It’s finally done.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox and Cubs have agreed to the framework of a deal that will allow Theo Epstein to become the Cubs’ president of baseball operations. Epstein has resigned from his post as Red Sox general manager and will join the Cubs’ front office, effective immediately.
The Cubs will hold a press conference on Tuesday, the next off-day of the World Series, to introduce Epstein while Ben Cherington is expected to be announced as his replacement on the same day in Boston.
Compensation hasn’t been settled yet, but a joint statement from the clubs specifies they have “reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined.” With Epstein now a member of the Cubs’ front office, he will presumably be involved in the negotiations. That’s not awkward at all. According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, if the two sides are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement in the next few days, commissioner Bud Selig could step in as an arbitrator.
As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?