John Henry

Feeding the (Blue) Monster, Part One

This was my original thinking, the only reason I'd read any book about the Red Sox would be to gain insight into Theo Epstein's approach to roster construction and player acquisition. Still, I'm a sucker for a good baseball story and I have to admit that learning about the Cubs sister AL team that suffered from the 'Curse of the Bambino' had it's appeal, if for no other reason than  this old Billy Goat's misery loves company.

Seth Mnookin's 2006 book, 'Feeding the Monster' is an in-depth look at the Red Sox, focusing on team management and the eventual 2002 ownership change as the reason their drought ended. The Red Sox truly overcame urban legends created by the Boston press with their constant harping on eight decades of Epic failures and generations of fan misery.

Something I understand (except for the "overcame" part).

Now with the Theo "Compensation-gate" mostly completed, this book is filled with insights into the personalities behind what should have been a simple and quick front office only transaction (with no compensation as you will soon read). Why it became a bollixed, vitriol filled, press inflated, word-slinging mess that only Boston is known for makes more sense to me after this read.

There is a lot of story to set up before Theo Epstein jumps in, so prepare for the first part of the world's longest book summary.  Most of Theo's story will be in part deux.  Part one, after the jump...

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  • Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.

    Tito 54 min 44 sec ago view
  • marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD

    crunch 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.

    Dusty Baylor 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • How odd the stats:

    Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB

    2nd to last in hitting.

    In May they were 1st in both.

    The E-Man 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 11 hours 23 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 11 hours 24 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 11 hours 26 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 12 hours 2 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 12 hours 18 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 12 hours 49 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 17 hours 19 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 18 hours 1 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 18 hours 5 min ago view