(Epstein, moments before the plug is pulled on a 20 minute version of “How Much Art Martone Can You Take?”)
Perhaps ignorant that Boston’s general manager has been harshly criticized by the CHB’s colleagues at the Hartford Courant and Boston Herald over the past few days, The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy takes further swipes at the supposedly teflon Theo Epstein.
The SS Red Sox is sinking fast in the American League. The sun no longer shines on the handsome head of young Theo (wonder if he’s signed his much-celebrated contract yet). The computer-geek management style has been thoroughly exposed in the last two days and there’s a perfect storm brewing upstairs on Yawkey Way.
The way things are going, Young Theo might don that gorilla suit again, but this time he might need it to hide from an angry Nation of paying customers who want to know why nothing was done at the trade deadline and how you try to win a pennant with no lefty in the bullpen and a collection of dead arms and dead presidents (Mr. Van Buren, I presume) posing as major league pitchers.
We are now officially in the middle of “Son of Massacre” weekend. In 1978, it was 42-9 over four games. The Sox were outhit, 67-21, and committed 12 errors while losing four straight at home to the Bombers. The first three games of this series have been equally hideous, and young Theo, who was unavailable after yesterday’s carnage, is getting his lunch fed to him by one Brian Cashman as the Sox threaten to suck all the wind out of what’s left of summer.
If you’re still scoring at home, the Red Sox have lost 10 of their last 14 games and have gone from four games ahead of the Yankees to 4 1/2 behind since the Fourth of July. They are 4 games behind the White Sox in the wild-card hunt. Forty games remain, but it’s not going to matter if the Sox don’t go to battle with major league pitchers. Too-good-to-be-traded Manny Delcarmen coughed it up in relief again yesterday and was part of 11 straight balls and two bases-loaded walks in a five-run Yankee sixth.
The last time the Yankees scored in double digits in three games in one Fenway series was in 1927 when the Pinstripes had guys named Ruth and Gehrig in the lineup. The Yankees have batted around five times in three games. One wonders if perhaps even cyberowner Henry has seen enough spread-sheet baseball for one season.
The cruise is over and so is the free ride for Theo. No disgrace in that, it happens to all of them, but the Sox need a quick turnaround to keep Epstein out of the shark-infested waters that devoured the likes of Lou Gorman and Dan Duquette.
I know it is fashionable to bash the heck out of Dan, but give him some credit here. He managed to refer to Epstein as “Young Theo” just twice in successive paragraphs, and likewise, terms such as “computer-geek”, “cyberowner” and “spread-sheet” are employed with great discrimination.