Theo Epstein had 'mixed emotions' on Red Sox championship

Theo Epstein had 'mixed emotions' on Red Sox championship
November 14, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Tony Andracki

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod have left their mark on Major League Baseball.

The three organizations the Cubs front office trio has had an impact on the last half-decade -- the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres -- are all among the Top 5 best farm systems in the game.

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But the biggest impact has come in Boston, where the Red Sox won their third World Series since 2003.

At the GM meetings in Orlando this week, the Boston Herald caught up with Epstein, who helped engineer the first two championships in Beantown, on his reaction to the Red Sox latest World Series victory.

"I was prepared for some mixed emotions," Epstein told the Boston Herald. "There was a little bit of [pride] at times, feeling detached from it, because all my friends in the front office are there. But the overriding emotion was really joy for [Red Sox GM Ben Cherington] and those guys, who worked so hard and suffered so much in 2012.

"That was really the tough time. I was on the phone with those guys a lot during '12, which was so hard -- unfairly so in a lot of respects -- on them. And then to see them bounce back and triumph that way was really gratifying."

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After a decade in Boston, Epstein moved to the Cubs in late 2011, ready for the next challenge. It hasn't been an easy transition -- the Cubs have lost 197 games the last two seasons -- but they've acquired a nice stable of prospects and the next wave of young talent could hit as soon as late 2014.

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The 2012 Red Sox suffered through a 69-93 season and a last place finish in the vaunted AL East under manager Bobby Valentine, but rebounded with 97 wins under new skipper John Farrell in 2013, tying the Cardinals for the best record in the MLB.

Cherington took over as general manager after Epstein left and the Cubs president of baseball operations spoke fondly of his former colleague.

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"Ben did a phneomenal job," Epstein told the Boston Herald. "He's someone I always kept close to me, because I felt like I learned as much from him as he did from me. He's a great manager of people, very systematic, a methodical thinker, a great feel for the game and players.

"It's no surprise to me the great job he's doing. That's why he was groomed for that role over time, and why he's the perfect guy to head up that organization."