Welcome toFirst Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox.
THIS IS QUIET? It was a quiet day on the Theo EpsteinTerry FranconaRed Sox manager's front, if your idea of "quiet" is . . .
Francona taking to the WEEI airwaves for kind of a farewell speech (csnne.com), in which he said, among things, that a) he'd have come back to the Red Sox if ownership had picked up the 2012 option on his contract, and b) he got a condolence call from Manny Ramirez. (!)
Tito finding a temp job: Analyst on FOX' ALCS broadcast. (csnne.com)
The Sox dumping first-base coach Ron Johnson. (csnne.com)
Other than that, not much.
YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS OURS: As for Epstein, everyone's gone to ground (to paraphrase Silvio Dante). The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman says no one knows what's going to happen in the Theo Epstein saga.
HERE'S MINE: But CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney knows what should happen. Hint: It doesn't involve staying in Boston.
YOU THINK THE PRESSURE'S BAD NOW? Just wait 'til -- if -- Theo gets to Chicago, says Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly. (ESPN.com)
A LITTLE MORE ELOQUENT THAN 'EEI's CRANKY YANKEE, BUT YOU GET THE DRIFT: Howard Bryant lays out the standard anti-Theo Epstein screed. (ESPN.com) Bryant also claims the "2003 Red Sox introduced then abandoned a disastrous Bill James concept called the 'closer-by-committee,' " which is fine except it's a "concept" that James a) never developed and b) never advocated (and certainly never advocated as an employee of the Red Sox).
MORE ON THE MANAGER'S FRONT: Joe Maddon says the Sox haven't yet approached the Rays about permission to talk to Dave Martinez (St. Petersburg Times), though everyone expects they will.
AND MORE: Beer Leaguer explains why Francona and the White Sox are a bad fit.
MY CONDOLENCES: He was watching it long distance, from Cincinnati, but ex-Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo felt bad for his former team during the September collapse. (csnne.com)
OUT OF THE BOX THINKING: Bleacher Report's Shaun Toback suggests the Sox dump David Ortiz and sign Prince Fielder.
FAR-REACHING: The Red Sox' failure to make the playoffs affected local politics in Attleboro. (attleboro.patch.com)
AND FINALLY . . . The Tampa Tribune's Joe Henderson says Stu Sternberg could have postponed his the-end-is-near speech for at least a day, to give folks time to salute the Rays for their marvelous season.