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Monday, December 27, 2004

Theo Is God

Red Sox GM has been declared "Bostonian of the Year" by the Boston Globe Magazine. I understand choosing someone related to the Red Sox sucess, but still it strikes me as a touch questionable given that the Globe has an ownership stake in the Sox (technically, the New York Times company owns both the Globe and part of the Red Sox). It's perhaps a few steps removed from declaring one of the paper's own columnists the journalist of the year.

Anyway, there are plenty of good bits in the story, among them:

    Epstein does an Ali G impression
    His parents tell him about the wacko callers to sports radio
    He was so stressed after the Nomar trade he took a sleeping pill
    He has no plan for a future political career

That last one is in spite of the urgings of some.

How about a political future? Don't count on it. Lajoie has told Epstein to get out of baseball after 10 years and run for senator and then president. "That's what I see in this man." Yet Leslie Epstein says Theo recently told him he has no interest in politics. That may surprise people who saw him stump for John Kerry in New Hampshire. But Epstein says that as strongly as he opposes the Bush administration, he was reluctant to mix baseball and politics. He agreed to speak out for Kerry only after seeing Schilling, during a live interview on Good Morning America, urge people to vote for Bush. (Both he and Schilling say the political divide in no way strained their friendship.)

So what does Epstein see himself doing down the road? He admits he doesn't want to be a GM forever. Eventually, he'd like to settle down and have a family, which is hard to picture right now. "There is no way a human being can physically maintain the work schedule and pace that Theo sets for himself," says John Henry. And, as much as baseball is at his core, he hopes someday to have an impact outside the game, something he sees his brother doing by improving the lives of the students he works with. "There are a lot of people suffering," he says. "My brother does something about it every day, and I don't. But I certainly will at some point."

That is a hell of a question: how does a 30-year-old GM top what he has already accomplished by getting the Red Sox a World Series championship? Sports Frog's garyclark noted after the World Series that he wouldn't want to have to deal with the expectations of being Epstein's son either.