This isn't a GM search, it's a Capital One spoof.
Kevin Towers, no.
Doug Melvin, no.
J.P. Ricciardi, no.
David Forst, no.
Brian Sabean, no.
Tony LaCava, no.
Chris Antonetti, no.
Now add Atlanta's Dayton Moore to the suspicious mix of wary men who have told the Red Sox they're not interested in becoming general manager in Boston, an opening that at one time carried with it the distinction of being one of the best in the business. Fat payroll, rabid fans, life in the Hub. Dream come true, n'est-ce pas?
Guess not. The "no's" must know something. No?
Maybe instead it's a matter of shrinking payroll, obsessed fans, cutthroat media, and the most overpriced living expenses in the United States. Nightmare, indeed.
Ever since Theo Epstein resigned from his post Halloween night, things have gone from bad to worse to downright embarrassing for the Yawkey Way front office. Of all the candidates out there, only the entirely lackluster Jim Beattie and Jim Bowden are frantically raising their hands in the back of the classroom, each fruitlessly hoping to get his name called. Nut bag Tom Cruise had an easier job trying to find someone to work with before settling on that Pantene-dependent Felicity.
If indeed that Buster Olney quip yesterday about Epstein's desire to return, only to be rebuffed by the Sox, was leaked by a member of the front office, well then that fellow needs to get back to reading his public relations handbook. Think Epstein really wants to go back to this mess? If nobody else wants the job, isn't it becoming abundantly clear why he left it in the first place?
Yes, Towers, Moore, and Sabean were all simply too comfortable to uproot their families and take on new challenges, granted. But what about up-and-comers the likes of LaCava, who after being granted permission by Ricciardi to interview in Boston, declined in order to remain in Toronto. I mean, we're talking major, super-duper promotion here and the guy just wants nothing to do with the job, Larry Lucchino, and the Red Sox. Sirens, people.
Not good. In other news however, the EMC Club construction is running on schedule.
Imagine the job listing for this one: "Run the Boston Red Sox! Must possess passion for baseball, capitalism. Duties include revitalization of city streets and possibly minor leagues. Must have a cunning knack of dealing with know-it-all columnists, scathing talk radio, and fickle public as well as a willingness to succeed in a fromage-filled environment where finding the next "Tessie" is just as important as finding the next "Rocket." This job requires that you fire your agent so we can lowball you with an offer far short of what the last guy had tried to squeeze out of us."
The Boston Red Sox. You won't just be the general manager. You'll be the poster child of everything that goes wrong.
Let's face it, this is a suicide job, the only reason the likes of Beattie and Bowden are willing to take it. To be fair, Bowden has really rebuilt his resume with what he's accomplished with the Montreal-Washington franchise, but Beattie already has last year's Orioles calamity on his plate. He's got to be happy with what he can get after that. For guys like LaCava and Antonetti, well they'd have to be crazy to leave their posts for this place.
Which raises the interesting position of Jed Hoyer. Odds are the Red Sox' assistant to the general manager with no general manager to assist will be the next GM of the team. Even though he will surely be put in the unenviable position of following Epstein, at least he knows the system, knows what track the franchise is on. In the public's eyes, that's a good thing, even though the team is generally assumed by some to suffer a somewhat dramatic downturn in performance in 2006. Wouldn't John Henry want a guy like that making choices over has-beens like Beattie and Bowden? Besides, the Red Sox players seem to enjoy JD over too much J&B anyhow.
Does Hoyer even want that job, knowing the pressures and dead ends that come with it? Might he be waiting desperately for the team to hire someone, anyone, so that he can hop the next America West out of Logan to join Josh Byrnes in Phoenix? Peter Woodfork? Ben Cherington? Do any of them really want to delve into what their former colleague turned away from in spite of it being his passion?
Now that the Dodgers have hired Ned Colletti, the Red Sox are the only team in all of Major League Baseball without a general manager, with the winter meetings just a fortnight away and free agency in full swing. Don't expect much this offseason in terms of Christmas present pickups. If Boston can't get people to even interview for its general manager opening, what makes you think players will be pining to play here? Let's say B.J. Ryan gets similar offers from Boston and New York, and he looks at the chaos that is the front office, in addition to what happened to Keith Foulke, the cantankerous closer who became some deranged version of Sybil in the Boston environment. Guess where he's choosing.
Epstein quit, rather emotionlessly we might add, and this was his dream job. No tears were shed at his press conference if you remember, only a reminiscent hoot while he relayed the story of the gorilla suit.
The crying was reserved for Henry, who has had to watch his history-making franchise turn into something perceived nationally as a joke.
There was a parade just about a year ago, no? Nowadays, the only procession in Red Sox Nation is one of rejections.