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Theo Nathan Epstein (born December 29, 1973 in New York City) is the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Boston Red Sox. In November 2002, the Red Sox made him the youngest GM in the history of Major League Baseball by hiring him at the age of 28. In 2004, he engineered the first World Series championship by the Red Sox in 86 years and a second in the 2007 season. Epstein resigned in October 2005, but was rehired as GM and Executive Vice President on January 24, 2006.
Early life and familyEdit
Epstein was raised just one mile from Fenway Park in Brookline, where he attended Brookline High School (a 1991 graduate), played baseball for the Warriors, and dreamed of working for the Red Sox. Epstein's fraternal twin brother is Paul Epstein.
Epstein's grandfather Philip G. Epstein and great-uncle Julius J. Epstein won Academy Awards for the screenplay of Casablanca, while his father, the novelist Leslie Epstein, is the head of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University.
Epstein's brother-in-law is the actor Dan Futterman, best known for his role as Judge Amy Gray's brother Vincent in the television series Judging Amy. Futterman also wrote the award-winning screenplay for the film Capote. He is married to Epstein's sister, Anya Epstein, a writer for the television series Homicide" and "Tell My You Love Me."
On January 1 2007, Epstein married Marie Whitney, a volunteer at Horizons for Homeless Children. An early report on the marriage from Boston Globe sportswriter Gordon Edes reported the site of the wedding was Nathan's Famous hot dog stand at Coney Island. Edes later published a correction, noting that he had fallen for a prank by Theo's father, Leslie. The site and actual date of the wedding was never released, but the Boston Herald later published a story claiming the wedding took place on Red Sox owner John Henry's yacht in Saint Thomas.
Early career and educationEdit
Epstein began interning with the Baltimore Orioles in 1992. Meanwhile, Epstein attended Yale University where he lived at Jonathan Edwards College and served as sports editor of the Yale Daily News, and graduated in 1995 with a degree in American Studies. Eventually he took a job in the PR department of the San Diego Padres; soon Epstein would become the team's Director of Baseball Operations. While working for the Padres, he studied full-time at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree and passed the California bar exam in 1999. Epstein is not, and has never been, a member of the State Bar of California.
Under the direction of Henry, Werner, Lucchino, and Epstein, the Red Sox supplemented more traditional baseball analysis with sabermetrics (named derived from the Society for American Baseball Research, SABR), or the analysis of baseball through more objective evidence and methods. In 2002, they hired the father of sabermetrics, Bill James, to be a special advisor to the team, and also hired statistical analysts such as Eric Van and Voros McCracken. This devotion to the new wave of talent evaluation has seen the team stress on-base ability as the most important ability of a hitter, and not-so-coincidentally the 2003 Red Sox led MLB in runs scored. They led the majors with a .289 batting average, set a team record with 238 home runs, and set a new record with a slugging percentage of .491, breaking the .489 mark of the 1927 Yankees.
Epstein crafted the Red Sox team that finally ended the World Series title drought for the New England Nine in 2004. Excelling in the early part of the 2004 season due to Epstein's 2003 offseason trade for pitcher Curt Schilling, as well as the key free agent acquisition of closer Keith Foulke, the Red Sox stumbled at the season's mid-point. Shortly before the July 31 trading deadline, Epstein completed one of the riskiest trades in modern Red Sox history by sending star shortstop and Boston icon Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs in a multi-team deal that brought first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Minnesota Twins and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Montreal Expos. Epstein then brought speedy outfielder/pinch runner Dave Roberts from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the team, who played a significant role in the Red Sox' ALCS victory. After the trading deadline, the Red Sox advanced into the playoffs, sweeping the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the first round. In the ALCS, trailing three games to none against their rivals the New York Yankees, the Red Sox won four games in a row to move on to the World Series for the first time in 18 years. It was the first time in MLB playoff history that a team had rallied from a 0-3 series deficit to win a series. In the World Series, the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games, for a historic eight game post-season winning streak, led by Epstein acquisitions of Schilling and Foulke.
On October 31,2005, Epstein rejected a three-year, $1.5 million per year contract for personal reasons, and walked away from his position. According to The Boston Globe, "This is a job you have to give your whole heart and soul to," he said. "In the end, after a long period of reflection about myself and the program, I decided I could no longer put my whole heart and soul into it." The night he resigned from the Red Sox, Epstein was reported to have left Fenway Park wearing a gorilla suit in an attempt to avoid reporters. It was Halloween, and he may have decided that was the best way to leave the office without attracting press attention. A witness reported a gorilla was driving a Volvo similar to Epstein's that night. It could not be confirmed if Epstein had rented the suit, or if he owned it and planned to use it regularly.
But he remained in contact with the team's front office, and on January 19, 2006, Epstein and Red Sox management announced he would return. Five days later, the team announced that he would re-assume the title of General Manager and add the title of Executive Vice President.
Partly because Epstein grew up a short distance from Fenway Park, and partly because he constructed the team that brought Boston a World Series championship for the second time in eighty-six years, Epstein remains wildly popular among members of Red Sox Nation. In 2007 Epstein helped the Red Sox win their second World Series in 4 years.
In December 2007, Epstein was mentioned in the Mitchell Report regarding a November 2006 email exchange he had with Red Sox scout Marc DelPiano on the possible acquisition of then free agent closer Eric Gagné. In the email, Epstein asks DelPiano: "Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?". DelPiano replied that "steroids IS the issue" with Gagné, questioned his "poise and commitment" and expressed questions about his durability "without steroid help". Despite the reservations expressed by Delpiano, Epstein traded pitcher Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre to the Texas Rangers for Gagné on July 31, 2007.
On May 25, 2006, Epstein made an appearance on stage with Pearl Jam at TD Banknorth Garden playing rhythm guitar on the concert's penultimate song, Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." Part of that concert's ticket prices went to local charities, and, as announced from the stage by Eddie Vedder, Epstein agreed to meet the amount that the band paid to the charities.
In January 2007, Epstein joined ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons's band the Hot Stove All-Stars to play at the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit concert held at the Paradise club in Boston. The event raised over $200,000 for the Jimmy Fund and Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later. The event also featured former Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
- ↑ Beggy, Carol; and Shanahan, Mark. "Monet goes to Vegas; Kerry goes out on the town", The Boston Globe, November 6, 2003. Accessed February 17, 2008.
- ↑ Gordon Edes (2007-01-31). Hitch was in his plan: Epstein took a wife, left media in dark. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.
- ↑ Gordon Edes (2007-01-31). A frank explanation. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.
- ↑ Mark Shanahan (2007-12-12). Epstein's wife gives birth to baby boy. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2007-12-12.
- ↑ Mitchell Report p 219, 224 (PDF).
- ↑ Red Sox upgrade bullpen with Gagne deal. ESPN (2007-07-31). Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
- ↑ Rocking music and baseball talk fan the flames of Hot Stove. Boston Globe (2008-01-08). Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
- Theo Epstein at the Internet Movie Database
- Theo Walks Away From Sox
- Theo Epstein News Video Clips
- Theo's Statement of Resignation
- Sox Make An Executive Revision, article discussing Epstein's rehiring, from The Boston Globe, January 25, 2006.
- Theo Epstein bio/profile
Mike Port (Interim)
|Red Sox General Manager|
2002 - October 31,2005
Ben Cherington & Jed Hoyer (Interim)
Ben Cherington & Jed Hoyer (Interim)
|Red Sox General Manager|
January 25, 2006 -