Oct. 25, 2011
BOSTON — Does grammar tell the tale of former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein’s self-interest?
Analyzing Epstein’s farewell letter to the fans that ran as a Boston Globe op-ed on October 25, media critic Dan Kennedy counted 66 uses of the words “I,” “me” and “my” — to only six uses of the word “team.”
(The figure rises to 25 when you add “our,” “ourselves,” “us” and “we.”)
Longtime sportscaster and regular WGBH commentator Bob Lobel thought it was a dead giveaway that Epstein’s departure was motivated by ego.
“That is not okay,” he said in an October 25 conversation with Jared Bowen, guest host of "The Emily Rooney Show." Lobel edits his own opinion columns if he feels he’s overused the first-person singular. The fact that Epstein didn’t edit all that “I” business out — “That’s a red flag,” Lobel said.
Then again, the sportscaster has never been a big Theo fan. Lobel believed Epstein's special treatment from Red Sox Nation was circumstantial.
“Here’s a local kid, Brookline, great family background. You take that away, he’s just another guy. And if he’s just another guy he did not do a good job here and in no way should he be given credit for the two World Series,” Lobel said.
The first line of the op-ed is “I grew up in Brookline. . . .”
But Lobel wished Epstein well in his new job — and was interested to see how he would fare: “Now he’s out in Chicago and this will be the real test. The one good thing he’s got working for him, he’s got a new owner that’s got almost as much money as his old owner.“
According to espn.com, the Red Sox team salary total was the third highest in Major League Baseball in 2011 at $160 million. The Cubs came in sixth of 30 teams at $126 million.
Meanwhile, new Sox executive vice president and general manager Ben Cherington said in an interview with radio station WEEI that his top priority is finding a manager to replace Terry Francona, who left two days after the Red Sox completed a September collapse that left them out of the playoffs.
He said he planned to start interviewing "serious candidates" as soon as possible, adding, "We’re close to an initial list of candidates and we’ll probably try to start setting up interviews very soon."
Cherington downplayed reports that some pitchers were drinking in the clubhouse during games. "I don’t believe that anybody should be judged by one moment, one action, one incident of behavior, especially when that behavior was perhaps drinking a beer," he said.
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Jonas commented on 10.28.11
There might not be any "I"s in team but there are two in winning. There were a lot of "I"s because epstein was describing his personal reminences of his time as GM. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT EPSTEIN. THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE ARTICLE.
Lawrence commented on 10.25.11
During the show Bob Lobel stated that is was the general manager previous to Theo Epstein, Dan Douquette, who was largely responsible for shaping the team that brought Boston its first championship in 86 years. This simply is not correct. Curt Schilling, Orlando Cabrera, Dave Roberts, Bill Mueller, Keith Foulke, Kevin Millar and David Ortiz all were key players for the Red Sox 2004 championship and all were either signed or acquired through trades by Theo Epstein. Sorry Bob.