On the surface, it would be easy to celebrate Epstein™s return as a glorious reconciliation, but it would be foolish to do so. We already know too much. When Epstein (above) walked away from the Red Sox on Oct. 31, his departure was looked upon nobly. In part because Lucchino diddled around during contract negotiations, Epstein thumbed his nose at the Sox and walked out the door.
He had his whole life in front of him.
Who needed the Red Sox?
Now, Epstein is returning, and we cannot help but wonder: Why? Epstein is young and smart, and he (along with Lucchino and Henry) built the Red Sox into champions generally by making shrewd decisions. The Red Sox played the percentages during their run to the world title, yet it certainly seems now ” for Epstein, in particular ” the chances of failure are much greater than chances of success.
If this all blows up again, after all, Epstein will have nobody to blame but himself.
As for the overall health of the Red Sox, we similarly wonder and worry. No matter what nonsense the Sox peddle about Lucchino™s unchanged role, it certainly seems now as if Henry is backing Epstein. The entire series of events that led to Epstein™s departure spun from the fractured relationship between mentor and apprentice, at which point Epstein walked. Now the owner of the club is bringing Epstein back, presumably in an elevated capacity, which only makes you wonder if there is a ticking time bomb in the Red Sox front office.
What happens the next time something goes wrong?
In the interim, at least for the time being, the Red Sox would like us to believe order has been restored on the Good Ship Lollipop. Epstein has returned, and this entire, peculiar episode seems closed, all of which is good news for a Red Sox franchise that has been operating in a state of flux since Theo departed.
But if you truly believe this all is over, think again.