John Dennis of WEEI just reported that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has agreed with the Cubs on a five-year deal worth more than $15 million. This is a huge moment for the Cubs. Franchise-altering.
The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this week. The Cubs and Red Sox still have to talk about compensation for letting Epstein go when he still had a year on his deal. As was reported last night, however, compensation is not expected to be in the form of a top major league player. Most likely it’s a minor leaguer.
The assumption is that Epstein will be both team president and general manager. That first title means very different things on different teams, so it’s not quite clear how much responsibility he’ll have or who else he’ll have to answer to at 1060 West Addison. But given that the Cubs’ issues are primarily roster issues, you figure that Epstein will be rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on that as soon as he hits Chicago.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?