeded in MLB long-term. Yes, Yu shows signs of being different, but NO ONE thought Matsuzaka would be a bust.
    I just don’t feel good about my crystal ball on Yu or CJ. I’m not sure how much cynicism is involved.
    One thing we will agree on: best FA pitcher this offseason will be CC. Big drop off to the next.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 5:44 pm
  • And now I read SF’s staunch defense of Theo …

    I'mBillMcNeal October 25, 2011, 5:47 pm
  • SF, if it was just the editorial or just the add I’d honestly have said nothing.
    I think it’s funny when I am honest and complement the Sox I’m a phony. When I am honest and I don’t like how a situation was handled by the Sox former GM I’m “tone deaf” to his importance. I guess that’s fine afterall you’re a Sox fan and I’m a Yankee fan, it’s supposed to be this way.
    Additionally let’s not forget regardless of his Bill Walsh comment, Theo is bailing on the Red Sox at what can be called their lowest point in many years. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare and most likely the Sox will be right back in the hunt next season but he gets no points for bailing now. Tito gets a pass. He had a valid argument about changing the messenger etc…Theo has no everyday interaction with this team he’s the GM. He bailed on the team he loves so much in a major time of need to go be the president of baseball operations (a promotion and raise) for another club. So again if he was just exhausted and couldn’t do it anymore and left it would have seemed more genuine. That’s not what he did though. So let’s not go crazy with the St. Theo/tone deaf stuff. We don’t need to agree but don’t consistently discount my opinion.

    John-YF October 25, 2011, 7:41 pm
  • IBM, CC is a huge (no pun intended) part of this off-season if he indeed opts out. I think (as do many others) that CC wants years more than dollars. With the albatross that is Alex’s contract already on the books the Yankees just can’t throw years at players and forget how bad things will be in years 5-7. I would not be shocked at all to see CC walk and Cash let him. I’m just not ready to say sign him at all costs, length be damned. It would make Cash have to be creative in the short term but long term signing CC for 6-8 more years is just bad planning. So if he does walk the market for Yu and Wilson most certainly change, probably for the worse.
    Thanks for the info on Gammons and Lackey. I asked above if this was sudden. I didn’t remember hearing anything on him being injured but if he was then I apologize. Without knowing there were rumors early this year the timing just seemed too good to be true.

    John-YF October 25, 2011, 7:55 pm
  • I truly believe Theo is moving on for more power and more money. I also believe he is tired of Boston and the stuff that comes with that job. I also believe he bought himself a shit-ton length of rope for having helped a hapless franchise become a booming success, and that rope gives him a lot of leeway for leaving a year before his contract was up and after such a terrible end of a season.
    But this “low point” is so much higher than other low points, so much better a foundation for future success than the franchise has had in place in the past that the blow is softened, slack given.
    Add in the personal, sentimental history of Theo as a Sox fan, as one of us, and you have a situation that isn’t simply a guy walking out on a sick spouse. Realize that the Sox could have tried to extend Theo now, but didn’t. This, in the end, appears mutual, and Theo’s respect for his now-former bosses and the Sox’ fan base should be noted. For all the shit that has gone down the last month, this editorial closes things on a decent note. And by decent I mean “with decency”, something that has been lacking of late.

    SF October 25, 2011, 8:01 pm
  • Lackey was DL’d with elbow issues in May. With Matsuzaka done and then Buchholz hurt it seems very plausible, knowing Lackey’s supposed personality, that he would insist on pitching through issues despite the injury. In the context of the earlier injury, the performance this season, the Sox’ depleted staff, there really seems to be nothing suspicious about today’s news.
    Now whether the Sox should have shut him down and gone with other options this year, that is a different issue entirely to me.

    SF October 25, 2011, 8:12 pm
  • Agreed SF. I had no clue he was shut down this year with elbow pain that’s why I asked. Tough timing from the sense that he misses all of the season rather than part of it but all in all might be best if he gets the full 13 months plus an entire off-season to recover.

    John-YF October 25, 2011, 8:18 pm
  • I’m surprised you guys aren’t talking more about the nature of Lackey’s contract when discussing him pitching through injury and seemingly trying to avoid injury. Because he’s having surgery, he is facing a 6th year in a Sox uniform at the league minimum. The contract pretty much incentivized Lackey trying to avoid surgery at all costs. I remember at the time thinking it was an interesting way to “insure” a deal. Clearly the front office’s concerns about injury were warranted, but I wonder how damaging the injury clause ended up being to the Sox in 2011.

    Nick-YF October 25, 2011, 9:06 pm
  • “I’m surprised you guys aren’t talking more about the nature of Lackey’s contract when discussing him pitching through injury and seemingly trying to avoid injury.”
    I meant avoid surgery.

    Nick-YF October 25, 2011, 9:07 pm
  • The contract is odd, for sure. But I believe it stipulates that the clause is triggered if the injury was “pre-existing”, and though there may be documentation that shows an injury existed, that could be lawyered into oblivion. Cherington was elusive about whether the clause would be triggered by the surgery, so who knows how the team and player view this.
    It was a disincentive (on the surface) to surgery, in a vacuum. But in reality, and without knowing the exact language, it is very hard to know what material effect it had on his status this past season.

    SF October 26, 2011, 8:54 am
  • RE: Lackey’s injury history, he started the 2009 season on the DL with elbow issues, and also was on the DL in 2008. Does that qualify as pre-existing? Call the lawyers.

    I’d like Ben to make a big run at Mark Buehrle.

    Glad to hear Ben apparently wants to pick up Scutaro’s option. He’s importance to that team has been grossly understated by many, many people.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 26, 2011, 12:12 pm
  • Agree on Scutaro, IBM.
    As for Lackey’s injury, it sure sounds like that last year will be at a minimal price, but Cherington waffled yesterday a bit, so it may not yet be explicitly clear what the situation is. I wonder if there is a date by which they have to exercise his option? I know it has luxury tax implications, so the sooner they do it the sooner they would be able to drop his AAV contractually, giving them more room under the tax threshold.

    SF October 26, 2011, 1:21 pm
  • If I’m Ben, SF, I waffle, too. Certainly this will have to be discussed with Lackey’s agent. No use throwing it out there now.

    I just saw this from Pete Abe: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2011/10/john_lackeys_pa.html
    It gets to the heart of the “convenience” argument, and why I never questioned it. It’s kind of hard to “fake” arm surgery.

    And … I wish to restate my belief that too much is being made of the JWH comment about Carl.
    My interpretation when I heard it: “I had to be sold on it, and I was. At first I didn’t see the need because we already had a fast LH OF with some power. The baseball opps people convinved me that he was a unique talent that would benefit the team.”
    I highly doubt Carl’s feelings were hurt by the comment.

    I'mBillMcNeal October 26, 2011, 1:40 pm
  • That’s a reasonable interpretation of JWH’s comments, IBM. Nonetheless in a PR-mad town like Boston he’s got to choose his words very carefully, and if he doesn’t we know what happens. He was inartful at the very least in how he said what you think he might have meant.

    SF October 26, 2011, 1:54 pm
  • I know you weren’t referring to me IBM, but just to clarify my statements above: I don’t think Lackey would “fake” arm surgery, nor do I doubt the legitimacy of the injury. I have a pretty good understanding of TJ surgery and what a player can/cannot do with an injury like this. As I said above they are not all “Strasburg” TJ surgeries. Some people can need TJ surgery and play for quite some time before they ever do anything about it. Some people, like Strasburg blow that thing up and it needs immediate repair. After reading PA’s piece all of the signs most certainly lead me to believe he already tried the play through it route and ended up where he is now. The forearm tightness is a big red flag.

    John - YF October 26, 2011, 2:16 pm

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