In an interview for the April issue of Men's Journal, Orioles manager, Showalter, said of the Red Sox GM, "I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll.”
Could he be correct? We know the margin of error is much smaller on a small market team. How much blame should we put on Theo for the Sox poor showing?
Here’s my take; do you agree?Some of Theo Epstein's recent moves is biting the Sox in the a.ss. If they don’t turn it around soon then my money is on Sox missing the playoff and potentially struggling to finish above .500.
The fact is that Theo is not the revered visionary most Red Sox fans think. Theo is a follower, not a trend setter. When he first took over the Sox, on base percentage, OPS, and moneyball were in vogue due to Billy Beane's success in Oakland. Theo saw that, so he went out and sign a bunch of high OBP guys aka poor man's Adam Dunns (either take a walk, struck out, or hit for extra bases) like J.D. Drew, Todd Walker, Jeremy Giambi, Mark Bellhorn, Bill Mueller, etc.
After drug testing exposed a bunch of cheats and power in baseball disappeared the last couple of years, last year he's again followed what was hot , which was "defensive metric" and "UZR", but this stuff was so ridiculously overrated especially since the supposedly defensive specialists he signed were complete liability on offense instead of being 5 tool talents.
So he turns around 180 degrees this year and signs Crawford and Gonzalez. And I liked those moves like most Sox fans. But he is still saddled with other moves that have placed a big burden on the club. Giving Saltalamacchia the keys to the starting catching position was a mistake.
Another mistake was signing Scutaro as your every day ss during the bridge years. Remember Scutaro had one good offensive season before Theo acquired him, which was probably a fluke. He was an utility player and a journeyman who bounced around the minors. Then we have Drew who is always hurt and underachieves even when he is healthy.
And Theo dropped the ball with the starting pitching staff. John Lackey is overpaid and overrated. He did not deserve that contract. He won more than 15 games only once in his career (Greg Maddux won more than 15 games for 16 years in a row).
That same season, in 2007, he was 19-9 with 3.01 ERA, which was the only time he ever looked like a legit ace. He was never considered an elite pitcher in this league with his ERA consistently lurking around the 3.8 range. And he hasn’t proven to be any more effective in a Sox uniform. Finally, Matsuzaka's inability to stay healthy, productive, and well-conditioned, and consistent has made his signing a large mistake. Finally, will all these Theo blunders, doom Boston in the long-run?