Epstein Speaks Out in Francona’s Book

Theo Epstein apparently did not pull any punches about his old bosses in Boston. In Terry Francona’s new book, “Francona: The Red Sox Years”, that is set to hit shelves on January 22, Epstein said John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino “made the team’s image a priority.”

According to a report from ESPN Boston, Epstein traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford due to pressure he received from the Red Sox owners to “build a sexy team.”

According to the report, Theo Epstein was told that the Red Sox did not have any marketable players and they “needed some sizzle.” Epstein is quoted in the book as saying, “They told us we didn’t have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle. We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We’d become too big. It was the furthest thing removed from what we set out to be.

Terry Francona told ESPN Boston that the Red Sox ownership will not come off in a bad light overall but the last chapter in the book, the way his time with the Red Sox ended, is “a hard chapter because it was a hard ending.”

Terry Francona From ESPN Boston:

“They come in with all these ideas about baseball, but I don’t think they love baseball. I think they like baseball. It’s revenue, and I know that’s their right and their interest because they’re owners … and they’re good owners. But they don’t love the game. It’s still more of a toy or a hobby for them. It’s not their blood. They’re going to come in and out of baseball. It’s different for me. Baseball is my life.”

Excerpts of the book were released to Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

Full Report from ESPN Boston

Theo Epstein figures to receive a lot of questions about what he said in the book on Friday night at the Cubs Convention.

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  • Dorasaga

    Taking Francona’s testimony as true (although he’s entitled to his own opinion as how to interpret the truth), I’ll say that the Redsox franchise was successful with all those marketing and other non-baseball related inputs.

    Before 2004, Bosox was a regional sports club, “just another club close by the Yankees.” Very soon, the former became a global brandname. You can go to Japan, Korea, or Venezuela, where baseball matters, and ask any fan, do you know the Redsox? And you’ll receive some positive answers.

    Meanwhile, the Cubs had become more regional. The whole “sore loser” and “loyal despite failure” of fans were imageries too engrained to the franchise, and limited the club’s potential moving outside of Illinois.

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