Despite the fact former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has long since moved on to Chicago, he still has high praise for his old team.
Epstein, who was the Red Sox general manager from 2002 to 2011, became the Chicago Cubs‘ president of baseball operations in 2012, and has held that post ever since.
And even though he considers Boston a rival now, Epstein had plenty of nice things to say about his old team:
“I was rooting for individual players more than anything,” the Brookline, Mass., native told The Boston Globe in regards to the Red Sox’ 2018 World Series win.
“I have a great connection with a lot of the folks in their front office, still. I want to see them succeed. It was great to see that a lot of those people I care so much about put a fourth ring on their fingers. That’s pretty rare air. I was thrilled for everybody. But it’s been so long now. It was cool to be a part of that, but it’s a new generation of players now. But it’s fun to see the organization have success and what John (Henry), Tom (Werner), and Sam (Kennedy) have accomplished.”
Epstein has been in baseball since he was a college intern for the Baltimore Orioles.
He became the youngest general manager in MLB history at 28 when Larry Lucchino and the Red Sox gave him the position some 17 years ago.
Epstein was instrumental in helping the Red Sox break their 86-year championship “curse,” with the team winning its first World Series championship in 2004.
Epstein’s acquistions — including Curt Schilling and Kevin Millar, who were instrumental in the Red Sox’ 2004 run — helped power the team through the playoffs.
Schilling is famous for his “bloody sock” pitching performance that postseason, in which he pitched well despite having had surgery on his ankle, which was visibly bleeding through his sock.
Epstein departed Boston for Chicago after 2011, in which the team blew a nine-game lead in September and missed the playoffs.
Nonetheless, Epstein is still supportive and collegial with respect to his former team, despite the inherent level of competition:
“The postseason, for me, also stood out because it was such a masterpiece by [manager] Alex Cora.”
Epstein traded for Cora as a player in 2005.
As they say: The rest is history.
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