Shaughnessy then refers to Cherington and Hoyer as "the not-ready-for-prime-time co-GMs" and "shotgun wedding co-GMs". It's cute (in a lame sort of way), but not very accurate. From trading for Beckett to getting Marte for Edgar to stealing Loretta for The Stud Who Hits Bombs, I'd say they've done very well this winter.
Tony Massarotti on the ongoing "soap opera" and possible "ticking time bomb" in the front office:
On the surface, it would be easy to celebrate Epstein’s return as a glorious reconciliation, but it would be foolish to do so. ... Epstein is returning, and we cannot help but wonder: Why? ... [I]t certainly seems now — for Epstein, in particular — the chances of failure are much greater than chances of success. If this all blows up again, after all, Epstein will have nobody to blame but himself.Mazz also claims the franchise has been operating "in a state of flux" since Theo departed.
As usual, Art Martone has a much more balanced view.
In reading about Epstein's return and what the various machinations and supposed power struggles might mean for the front office, I find I don't really care. Not yet, anyway. I don't see a real problem in what has happened this winter. The club has stuck to its philosophy, ignoring those people who would have loved to have kept the 2004 team intact forever. They seem fine with beginning the season with Cora at shortstop and I'm confident a center fielder will arrive in a trade.
Meanwhile, Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer are thrilled to be working with Epstein again. ... Hoyer: "The entire department is very excited. Not only is Theo a great friend, he is a great talent. Having him back only makes us stronger, and our goal is to have the strongest department possible."
From yesterday's online chat with the Providence Journal's Sean McAdam:
Q: Were the Sox really in trouble without Theo Epstein?That all sounds about right. And couple that with Beckett and a much-improved bullpen and I'm ready to get this 2006 model out of the showroom and onto the street.
A: I'm not sure they were doomed without Theo, but there's little doubt they're better off with him. I think there's a fallacy about how things would have been different had Theo remained on the job last fall. I don't believe that. I think Johnny Damon would still be a Yankee, Edgar Renteria would still be a Brave and Josh Beckett would be in the rotation. I think Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington had a similar philosophy. What they lack, however, is Theo's experience and aggressiveness. ...
Q: What do you think that the two or three strongest possibilities are right now to fill the holes at center field and shortstop, and how realistic are those possibilities?
A: I think Alex Cora will open the season at shortstop. He won't hit much, but neither will free agent Alex Gonzalez, and at least Cora is signed for reasonable money. Pedroia could make things interesting with a good spring training, but I think it's more likely that he gets into the mix in midseason. As for center field, I think they'll try to make a deal for either Crisp or Jeremy Reed. Theo loves Reed, but he won't give Arroyo and Jon Lester for him. So unless the Mariners' asking price comes down, they will focus primarily on Crisp. ...
Q: Do you think Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen and Lester will start the year in Boston or Pawtucket? Do you see all of them making it to Fenway by the end of the season?
A: I believe Papelbon will be part of the rotation to start the year. ... It's hard to see Delcarmen or Hansen making the team out of spring training ... I see Hansen as the closer of the future, but they would prefer him to get some Triple A work before putting him in the Boston bullpen. As for Lester, he could do what Papelbon did last year -- spot start in midseason, and be part of the staff in the final two months if he shows he's ready.