Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Blue Sox

All Things Boston

Wacko conspiracy theory to explain Depo's firing: McCourt's lust for all things Boston peaks when he finds out he has a shot at Theo Epstein, so he dumps Depo to open up the GM spot. Then he trades for Manny, signs Johnny Damon and Nomar, and hires Grady Little as skipper. To top it off he changes the name of the club to the Boston Blue Sox of Los Angeles.

Don't think Frank would go that far? All the evidence you need is his interview with Depo. It's not readily apparent from the transcript of the meeting in which Depo discusses his baseball philosophy, use of statistics, etc. To really understand what happened you have to experience it as McCourt did:
Depo: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Harvard blah balh blah blah.

McCourt: You went to Harvard? Isn't that near Boston?
Yes, much like Ginger, McCourt only hears one thing -- in his case, Boston. Of course, McCourt was later dismayed to find out that Depo worked for Oakland and Cleveland. That simply wouldn't cut it when there was a real Bostonian to be had.

Back in the real world, whatever McCourt's machinations, this scenario will not come to pass.
Epstein quit because he had conflicts with Lucchino, so why on earth would he subject himself to McCourt and Lasorda. Also there is that little problem that Frank won't / can't afford to shell out the cash that Theo would demand.

Worst Case Scenario

By the time Theo bursts McCourt's
Boston-philic bubble, Gillick and Hunsicker may well already have jobs with Philly and Tampa. Then Tommy gets his wish and McCourt turns to Bowden.

To make matters worse, Arizona has already hired Theo's former assistant Josh Byrnes as GM. Towers could well go to Boston because he is buddies with
Lucchino, which could induce San Diego to hire Epstein for revenge. There's also a good chance Depo could take a front office job with Colorado to work with his friend Dan O'Dowd. Of course the only thing that could possibly follow in this nightmare scenario is the hated Giants firing Sabean and then somehow convincing Beane to cross the bay.

What Actually Happens

The chance the club can land Epstein is pretty slim. Of course if McCourt somehow managed to, it would mean the club was in good hands. While he might not be quite the genius Depo is, he does seem to be more outgoing and more adept at PR. And the WS ring would give him some cover to make tough moves that Depo clearly didn't have going for him.

The likely choices appear to be
Gillick and Hunsicker. Although a step down from Depo, neither would be a disaster (unless they let Tommy meddle too much). But McCourt does have competition for these guys and will have to pay relatively big money to get them.

Hence, Bowden is a real possibility. The combination of McCourt, Lasorda and Bowden would be really hard for this Dodger fan to take. Of course, Bowden would mortgage the farm to bring in some big names now (albeit big names with team
chemistry). The team will do much better in 2006 -- maybe even make it to the first round of playoffs -- and Bowden will be hailed as a savior in the idiotic local press. All the while other clubs in the west will be building a base for sustained future success.

No to Gillick, apparently. God I wish Epstein became GM...
So says Ken Rosenthal at http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5044354.

So if the mediocre option (Gillick) is out, there is at least some chance that Epstein might actually be considered. There are rumors that he is on McCourt's list of GM candidates.

Of course, Gillick being out also increases the chances of Bowden getting the job.
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