I was sadly made aware of another corner of the internet that would be better left unexplored yesterday, thanks to intrepid Friend of Aisle 424, @AndrewCieslak over on Twitter. I don't know how he found it or what provoked me into asking him what he was pissed off about or why I clicked on the link that I assuredly knew would make me want to smash my iPhone and slit my throat with the broken pieces, but I did anyway.
You know how we have likened Rant Sports to a poor man's Bleacher Report? Well, this fucking site is where people who don't make the cut at Rant Sports go to type nonsense on the internet. This thing is so bad, I'm not even going to provide a link because fuck these people trying to drive traffic. If you want to find it, you can Google it if you want, but this is the bulk of the nonsense entitled: "Plain and Simple: Is Theo Epstein Baseball’s Biggest Fraud?"
If you take a moment to look deeper into Epstein’s moves with the Red Sox, the Cubs would have seen that this was going to turn into a nightmare.
Epstein took over a Red Sox organization that was ready to win. And ready to win big. With a core of Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek, that offense was lethal. But what made it that much easier for Epstein to win was the starting rotation that was already in place – led by Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe.
But where did the Boy Genius really have an advantage over every G.M. in baseball this side of the Yankees? Payroll.
When Boston won its first World Series title in 2004, they were second in payroll. There was no team within $20 million dollars. The same thing happened again in 2007, when the Red Sox won their second championship. Let me repeat, no other team came within $20 million.
With that type of payroll advantage, Theo was able to overcome major mistakes he made on the free agent market. He spent bad money on overrated talent like J.D. Drew, Jason Bay, Eric Gagne, Jason Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Any GM that isn’t running a big market club could never make those types of mistakes, and still win.
In Chicago, Theo didn’t get anything close to what he inherited with the Red Sox. Not in payroll, and certainly not in talent. All Theo inherited was a full-fledged war with the roof-top owners, and a massive roster rebuild.
Theo and his boy-toy Jed Hoyer have been preaching patience and player development since they took over this sinking ship, but outside of Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz – where was all this player development in Beantown that the boy genius talks about?
I guess we shouldn't be surprised, what with Gordo taking every opportunity to shit all over what Theo accomplished in Boston. It stands to reason mouthbreathers with access to the internets will find a way to make us all dumber for having read their bullshit. All I could do while reading that crap was picture the author, Del, sitting around in his Theriot jersey with his friends, It's Gonna Happen signs sprawled pell mell across an apartment amongst Bud Light tall boys and Maxim magazines with the pages stuck together, bitching about Theo at their weekly People's Front of Cubs Nation Meeting (not to be confused with the Cubs Nation People's Front or the Popular Front of Cubdom (which is just Alvin)).
Del: What did Theo ever do for the Red Sox?
PFCN Member: David Ortiz?
PFCN Member: David Ortiz.
Del: Oh. Yeah, he did give them Papi. That's true, yeah.
PFCN Member: And the mid-season deal for Mientkiewicz and Cabrera.
Other PFCN Member: Oh, yeah, the deadline deal, Del. Remember what their infield defense used to be like?
Del: I'll grant you Papi and infield defense, the two things Theo did.
PFCN Member: And Dustin Pedroia.
Del: Yeah, obviously Dustin Pedroia. I mean Pedroia goes without saying, doesn't he? But apart from Papi, an improved infield defense and Dustin Pedroia…
Other PFCN Member: Buchholz.
PFCN Member: Lester.
Other PFCN Member: Papelbon.
Del: Yeah, yeah, all right, fair enough.
PFCN Member: And Carmine.
Other PFCN Member: That's something they'd really miss, Del, if Theo took that when he left.
PFCN Member: Ellsbury.
Other PFCN Member: And the Yankees don't win the World Series all the time now.
PFCN Member: He certainly knew how to keep the Yankees in check. Let's face it, he's the only one who could in a place like Boston. (laughter)
Del: All right, but apart from Big Papi, middle infield defense, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Lester, Papelbon, Pedroia, the Carmine data analysis system and the Yankees only winning once in his tenure with Boston, what has Theo ever done for the Red Sox?
Third PFCN Member: Broke The Curse?
Del: Oh, The Curse. Shut up!