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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  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 18 min 24 sec ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 34 min 26 sec ago view
  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • This is the exact game that the Cubs would have lost in years past to the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Arrieta starting. Leads of 6-1 and 9-4. You don't expect to have such a sense of relief when they win.

    Brick 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • phew

    Rob G. 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • At least the end result was worth the wait.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • I guess he's better than what they've had. He started out like the Babe there.

    The E-Man 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • Fair enough, but Castro isn't really very good.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • I can just hear Pat Hughes chortling "typical Cubs-Cards game..."

    JoePepitone 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • As long as Maddon uses him against RH he is good. Against LH - not so much.

    His recent HR's obviously have not been great pitches.

    So, let's just say my personal confidence in the guy is not there yet.

    The E-Man 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • not that I'm agreeing with E-Man in anyway here, but Warren's FIP and peripherals are not really good (5.20 FIP/5.19 BB/9/.128 BABIP), although his actual results are a lot better. Well until today...

    Trade was also to make room for Zobrist and it'll be a few years before we can really judge it.

    Rob G. 2 hours 12 sec ago view
  • Eventually, the Maddon "play everyone everywhere" thing was going to create a problem.

    billybucks 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • This ump blows.

    Ryno 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • So much for pace-of-game.

    Ryno 2 hours 17 min ago view