Breaking up after 10 years together would be tough, regardless of the circumstances, and Theo Epstein’s split with the Red Sox was just the icing on a cake which had already melted into a big, ugly mess in previous weeks. Despite a disastrous situation by sports standards, the former Red Sox general manager and executive vice president left Boston with a classy, parting gift as he heads to Chicago. Take a look at this full-page ad the native son took out in Sunday’s Boston Globe, thanking the fans, players, coaches and front office staff of the team he dreamed of working for as a kid.
After assembling two World Series Championship teams and ending an 86-year drought, any competitive, driven, perfectionist would jump at the chance to take on the Cubs’ North American sports team-record 103-year drought; especially given the way things unraveled with the Red Sox.
But Epstein isn’t just any competitive, driven, perfectionist. He is a graduate of Brookline High School, just a few miles away from Fenway Park. Epstein’s family roots run deep in the Boston community and his son was born in the city that haled him a hero and miracle worker for what he helped accomplish within the confines of the Green Monster and famous red clay.
I can only imagine that for him to leave his hometown and life as he knows it, Epstein must have thought there was no way he could repair his Red Sox, and that perhaps, they weren’t even his anymore.
There will be no more five minute cab rides to FuGaKyu Restaurant on Beacon Street. No more sitting in the seats of an empty Fenway Park, the same seats in which he sat as a child rooting for his home team, soaking up the summer sun while watching the guys practice in the afternoons before night games.
Chicago is a wonderful city, and the Cubbies have their own fantastic traditions and folklore. But as friendly and iconic as the ivy may be at Wrigley, it will never be like home.
(For a less-fuzzy look at the ad, click here: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/assets_c/2011/10/609Theo_thank_you-thumb-609x1100-53948.jpg )