Current Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein joined the Dennis and Callahan show Thursday morning on WEEI in Boston for his first Boston interview since taking the job with the Cubs. Epstein touched on a few interesting subjects about his time in Boston including the September collapse, John Lackey and Carl Crawford. He also said that the September collapse had nothing to do with him taking the job in Chicago — he would have left anyway.
To hear the full interview, click here.
Epstein knew something wasn’t right in the month of September with the team and revealed that Terry Francona, himself as well as the team had “multiple” meetings to help fix it, but to no avail.
“We knew something wasn’t right,” Epstein said. “There were all these small flare-ups that were happening that led to some meetings, some team meetings. We encouraged Tito to have a meeting and he did and he wanted to and he did it on his own in Toronto and it didn’t have the effect it usually has. That bothered him, it concerned us. We encouraged the players to have team meetings and they did have multiple (meetings), including one pretty significant one toward the end … maybe the third week of September. We felt that was going to work, it didn’t.”
He admitted that the Red Sox may have made a mistake when they signed Lackey to his contract three years ago and revealed that the team may have known the righty might have needed Tommy John surgery down the road.
“I look back, one thing we could do over … obviously the Red Sox added that clause in the contract at the time of the signing to get the extra year for Tommy John, so it was clear there was something less than perfect in the elbow,” he said. “To do that one over again, we made too much of an assumption he would still pitch up to his capabilities and maybe at some point he would have Tommy John.”
John Henry has come out and said that he did not support the Red Sox signing Carl Crawford. Epstein confirmed that story, but said that the rest of the team’s ownership at the time was on board.
“John’s right, he didn’t want to do that one, but everyone else did,” Epstein said. “It’s a sign of a good owner to empower your baseball people and that led to a lot of success over the last decade. It didn’t really bother me.”
The Red Sox and Cubs have still yet to finalize the compensation the Red Sox will receive for Epstein joining the Cubs.