Collapse still stings Epstein
Theo Epstein still can’t erase the Boston Red Sox’s collapse
last season from his mind.
Now the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations, he says
he remembers ”stuff from 2003.” And what happened late last
season, when he was Boston’s general manager, was the ”toughest of
all of them.”
”At the same time, you move on,” he added. ”You learn from
it, try to get better.”
The subject came up with the Red Sox visiting Wrigley Field for
the first time since 2005. Epstein spoke before Friday’s game.
The Red Sox were in line for a playoff spot but missed out for
the second straight year after going 7-20 in September, one of the
worst months in club history. The collapse led to Boston declining
manager Terry Francona’s option and Epstein jumping to Chicago, a
bitter end to one of the club’s most successful decades.
The Red Sox won championships in 2004 and 2007 with Epstein as
GM after going 86 years without one, and the Cubs are hoping he can
help bring them their first since 1908.
Clearly, they have a long way to go. They entered Friday’s game
with a major league-worst 21-42 record.
”We’ve been here six months,” Epstein said. ”There’s been
progress in a lot of different areas. Some of it is behind the
scenes. We’ve put together a new scouting plan, development
philosophy, getting them on the same page, commit to a vision for
the future as far as young players we’re trying to identify and
develop. A lot of work behind the scenes.”