Imagine you’re a 12-year-old Red Sox who has known nothing but winning his (or her) entire life. You were only 5 years old when the team won its first World Series of your lifetime and, based on everybody else’s reaction, you could tell it was a big deal. You were all of 8 years old when the Red Sox won again.
Imagine, for you, winning is a habit. Theo Epstein can.
Epstein officially becomes the former general manager of the Red Sox on Tuesday when the Cubs introduce him in a news conference at Wrigley Field. In an op-ed published in Tuesday’s edition of The Boston Globe, Epstein offers those young fans an explanation. Or more accurately, he offers a 12-year-old version of himself and explanation.
“My whole outlook on life changed at age 12 as my twin brother and I writhed on the living room floor, devastated by Game 6 of the ’86 World Series,” Epstein writes. “Had you told me then that the Red Sox would go on to raise not one but two World Series flags, I wouldn’t have believed you. And had you told the 12-year-old me that I would someday walk away from my dream job as general manager of the Red Sox completely of my own volition, I would have thought you were crazy.
“I think that kid would appreciate an explanation — and so might some of you.”
In the op-ed, which you can read here, Epstein recalls the great moments of his tenure and takes responsibility for this season’s September collapse. He calls the Red Sox ownership group a “model for others to follow” and hopes his old team and new team “meet again in October not too many years from now.”
So, 12-year-old Theo, are you satisfied with grown-up Theo’s explanation?
Take one last, long look. By Tuesday afternoon, that Red Sox logo will be replaced by a red “C.”
“Well, I was more thinking that we had a real good chance with [Mark] Rzepcynski with a pinch-hitter [for David Murphy] or not, and if we got an out or not we were going to pitch around [Mike] Napoli and then go after the left-hander.”
— Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa explaining — or trying to explain — his bullpen moves in the eighth inning in Monday’s Game 5 of the World Series
Here’s Maria to remind us what’s really important.
The fans seem to love it, but how much do you want to bet that Nolan Ryan hates this sort of foolishness with the fury of a thousand suns?