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Theo Epstein On Boston Exit

October 25, 2011 by staff 

Theo Epstein On Boston ExitTheo Epstein On Boston Exit, Theo Epstein strives to ensure that there are no bad feelings about his departure from Boston Red Sox.

First, Epstein took a full page ad in the Boston Sunday Globe to thank your bosses, colleagues and fans of the Red Sox.

But for anyone who felt he still had some ‘splainin to do on your way out the door, Epstein accommodate those seeking answers to a publisher in the world on the day he is called to be named the new general manager Chicago Cubs.

If Epstein is to be taken at his word, one thing is clear in its 1,600 words of farewell to Boston: He’s always been more concerned with staying his welcome and was ready to move on.

Football legend Bill Walsh used to say that coaches and managers must seek change after 10 years with the same team. The theory is that both the individual and the organization benefit from a change after so much time together. The executive rebirth and energy that comes with a new challenge, the organization receives a new perspective, and the possibility of real change that comes with new leadership. This idea resonated with me.

We do not know is exactly when Walsh first started playing with some Epstein. Have you always been a restless soul, with a wandering eye toward the next challenge? Seed was planted for the first time gave the Red Sox after the 2005 season? Or was the collapse of the team in September – and all the scapegoats that came with it – the last dose of Epstein’s claim to?

Epstein also indicates that the Cubs are the only job I could imagine leaving the Red Sox to take. So maybe it was some convenient time, if not exactly perfect, because he had a year left on his contract with Boston.

But once the contract expired, Epstein sounds like you’re ready to go. In the editorial, which mentions the preparation of assistant GM Ben Cherington to take over in 2012. The transition planning was discussed with the property, too. This is not someone fishing a contract extension. This was the development of an exit strategy.

Personally I have always believed that once you think about leaving a job, it’s time to go. I’ve tried, I’ve seen friends and colleagues go through it. I’m sure most everyone reading this can relate to.

To bring it back to sports, I remember last year Lloyd Carr as Michigan football coach. When it was revealed that Carr wanted to resign after the 2006 season, the struggles of 2007 (the Appalachian State loss, a record of 9-4) made much more sense. Carr’s heart could not have been fully at work if she wanted to go.

So with a new manager to be chosen – and the relationship of work that needs to be developed – Epstein apparently did not think it was appropriate to conduct the search when he had an eye to the exit. And if Cherington was full and GM as the successor, why not let him take the wheel of such a decision more important than the team leader in the 2012 season?

The explanation is good enough for Red Sox fans and media? Surely you will find over days, weeks and months to come. But it is as honest to me. And given the lack of tension and resentment surrounding his departure, no reason to disbelieve him.

Epstein went much more in his opinion piece, but probably missed the collapse of September more than what many prefer. But who can blame him? Cleaning up that mess is not their problem. Epstein is a mentality that may have carried through the next season, had stuck around.

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