Finally. Congrats to the White Sox and their long-suffering fans. Cubs fans have an even bigger complex. The Sox, not Red, are the best. The Astros are cooked. But the stove is still warm.
First order of business? GMs. The Yankees re-enslaved theirs yesterday, with Brian Cashman trading a big pile of money and the possibility of not having to work for a sociopathic ex-felon for…a big pile of money and three years of having to work under a sociopathic ex-felon. Meanwhile, the Epstein saga in Boston drags on, supposedly nearing conclusion. It’s an important signing, for both talent-related reasons (who knows the Sox’ system better than Theo?), external PR-related reasons (what Boston GM in the last 20 years has handled the cannibalistic Boston press better?), and fan-appeasement reasons (this is the guy who most people perceive, rightly or wrongly, as having brought us our championship). The lack of significant leaks from the two sides leads me to believe that this is a standard negotiation, with some normal degree of contentiousness, and that Epstein is simply weighing his possible salary and lifestyle in Beantown against the demands and stresses of the position against another possible position in a far more boring city elsewhere. The hot (stove) discussion in Boston has centered on a perceived rift between Lucchino and Epstein, a chain-of-command fight over decision-making power and talent assessment, but this strikes me largely as media and fandom speculation, and not much else. It took Cashman until yesterday to re-up, so the delay on Epstein’s part is highly unsurprising and incredibly smart of him, negotiation-wise. In the end, Theo’s decision is probably all about weighing the challenge of the job and the money against the quality of life he enjoys (or resents) in Boston. It’s not likely about a power struggle (does he think those don’t exist elsewhere?), it’s not likely about Lucky. It is, for once, a decision all about himself. Here’s hoping he comes back.