If you’re Theo Epstein, there is absolutely no winning when it comes to answering questions about his job right now.
Sure, the Cubs would love to have him. Anyone would. But Epstein is running the Red Sox right now so if he even hints that he’s interested in the job, it’s going to be a monstrous distraction. Likewise, if he shuts the door with a slam, saying unequivocally that he does not want has never wanted and will never want to be the Cubs GM and that anyone who suggests otherwise can take a flying eff at a rolling donut, then he’s just being rude. And, of course, if he really would like the job, he’s hurting himself.
So it’s really a timing problem. Because he’s Theo Epstein and because Theo Epstein rarely if ever says anything that fans flames, any question on the subject of the Cubs’ job now is going to lead to a non-answer which strongly suggests that he’s a Red Sox for life without actually saying that and leaving the hint of a possibility open that he could bolt if need be. And he was asked that yesterday. And he gave exactly that sort of answer:
“I try to avoid commenting on things that are so speculative. I know there are a couple of articles which have appeared but I’m completely focused on the Red Sox of 2011 first and foremost and what potentially lies ahead for this club. We’re trying to get to the postseason and win the World Series and I spend all my time working with my staff to make this the organization we want it to be for now and in the future. That’s where my exclusive focus is.”
And of course the reporters kept asking, so he said “Something like that I can’t even contemplate it long enough to comment on it. I’m all Red Sox, all the time.”
So one takeaway from that could be “THEO DOESN’T DENY INTEREST IN CUBS JOB!” which I bet gets played up on talk radio today if it hasn’t already.
Another, more reasonable take would be to say “there’s really nothing to be gained by getting quotes from Theo Epstein on this subject before the Sox’ season is over.”