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Could the Red Sox be Interested in a Theo Epstein Reunion?

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Fair or not, somebody’s job is at stake whenever team collapses in the second half –– Red Sox fans know well and good following the Chicken and Beer-ridden September collapse of 2011.

That didn’t happen to the Chicago Cubs after the 2018 season, despite going 15-13 in September –– blowing what was a five-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central standings.

The final result? A Wild Card Game loss to the Colorado Rockies, who got rolled by the Brewers in three games in the NLDS.

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The “fall guy” of 2018 was hitting coach Chili Davis, who was responsible for a Cubs lineup that slashed .239/.303/.367 with just 116 runs scored (17th in the MLB). Not manager Joe Maddon. Not President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. It was ex-Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis.

Fast forward to Sept. 1 of this season. The Chicago Cubs are 2.5 games up on the Philadelphia Phillies and 3.0 games up on the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League’s second wild-card spot. It’s just the beginning of crunch-time for a Cubs team that is predominantly built from guys that were around for the collapse of the 2018 squad.

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Since Sept. 1, the Cubs are 9-12, highlighted by a seven-game losing streak, and have taken a nose-dive to 5.0 games behind the Brewers for the second wild-card spot. Another collapse at the absolute worst time for the Chicago Cubs. The offense has produced the third-most runs in the game this month, slashing .260/.343/.471 with the sixth-most wRC+ in baseball during the process (110).

The pitching has hit a rut, but do the Cubs actually think a simple dugout firing will solve their second-half woes the past two years?

Time will tell, but someone is bound to get the ax in the Windy City. Rumors have swirled that Joe Maddon likely won’t be the Cubs manager upon conclusion of the season, but the major question that remains is what will the Cubs be doing about Theo Epstein?

And, should he get fired, should the Red Sox be interested in bringing back the 45-year-old executive?

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Epstein was born in New York but grew up in Brookline, MA, where he went to high school with Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. It was in high school where the young Theo began dreaming of working for the Boston Red Sox.

After going to Yale University, Epstein was able to exercise his dream when the Red Sox hired him in November of 2002 after the Red Sox missed out on A’s GM Billy Beane. Epstein was this baby-faced 28-year-old getting his first taste at working for an MLB club.

He spent nine seasons as Red Sox General Manager, where the team went 839-619 (.575), won two World Series crowns, and made the playoffs in six of those nine seasons.

Average record: 93.2-68.8

In the eight seasons since relieving Epstein, the Red Sox are 691-600 (.535) with two World Series crowns but have only made the postseason in four of the eight seasons.

Average record: 86.4-75 (five games remaining in 2019)

Yes, they’ve won as many titles, have won two more division titles without Epstein than with him, but their average annual win total is 86.4 wins, which is largely skewed due to the 108-win team from 2018.


The likelihood of Epstein being relieved of his duties in Chicago remains to be seen, but there hasn’t been a single statement made from the Cubs that could put these rumors to bed.

Times are growing increasingly tougher for the Cubs moving forward, much like Boston. But, if you’re John Henry, Tom Werner, and co., would you rather have an experienced executive orchestrating a likely rebuild? Or an inexperienced guy in Eddie Romero, who hasn’t show the ability to run a ballclub, let alone one as storied as the Boston Red Sox?

Many would pick the former.

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