Stability At the Top
On the same day the Red Sox could move into sole possession of the top spot in the American League East for the first time since the All-Star break, it is refreshing to know that there is also great stability at the top of the organization.
Theo Epstein will not need a gorilla suit to exit Fenway Park on Halloween this year. Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has reported that the GM — who has gone in less than six years from a 28-year-old wonderboy to one of the most respected executives in the game — is on the verge of signing a new contract.
Though owner John W. Henry basically told Shaughnessy the deal was done earlier on Tuesday, Henry backed off slightly on those comments to the rest of the media later in the day while conceding an announcement is imminent.
“I got a little ahead of where we are today in commenting
on what have been refreshingly private negotiations,” wrote Henry. “We are
not done, but we expect to have an announcement in the near future. I have
asked all involved not to comment until this is finalized.”
I wonder what this organization would like right now if Epstein, had, in fact, bolted in ’05. Would they have won it again in ’07?
At any rate, the Red Sox are lucky that upper management (Epstein and his staff) and field management (Terry Francona and his staff) is a big strength of this team. It is one less thing to worry about. Imagine having a Ned Yost-like situation in Milwaukee?
As for tonight’s game, I think it is important both in the short and long term. Obviously Beckett puts them back into first with a win. And if Beckett does that and is dominant in doing so, perhaps it is fair to forecast the ace to go on one of those runs he had late last season.
Though Lester has been a rock, there is something comforting about being able to rely on Beckett as the front man for the staff.