Epstein gives thoughts on Pesky's passing


Epstein gives thoughts on Pesky's passing

BALTIMORE Though Theo Epstein is far away in Chicago running the Cubs and wants nothing to do with the current controversies swirling at Fenway, the former Red Sox GM knows whats going on. Epstein was also aware of the unfortunate passing of Sox icon Johnny Pesky on Monday afternoon, and had plenty to say about the 92-year-olds six decade association with the Sox franchise at every conceivable level.

Pesky was a regular presence around the clubhouse, dugout and field during Epsteins tenure running the Sox, and the Brookline native always knew exactly what kind of importants he held within Sox lore.

Heres what Epstein had to say when asked about the passing of Pesky and what hell miss about him:

Just his generosity of spirit. He was always happy to be at the ballpark, so that really rubbed off on everyone around him. He always believed in players, always had players backs and saw the best in everybody, including players and just baseball. The Red Sox organization meant so much to him that he was just always happy to be at Fenway. That helped on those tough days seeing how much he genuinely enjoyed it, how long hed been there and helped you with your own mood sometimes when you needed it. He had that effect on a lot of people so hell be sorely missed. He was a great baseball guy with a tremendous amount of knowledge and was always telling great Ted Williams stories and a real living link to the past. Hell be sorely missed.

The Red Sox will wear black bands on the sleeve of their uniforms for the rest of the season when theyre on the road, and theyll wear white patches with Peskys No. 6 on the left shoulders of their home uniforms for the rest of the season to honor Peskys memory.

Bobby Valentine said that Felix Doubront was on schedule to jump back into the rotation after his skipped start in the series against the Orioles. That means Doubront should get a start against the Angels in the series following the weekend three-game set against New York at Yankee Stadium.

Hes going to throw his bullpen soon. I think once we get home hell be right back into the saddle, said Valentine, who made a decision to skip the young lefty when he was showing signs of fatigue giving his high innings pitched total.

Jacoby Ellsburys 38-game hitting streak vs. Orioles is the second longest since 1900 for any player versus any team. Vladimir Guerreros 44-game streak vs. Texas is the only longer streak since 1900. Ellsbury went 2-for-4 in Wednesdays loss to the Orioles to extend that streak.

Mark Reynolds has been a killer against the Red Sox this season while hitting .423 (11-for-26) with four doubles, four home runs, seven walks, seven runs scored and 13 RBIs against Boston. To put that into proper perspective the all-or-nothing Reynolds is hitting .216 for the season.

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

Sometime over the next 10 or so days, either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians will win the 2016 World Series.

Naturally, that will mean one of baseball's two longest-suffering franchises will end their championship drought. Either the Cubs will win their first title since 1908, or the Indians will win for the first time since 1948.

That alone should make for an epic World Series.

But there's another bit of history at stake, too - one of legacies.

In addition to the great discomfort felt by Red Sox ownership -- which fired the manager of one participating team and was seemingly happy to hold the door open for the exit of an executive now running the other - it will also almost certainly result, eventually, in either Terry Francona or Theo Epstein being enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

Epstein would go down as the architect who helped two star-crossed franchises win titles - the Red Sox in 2004, and the Cubs this fall.

The Red Sox went 86 years between championships; the Cubs would be ending a run of futility that stretched across 108 seasons.

That would provide Epstein with an unmatched resume when it comes to degree of difficulty. It's one thing to win it all; it's another altogether to do so with the Sox and Cubs, two clubs, until Epstein's arrival, linked in ignominy.

Epstein could become only the fourth GM in modern history win a World Series in both leagues. Frank Cashen (Orioles and Mets); John Schuerholz (Royals and Braves) and Pat Gillick (Blue Jays and Phillies).

He would also join a short list of executives who have won three rings, a list that includes contemporaries Brian Cashman and Brian Sabean.

Of course, Epstein can't claim to have constructed the entire Cubs roster, no more than he could have done when the Red Sox won in '04.

In Boston, Epstein inherited key players such as Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Similarly, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras pre-date Epstein's arrival on the North Side.

But Epstein is responsible for nearly the remainder of the roster, and hiring manager Joe Maddon, the coaching staff and most of the Baseball Operations staff, including GM Jed Hoyer and scouting director Jason McLeod.

Francona's influence on the Indians is just as obvious.

Hired in late 2012 after spending a year in the ESPN broadcast booth, he inherited a team which had suffered through four straight losing seasons. In the five previous years before Francona's hiring, the Indians averaged just over 72 wins per season.

Since his arrival, the Indians have posted four straight winning seasons, with two playoff appearances, while averaging 88 wins per season.

It hasn't seemed to matter to the Indians that they've been without two of their three best starters (Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco) this postseason or arguably, their best offensive player for all but 11 games this season (Michael Brantley).

The Indians don't make excuses for injuries, or bemoan their modest payroll. Under Francona, they just win.

This postseason, he's made up for the absences in the rotation by masterfully utilizing reliever Andrew Miller anywhere from the fifth to the ninth inning.

A third World Series would put Francona in similarly rare company. Only 10 managers have won three or more World Series and just six have done so since World War 2 - Walter Alston, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Bruce Bochy Sparky Anderson and Casey Stengel.

The individual accomplishments of Epstein and Francona won't take center stage this week and next -- that attention will, rightly, go to their respective beleaguered franchises.

But the subtext shouldn't be overlooked. Once the partying and the parades come to an end, a path to Cooperstown for either the winning manager or winning president of baseball operations can be cleared.