WEEI>On Demand>>Theo Epstein, Red Sox GM

Theo Epstein, Red Sox GM

Oct 22, 2009|

Theo joins D&C to talk JD Drew, Jason Bay and the post season

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Welcome back Dennis and Callahan joining us on the AT&T -- AT&T your world -- the general manager Boston Red Sox -- in the morning Narnia I don't -- -- -- -- -- on restarts the top when does the enjoyment of watching the angels and yankees in Anaheim get rooting for you having missed -- lost some Scott Boras recruiting him -- behind home plate and. It it it -- -- remind -- at the opposite result yeah long but that's at what are watching injury. Both teams to lose -- R&R -- those guys who. Don't -- a lot the past two or don't want to caller legacy that do your job right yeah I got you know. I watched most of it and can't get too much of the shut off all that. But yeah economic. But. That's more than many dozens. Minutes from went seven innings and yet went up and clubhouse and that's not enough. I obviously the under the Red Sox season was an emotional Sunday a palpable -- failure in the night David inning created a great deal of a -- an overreaction on our airwaves but the general manager and the baseball -- people have to fight. That overreaction that emotional that tanks that bit the most people watching your team felt the next day. Yeah I think if we if we had to make long term decisions the next day reply would make great decisions. That's why. Now when you get knocked out a -- out Seattle time. GM meetings on the order. -- few few days to be you know upset and a visceral reaction to it and yeah we we we that that in the big picture right. And -- a lot of times if you if you focus on why you lost -- -- last areas -- wrong and that series. You're not gonna make quality decisions if you look at these poll. -- real easy and take a look at the big picture or were -- ours where you -- organizations where your partner long term plan. Make better decisions not much fun that that visceral. That this story actions and that is more satisfying -- Australia take that. Have you -- baseball -- people come to some conclusion partial conclusion or full conclusion about the what you think went wrong where your team came up short and how you're going to fix it going forward. Respect of this season as a whole yeah but yeah -- it was just you know the whole action yet. I -- they take issue that that a lot of things went wrong. I agree you we have issues don't or we have challenges or not that's where folk. I don't think. Too much -- is based on what went wrong these actually looking. Last couple days unit almost. They've added that he's in -- -- he's now very. Big development of these in the big step forward. You also have another big news and trade for Victor Martinez. Aimed at mine you'd be used for two months -- it forms on earth -- that packet -- buckle up. I and that the really be a major force them strapped -- a -- and in the league that are that are all these things went right. And we won 95 games -- -- let's go start the playoffs tomorrow and and act as though it wouldn't show up. And those in those three games and if we've learned. -- -- out any issues whatsoever -- issues and and they they manifest that -- that we went through. Mysterious frustrating stretches during the year we didn't hit at all on the road. And that happened those first -- and -- as. In Lackey -- really located located oh last and we in the it. And that. And there you sound like you. Can keep day you will keep you wanna keep them he wants to stay but don't correct me if I'm wrong but don't guys who get to free agency. Usually leave. -- More often in this day out I think there. In back it up and not yet clear if the player retreated to create the usually the thing that over -- those before one lands them and that. That's not up early in the case devilish circuit view is to prepare for. Prepare predicting it if you leave that. They negotiation over Andy because the fundamental elements in place. Here. Well he's not. He's not gonna take advantage of the exclusive period most likely correct. I don't know I don't we don't tend to -- is -- public. So do you think I mean what what would the timetable be we know Matt Holliday isn't Boras guys that'll probably happen you know spring training. Or January some time is they gonna signed before holiday do you think. I don't. Could speculate but it popped at the player and players. And you know -- Work hard to get it mightily and network card yet the years the agency is. Pictures service to get to it in it it to water now -- -- and now. You know I I think every player retreat is the right to dictate the opposite on -- on and you know error don't think where. Not to be held hostage by any player -- Our plan on and -- passed on at some point but. Certainly it is good feeling involved you want -- like people they shot worked out great it doesn't want. But the do you get the -- you get the the idea in this instance or may be any other deal with your own free agent. That that the answer is you don't know what it will take the player at this point doesn't know what it will take. Amid the point on the -- recently that that that if you Theo went to Jason Bay's agents say get a lot. Let's cut the crap five years at fifteen or sixteen million dollar somebody -- eighty million dollars Mike gaseous the because Jason Bay doesn't know what's out there. He probably still say no do you even if it tried to blow away with a offers is is that out of whack my thinking. But you usually out -- they get this on where you want to see what's out there and shut. -- and let let let -- does offer that you think that it makes an -- it -- to stay here you get this far he can he was out there and make it to -- You probably heard this and you know wise guy's opinion makers bloggers talk show host said it's seems to me the Red Sox are built for Fenway Park. Thus they can't win on the road are those tide are they mutually exclusive -- do either Al -- validity in your mind. I think you know it it indicates for a long time now that the are tailored to play particularly well at at Atlantic that's actually something that's why does that help us. -- not -- games the last ten years in. It you play after Ian -- More in nine games and you're out these should be Tokyo -- the -- Period of it if that. That profile -- club. -- play at all -- -- the -- -- on part. I happen. Explosion went well on the road and I think this year for some reason we really underperformed on the road if it they're there are players to. That don't have the pop to go to go out. Regularly on the road and do it that way those guys on a lot better on the on the road as you'd expect there are other players to dole. Particularly. Characteristics that make and that's where assembly also want on the on the road so. If it is something to it wears these you know we can't have too many guys to wrestling -- them apart but also I think it was mean these new year where. Almost every player out. A better at home and on the -- You know I heard a few people FT eliminated obviously sit on this some missing from this team that just don't have any personality. Is. And and I used to think that was kind of sillier kind of frightened and dismissive but how most file myself. Agree with them this year the do you ever look at two -- say. We don't really have a personality we need to develop one and and and do you think it applies now. Now not a law and I think if we -- you know basically the same team. That we in 2008. -- yet. One clutch hit in in the 2000 yes in Edinburgh on alters my wedding and not an -- the 2014. On you know Tony Clark all doesn't doesn't bounce into the stands and we lose that series there's amnesty it. This personality is out of control. You know it and yes we I understand -- there's -- human. Phenomenon you want sort of the should be. Personal characteristic to groups say that they had this personality your this characteristic in. Reality has no we we can't build the team is and like about all we build a team it. Try to build try it when it I character the bottom line is he got a great personality behind closed it is home outwardly. On the field very professional behind closed or that a lot of fun there are a lot of leaders -- shut up are the players single back. And now 125 games early opposition and or better in the buyout. There's. They have to follow up on that would your preference would be as a general manager to have them and I'm here for all the descriptive words -- bland robotics business like never too high never too low people. In your clubhouse by a large and obviously the numbers have to be there the production has to be -- but as were on the subject to personality. Is your preference that this is like never too high never too low approached preferable for you. Now I couldn't care less whether there you know was there emotional. Split personality on the field either. In order play wanted to keep the emotions under -- I couldn't care Latin is on is they play well and they're good team it. -- -- -- sounds to me I've heard you talk about J. D. Drew. And you're getting annoyed now at the at the way people look at him view him he's a corner outfielder only 27968. RBI. Therefore he's an overpaid lost. You look at it differently right now. Well yet -- yet and I just think there's always been a discrepancy between how viable player. Yeah and out he's. Is viewed. There now. And it's and the media in particular. In you know there's been a lot of strides in the game on people. Properly value players based on. What that is among traditional counting. That nature. Through sort of touchstone as -- that because. Yeah actually elected underlying performance thing that really matter. As far as winning games not winning games he's been over the light in the contract that pop and I swap sellers and baseball last two years. Up to retreat in the league in in the past year the gamut doctorate in. And certainly and in yet. I think if you simplify the game down was -- was batting average was coming home runs and RBIs which is. We all grew up doing but but but today's standard is pretty primitive way to look at the game. Our what's the standard by say you just said one the most valuable to a three most viable we talk and -- yes. Now if you can if you combine what he did not at this standpoint and only genuine. Works for a team that looked so yes but there. But that's you know that better than batting average and RBI if you want elected to from a straight objectives that. What contribute offensively and then what he contributes defensively and at a base right the total value player. Our rate basis use outstanding and and there aren't too many outfielders compared to what he did while it. So so it is in your mind a fourteen million dollar per year player. Yeah what he's done the first three years that contract. The way we value. It just like history free -- dollar obvious you can't compare to an arbitration there patriarch player based on. Create market what he's done all they do lead and and manufacturing news and not played over these years I actually cannot detect more than fourteen so here. I understand the average thing and -- hit for average but don't get on base. But how does J. D. Drew only drive in 68 runs in this lineup I mean it just seems like a quirky thing yeah. And you would understand that or mobile looks -- that I could. Yet -- it was in this year particularly as well as. Freakish oh how are wildly before profit out -- -- and lineup but. Certainly that the basic premise that type of that type of wire is always can be better. -- runs and drive and then because he while he does. How odd lot is on basis you know her. Others straight and beyond it a lot in traffic based -- whose interest or -- or more on. When somebody you tend to walk a lot and the drive in your run this on well actor's case he's he's an extreme heat. Tremendous -- also -- doesn't expand his own Ted Williams there's over and over again you know hey. -- -- -- about got to inspect it when it opens up the ball to the -- runner and law. Williams wouldn't do that he'd take his walk is criticized -- -- in his credit password JD doesn't do some some some hitters. About -- approach the ball away. Are yet to mission and drive and runs some editors don't do that in truth is that there doesn't and to gossip news organization. We don't mind it -- another -- in the in my -- not driving. Yours -- there in the long run staying in one's approach. Which is getting it it is now getting it in rotten and drive and that ought not and he can walk. Important that the that that those characteristic. Lead to a player and not the drive on this year was. Let's get his personality added to that where he looks so label like -- -- even flinch when Ellsbury stole home. Which is almost incomprehensible. That you couldn't get excited about that but. I'm guess that it works in baseball that kind of approach works. Yeah and and as well as the label that and that happens. People. -- like through all of them. And caring apathetic or lose people like him say he has let his pain. And then these narratives start that that everybody can be truths that people don't like there like Apple's. I don't care he never comes through in the watch. Just start -- brought labels that are necessary to keep thick heavy hitters that more. They -- source they moments horse in the post is monster's been group he got more -- an RV. Last three years and those that only time they had any other player that we. In this narrative sort it let of the it's not true it's an Hispanic is and you know user that you -- games -- you don't have fact that the they're making up stories your own mind what players like. We've -- leaders is that is that -- and that that's great but as the decision maker reality it. We got that we agreed to make decisions based in reality. What you said RBI don't matter that took me back I said really I just spent you know forty years they -- it's like really important may be the most important. Statistic. I mean it it it. It's a rude awakening to a lifelong baseball fan when I listen to the general managers say we don't care what RBI. And on in the reality in I don't know where common -- like reluctant painting memorize as batting average elements -- yet but if we both throughout. In schools that taught us that that earth is flat and now suddenly we -- you know when we went out. You know get a job as a surveyor and and the first -- Protestant schools that actually. There is around and it would it would be tough -- accept that but over time you start to. Operate in a world in which the earth was round and in May they. Better decisions based on that's that's sort of the way -- games. Of all of it -- I'm actually don't believe an extreme public -- about that and in bowl -- Exclusively at at any one set of numbers if the ballots in the human element -- the balance then. Doubting it objective analysis but some in the that's fundamentally. Something -- fundamental like using numbers if you're using numbers to assess our offensive performance. Then don't use numbers that don't or -- To score runs that correlates to when you nightly news and numbers correlate that to score runs score it best when it. Still this probably qualifies as an offseason procedural question and I'm wondering at this time of the year does an official. Economic philosophy. Come down from on high each year from John Henry and ownership regarding how aggressive you and your people can be how big the payroll is going to be is very declaration -- hands of stone tablets through the door you say this is how you approach it this year. Not not really -- think it just says whether it's while they may try to take while a long term view. That the financial plan that. Everyone involved in the process as. A five year plan. That's not that there can't be tweaks here and there and any apt to be something that dynamic. You know based on the economy is the revenues been done expenses in and that the one thing you don't want -- wake up and one day it -- spent a lot of money there on this you're not gonna spend a lot of money. Make reactionary loose because on more -- terms strategy and we haven't I think. Two Euro orbit -- That long term and approach -- the baseball standpoint and -- -- and allowed -- to be competitive well every year in the plastic. Here they'll watch your stance and your take on players in their contract years my guess is that Michael and David Ortiz both believe after next year. There's another contract out their for the probably just one more. And do you see any added value to a guy playing for the next contract on your dime as opposed to going -- getting -- Johnny Damon bringing him in on a new contract -- earned it -- -- -- saying some people say the motivation -- being in a contract here helps that player you know produce and get to a place that he might normally -- do you buy that. First certain player -- and maybe lack motivation. I think there can be. There can be some contract here backed. And there have been studies done that you show a small incremental. Improvement in performance in most situations but they could have the players that you mention there is money in and we certainly in any lack of work ethic. Preparation previous years. That -- and you are light -- -- you were sending a message on the threat on -- threat yeah I mean everyone agreed you you were sending a message to at least two designated -- at that. Season wrap up press conference -- Well I think everyone everywhere takes out of those things that's why I'd try to. Not talking but it did not talk public is not to attend because they generally take out of those things. What they want to a certain extent that. And -- -- MySpace and you were way to act on this team if you'd -- seem to embrace this club in the status -- way too much and -- other -- sent emails saying. You know gosh you're really sending messages talk about changes in blowing the whole thing but -- -- to anything radical so. I think sometimes comment that media can can be empty vessel people so. Their own preferences how they use the world but I -- -- question without the questions asked. What what can you reasonably expected David Ortiz. And I talked about his performance last four months in a lot better than in April and has stated the reality that. To be the team that we need to be. If Turkey is our DH needs to be forced more different degrees force when he's getting all kinds of pictures in in the ball. All sealed in and they're really tough out. And drive in the ball and -- sister reality I'm not trying to and they don't mess don't send messages to the players and media talk to talk to our players on about that -- and that is the media. But when you said and I'm I'm not all the quote from me -- maybe a misquote in your summing up David has to prepare himself or or or us you know find a way to combat can be that's force. For us. Was side putting words in your mouth and it's a well he'd really like David to go -- athletes performance institute and lose twenty pounds and workers ask softened them back you know cut and -- -- what -- needed you know party had a plan in place is off. -- a lot of I don't know when you when you when you struggle not all -- in in your competitors. Think about how to get better. But it went -- in batters and yeah. David are a lot about it it's gonna come back in great shape it'll work just tell but that's not something. It intentionally call player out in public for doing so that we discussed. Do you as a team they have to get younger. Yeah I do I I have a strong. Desire are always there for pre prime and prime player in. Baseball. Modern baseball. I've -- actually. An early morning certainly thirtieth law I think we. Right now we have and thirty and -- that that are really contributing players active Lester all. Art apple world. Pedroia and -- buried. Thirties and blow it -- beat Kent -- But he can't get contributions from players were on the wrong side of thirty can they can be really important parts of the ball club. As you look forward in and look at that five year plan on as many players reprieve time and in the prime. And I feel. Built around. I think in -- impact players in the east is going to be GAAP. That the nature baseball and the nature of the draft can have impact players. Graduating. In numbers aren't -- -- year that they were. -- each count is now. Well it. That in years that. Impact players the year away yet. In other. Is that creative solutions to difficult transition. Hey hypothetically if John doesn't Papelbon -- stepped in front of the bus today are just retire and and and join the Harry Christmas won't. Would Daniel bug be able to close. In the major leagues next season. I think it is the physical ability to do that I think and I think we. As it develops throughout the course here that he has the mental make -- to do it as well I think at at the same time I think he's a work in progress and this is somebody you. Who performed. Really well I level is still working on them. Fundamental parts of the game still tweaking is breaking while he's got a good wrecking ball but he doesn't. It's pride not words in the -- eventually they'll tweaking a different breaking ball in October in -- to -- the numbers in August 1 two. So the summary released -- work in progress and while it may have the ability to do something you might not be the best thing for us. Offers the long term interest career enforcement's role. The alien with a solution for you for your current problem when you -- in the angels and yankees news that you want don't wanna route three to one win. Want to recuperate while ball straight back to the screen to break through. Tonight than got you rooting interest. Now allows client knowing gets hurt you bad yeah. And again over again now. They appreciate the time to talk could be a -- -- -- -- that it would Dennison Callahan on AT&T -- -- AT&T your world delivered.

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