We'll always have Paris.
By now, I'm guessing, the Nation has come to grips with the reality that Theo Epstein absolutely, positively is not coming back... though as co-author of the Globe story that said a deal had been reached with him 11 days ago, I hesitate to cast anything in absolutes.
What was striking about last night's meeting with Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner was the complete absence of the kind of remorse and anguish that principal owner John W. Henry had expressed a week earlier about Epstein's departure.
There were no expressions last night of it being a "sad, sad day" for the franchise, as Henry had said a week earlier. Henry blamed himself for what he clearly cast in terms of a debacle, the failed negotiations with Epstein.
That was hardly the case last night with Lucchino, who when asked if he bore responsibiity said it was Theo's decision to part. There was thinly veiled defiance, really, in Lucchino's assertion that the history of the franchise hadn't come to an end with Theo's decision to leave. And for as much as JWH might have wanted Theo back, there was no evidence that he'd ordered his CEO to make that happen, as Lucchino flatly said he'd made no attempt to reach out to Theo after the fact.
So, where do they go from here? Here were some of the things said last night:
LL: We’re trying to crystallize what’s really important for us. We wanted to see some people with different backgrounds, different skills. Certainly their enthusiasm and passion for the job is something they share in common.
LL: This is not the first time we’ve engaged in this process. You count (Bobby) Beathard back in Redskin days, it's been four times. There’s not one single criteria. We sit and debate before and after these interviews which are the most elements. But we do have sort of a written set of characteristics and elements we think are essential to doing the job well and to doing the job in Boston.
TW: These men all come from very impressive organizations. They’ve all worked admirably in organizations where their resources were not as robust as (those of the) Red Sox. I know we learned a lot today.
TW: I think the policies are the same. I applauded Larry for his out of the box thinking when he recommended Theo and I think that’s the same kind of thinking we’re looking at as we go forward. I've got every confidence in the world, as I look at the people working for the Red Sox. I think they’re all excellent, whether it's Janet Marie Smith or Sam Kennedy or Mike Dee or Sean McGrail, who works for NESN, these are all really talented people. We’re going to find someone who may not have the identical attributes of Theo but is going to be excellent.