Cubs GM Notes: A Theo sighting, Cherington as GM...of the Red Sox?

Well, I’m going to start the GM rumors today with a story that just sort of exemplifies just how crazy everything is getting as well as some information on some of the most talked about candidates, and how other teams’ GM searches are going…

      • Paul Sullivan of the Tribune writes about a Lakeview man who is 99.9% sure he saw Theo Epstein at a Starbucks today wearing a Diablos baseball cap.   The man, Noah Pinzur, was so sure that he approached the man and asked him point blank if he was Theo Epstein.  “No. I get that a lot”,  the man replied. “Who’s Theo Epstein?”  Pinzur’s rationalization was this: “Once he had to ask who Theo Epstein was, I knew it was him” Just so everyone knows, my wife has no idea who Theo Epstein is…and she has to live with someone who writes about the Cubs everyday.
      • MLB Radio reports that Epstein contacted Jim Hendry a week ago about what it’s like to work for Ricketts and the organization in general.  Hendry reportedly had great things to say. (Hat tip to reader Michael on this one)
      • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe talks about a Ben Cherington-led Boston front office in his article today where Red Sox President Larry Lucchino would regain some control over what would be a first-time GM.   Some, including SI’s Will Carroll, believe that Ben Cherington is comfortable in Boston and is content to wait for the GM position to become available.
      • In searching around for stories on the major candidates, I came across an article I missed a few weeks back by Jonathan Mayo of  In it, the Braves GM Frank Wren had great things to say  about John Coppolella as a GM candidate.   The part that’s intriguing to me is his knowledge of other organizations and how he’s utilized in that capacity.  That would seem to give him a head start as far as knowing about our own organization heading into the important months of November and December.

        Coppolella is the Braves’ director of baseball administration and has his hands in a number of areas for Atlanta in scouting and player development. He knows the Braves system inside and out, but also has a keen sense of what there is in every organization. As current Braves GM Frank Wren said, Coppolella’s understanding of the industry is impressive.

        “The two key characteristics are that he’s very intelligent and he has a very good feel for the industry talent,” Wren said. “Evaluation, that’s a skill he’s acquiring. He really studies and stays on top of all of our reports from our scouts and has a good feel and understanding of the talent within each organization. That’s where we utilize him the most.

        “He’s a really sharp, bright guy who’s really valuable to us.”

      • Matt Palmer of the Orioles Report lists the Blue Jays’ Tony LaCava, Florida’s Dan Jennings, Philadelphia’s Scott Proefrock, Diamondbacks senior vice president Jerry Dipoto, Wayne Krivsky (a former Orioles exec), and Rays senior vice president Jerry Hunsicker as candidates for the Orioles.  Like I wrote about yesterday, he sees Buck Showalter’s presence as a factor in the GM search.
      • According to Mark Gonzalez of the Tribune, Cubs GM hopeful Rick Hahn is also a candidate for the Los Angeles Angels job, while Chuck Richter of also lists Hahn as a candidate along with Coppolella, LaCava, and the Yankees Damon Oppenheimer.
      • Scott Miller of CBS Sports tweets that he has spoken with two MLB execs who know Theo well.  One predicts he will stay in Boston and the other predicts he will come to Chicago.  That sort of leaves us right back where we started, doesn’t it?

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  • fb_avatar

    Yesterday was Yom Kippur. Epstein might have been in Chicago, but not out in public.

  • That's an excellent point, Robert. Like you, I'm not putting much stock in that story.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It depends. I'm Catholic, but I wouldn't call myself a good one.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I suppose he could be non-practicing but Yom Kippur or not, the sighting is far-fetched to me.

  • Incidentally, I have an uncle that once looked just like Bobby Knight, the former Indiana coach. He got asked so many times that he eventually just started signing autographs for people.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Did he take up throwing chairs too John? I also think this story is pretty far fetched, I think it's far more likely they would meet somewhere where no one would know them. If Rickett's stated he wanted to keep the search quiet why would they meet at Wrigley?

  • In reply to mikey:

    LOL..My uncle's a very funny guy, it wouldn't surprise me ;)

    If Epstein were in Chicago, I'm pretty sure somebody would get him coffee and he wouldn't have to trudge over to Starbucks -- and knowing how much Ricketts has valued secrecy throughout the process, it would seem to be a pretty risky thing to do just to get a cup of joe.

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    In plain sight is often the best place to hide something. It's often the last place people look.

  • Face it, John. You have to pay some enterprising teenager to shadow TR's every move until the GM is announced.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    LOL...I'll start taking applications!

  • Noah also said the possible Epstein was with a woman, and when he got to his lap top, he googled "Theo Epstein's wife", and said she looked just like the lady.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm not going to say it's impossible that it happened, ChiRy, but I just find it extremely unlikely...but technically nobody can know for sure -- well, except for that guy (and his female companion) that Pinzur was talking to.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have a slightly different take. I think it is possible, maybe even likely that the man saw Epstein, but what does that mean? Absolutely nothing. If Theo wasn't there in Chicago at that given time, he still likely will be there shortly at some other place, but it has virtually no bearing on if he'll have the job or not. I just think it's funny.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    That's probably doesn't mean anything either way. Even if it's true, he could just be here for an interview, maybe he's checking out the city with his wife -- but it doesn't mean that he has taken the job.

  • I heard a rumor that Epstein, Elvis, Hoffa and Bigfoot were all seen
    in a forrest somewhere. Please, lets just wait until an official
    statement is made. I enjoy trade and FA rumors, but not this.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Believe me...I can't wait until we can actually start talking about players again!

  • LOL, I think it's hilarious that there are "sightings" of Theo in Chicago now. Like some people have said, it will wait until something official happens before I get excited.

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    It's possible this is a hoax, and this guy is getting his 15 minutes of fame and a good laugh out of this, but he culd really believe he saw them or he could be telling the truth. What if he really did see them? Truth is often stranger than fiction.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I believe that he believes he saw Epstein. I don't think it's a hoax. But considering how unreliable eyewitnesses tend to be, I'm just being a little skeptical.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You would hope the Trib checked his credibility before pointing that.

  • My friend says he saw Theo Epstein sipping a Pina Colada at Trader Vics. His hair was perfect.

    I don't know if I'm more emberrassed as a Cubs fan or a Tribune reader. My goodness. Granted, thigs point to Theo coming here. The Red Sox could have squashed this at any time and they didn't. But still some jackass THINKING he saw Theo Epstein is not news.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I'd like to meet his tailor.

  • Ha! Love the Warren Zevon reference guys!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Will have to borrow that one Felzz and Kansas!

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  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Great picture!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If I knew how to, I would put TR's head on that body, and put in the appropriate caption. Maybe someone who does know how should do it.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I could probably do it...

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