Red Sox Grant The Cubs Permission To Speak To Epstein?


Given the silence coming from the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox organizations, that has left a lot of reporters to speculate on whether or not current Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is going to leave Boston and come to the Cubs to take over as general manager/ president of baseball operations. The only thing that is know about the Cubs’ pursuit of Epstein, is that they formally requested permission to speak with Epstein last Tuesday. Red Sox owner John Hendry and team president Larry Lucchino made some interesting comments about Epstein’s future with the Red Sox on Friday during an area with a Boston are radio station, and since then, there has been no movement on the Cubs’ request to interview Epstein.

The common belief going around the baseball industry is that there should be movement on Epstein at some point this week. In respect of the Yom Kippur holiday, it is believed that the Cubs were against making any official announcement this weekend. If Epstein was a lock to return to the Red Sox I am sure that would have been made public by now. In any event, the silence from Epstein, the Cubs, and the Red Sox has led some fans to pull out their inner James Bond.

Chicago native Noah Pinzur was at the Starbucks on Saturday morning in Lincoln Park, and like every Cubs fan, he was doing his morning reading on the latest Cubs’ news. While in the Starbucks, Pinzur spotted a man that closely resembled Epstein. The man that Pinzur saw exited from a SUV entered Starbucks and that is when the man was approached by Pinzur. Pinzur asked the man if he was Epstein and the man admitted that he gets that a lot, but he also told Pinzur that he did not even know who Epstein is.

But the investigation did not stop there for Pinzur–who is “99.9% sure” that the man he saw was Epstein. After the Epstein look-a-like entered his vehicle, Pinzur got a glimpse of the man’s female companion that was in the car. Pinzur did a quick googling of Epstein’s wife, Marie Whitney, and that only confirmed his belief that the man he saw in Starbucks was in fact Epstein. It is also worth mentioning that after Epstein–or his clone–entered the SUV, the vehicle headed “in the direction” of Wrigley Field.

Whether the man Pinzur saw was Epstein or not, the whole Epstein situation may have took a another turn in light of Pinzur’s CIA mission. Comcast Sportsnet New England picked up on the Epstein/Starbucks story, and dropped an interesting tidbit at the end of the report. The report mentioned that the Red Sox have granted the Cubs’ permission to speak with Epstein about their general managerial position, and consequently, their team presidency position as well.

Assuming the report is true, this could mean a couple of things. First being that Tom Ricketts and Epstein may already have an agreement in place for the current Red Sox general manager to become the new general manager/president of baseball operations with the Cubs’ organization. That would be the most reasonable explanation for the silence that has been coming from both the Cubs and Red Sox organization in light of all the Epstein speculation. It has long been Ricketts’ wish to keep everyone in the dark about the Cubs’ general manager search, and the Cubs chairman wants to keep things hush-hush until he is at the podium introducing his new general manager. That moment could be coming this week with Epstein being the man of the hour.

Though, it also could mean that the Red Sox brass is ready for life without Epstein. Red Sox owner John Henry’s comments during Friday’s interview would seem to allude that Epstein can only do so much as the Red Sox general manager. Epstein is the man that constructed the Red Sox team that broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, and then won another World Series title in 2007. But with the differences of philosophy that may exist between Epstein and team president Larry Lucchino, that could signal that Epstein’s time with the Red Sox may be coming to an end. Epstein is likely weighing that option against the possibility of becoming a legend if he were to construct a World Series winning team while with the Cubs’ organization.

In any event, lets credit Noah Pinzur for possibly shedding light on where things stand between Epstein, the Red Sox, and the Cubs.