Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff
October 28, 2005 10:20 AM
Red Sox starter Curt Schilling called in to Boston sports radio station WEEIís Dennis and Callahan program today and offered his perspective on Theo Epstein's situation.
ďFrom what Iím hearing, Iím excited. I really honestly thought that this was not going to happen. I thought Theo was going to be gone and I was upset and disappointed with the thought of that happening but my impressions of everything that happened was that if he was coming back he was going to have a lot more latitude to do the things he wants to do as the general manager and I wasnít sure that that was necessarily going to happen but Iím guessing it is now, and thatís a good thing.Ē
ďI think money had something to do with it (the snag in negotiations). Theo wanted to be, and I think in a sense rightly deserved to be, one of the better paid GMs in the game. I look at his situation and I see a general manager that is equivalent to an arbitration eligible player. Itís after his third year. Heís put a club together thatís gone out there and gone to the postseason three times, won a World Series, and heís certainly deserving of whatever he can get financially.Ē
ďI think the most important thing for me is Theoís a good person first and foremost and I think that has a lot to with it. Heís not deceitful, at least not to me, and I think if the situation called for it he could be. But heís an honest guy. Heís a good guy ... thereís a lot more to this thing than being a job to him. Being born and raised here and having the Red Sox be as important to him as they are, it gives him a little different look at his job than other general managers have ... but I think above all else is he understands and heís a compromiser. A lot of teams that Iíve been on donít even want to see the general manager, much less have them in the clubhouse. And Theo understands that the clubhouse is our home and he doesnít invade that privacy often, but when he does he doesnít make you uncomfortable. And that says as much about him as anything.Ē
ďI donít know that I was led to believe he was out of here (based on some information he had) ... I was under the impression it probably wasnít going to happen based on what I had heard because the obvious point of this is Theo and Larry (Lucchino) have been together a long time and I think everybody sees the relationship as Theo riding coattails, or some people analyze it as such, and itís not. Theo has made himself into what he is and I heard some people talking about the fact that if Theo goes theyíll bring in another guy, cause itís the system and I absolutely 100 percent disagree with that.Ē
ďI think people underestimate the human element in sports a lot of times. He (Theo) is every bit a part of the atmosphere around here as Chris Correnti (the recently released Red Sox trainer) from some viewpoints and when you take people like that away, playing in certain places becomes a lot less attractive. Theo Epstein is a draw for me to be here now. I enjoy him. I trust him and that matters. And you donít find a lot of people in that role that are as personable, and as understanding, and get it as he does.Ē
ďI think that this Theo situation is actually playing into this (the Sox possibly waiting too long on dealing with Johnny Damon). I think in a sense, and I donít mean this in a negative way, Theo is trying to handle his own personal situation and I would imagine that would take precedent over working with the current players on the roster and trying to get stuff done. I think that was interfering, it might have been, it might not have been, thatís me speculating but I donít know. I think that one of the things that I like about Theo is I believe in my heart of hearts weíre gonna have the 25 best possible players we can have on this roster. I think Johnny Damon is one of those guys. Iím hoping he comes back. I think he wants to come back. I think they want him back. And obviously if it makes financial sense, itís gonna happen. But whatís financial sense to one side is lunacy to another and when you add Scott Boras to the mix weird things happen."
ďWhy would you want to move somewhere if you thoughtÖ what you perceive to be the ultimate set-up for Theo obviously isnít. This is a different environment. I would imagine that heís one of the top two or three guys that when he walks out of his house, itís gotten real hard for him to function in society around here. Cause everybodyís got a trade for him. Everybodyís got a new lineup to run out there on Monday. Everybodyís got a new idea to pass to the manager. I donít let people tell me that stuff. I tell them to shut the hell up, but I would imagine Theo gets a lot of it."
"Part of it is principle too. I think that Theo believes he belongs on a certain rung of the ladder and Iím not sure that he doesnít. Iím not making those decisions but in my opinion, he should be up there somewhere."
"A lot of clubs are starting to infuse a lot of young quote unquote talent in out of sight places and decision making spots in clubs. Moneyball started the snowball rolling and I think itís just gotten bigger with Billy Beane and with Theo and the thing about them (the new crop of young GMs in baseball) is they havenít sucked. Theyíve been good and theyíve been at two extremes. Youíve got Billy Beane operating on an incredibly limited budget in Oakland, and youíve got Theo operating with an unlimited budget and one of the best things heís done is heís tried to show a semblance of fiscal responsibility even though he probably doesnít have to in a sense. In the context of where we play and who we play against yes (it is an unlimited budget). We can outspend everybody except the team (Yankees) that can outspend the country and us. But the thing about it is Theo tries to make every dollar he spends go the mile. And itís not a sign and fill a spot, sign and fill a spot, sign and fill a spot, itís ĎIf Iím gonna spend this money, Iím gonna make sure I get the most out of it.í Thatís a different approach than maybe the Yankees who will gather it all up, sign it all, and sort it out later. Not that thatís a bad thing but itís different."