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No coffee for Theo; too much for me

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  October 11, 2011 03:41 PM

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STARBUCKS, NEAR WRIGLEY FIELD Been sitting at the outdoor terrace at the Starbucks near Wrigley Field all day. Must admit, I've seen three men who look like Theo Epstein.

One guy drove up in a Honda SUV with a female passenger and ordered what looked like a venti latte. Another rode up in a bike. Definitely not Theo. The third ordered a banana and an iced coffee.

Don't know if Theo even drinks coffee. But none of them and I'm 100 percent sure were Theo.

This area is silly with anticipation of Theo coming to Chicago. It would excite the masses. Hundreds of people toured Wrigley today and a couple of them looked like Theo, too. Must admit, I was looking for a "Diablos" hat which a fan in a story in the Chicago Tribune claimed Theo was wearing last Saturday morning at this very establishment.

Asked one of the workers at the counter, "Hey, did you see Theo Epstein in here?" She had no idea who or what a Theo Epstein was. I explained there was a big story in the Chicago Tribune, picked up nationally, that Theo was spotted here. News to her.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts was also nowhere in sight yesterday.

Cubs and Red Sox officials have gone underground. No responses to questions that Red Sox and Cubs fans want to know about.

The best we can piece together at this point by speaking to people around Epstein is that this will be a very tough decision. The job is enticing because it involves another storied franchise which has seen hard times for the last 103 years.

Why wouldn't you be interested in turning this into a championship?

On the flip side, Boston is Epstein's home. He would walk away from a tough situation and that too would tug at him.

There are a few scenarios other executives have put forth recently about the Epstein situation.

"When I was with the Braves I thought John Schuerholz was the one and only candidate for the job and I was fortunate to hire him," said former Braves and Nationals president/CEO Stan Kasten. "But I had a list if I couldn't get it done."

And the Cubs do as well.

Epstein is their guy from every possible source we've come up with. They will go all out to get him. If he says no, then there will likely be calls made to Andrew Friedman and Billy Beane and perhaps J.P. Ricciardi.

Epstein's thought process has to be if he gives up this chance, will he ever get this good of an opportunity again? A chance to rebuild the Cubs and turn them into real winners?

We've heard so many things the past few days. There's the theory Epstein could stay but only work through the end of his contract which expires next year and then make another decision later on.

Can't imagine the Sox ownership would welcome that scenario, creating a lame duck GM who would be making major long-term decisions.

It would appear that Epstein would have to either go or accept a long-term extension to remain the GM in Boston.

There's also a timetable here.

The rule is that management announcements can be made during the playoffs with the blessing of Major League baseball. But no management announcements can be made during the World Series under any circumstances. We suppose the the rules can always be bypassed.

Therefore, there seems to be some urgency for something to happen before the end of the championship series and prior to the start of the World Series. If the Series went seven games, an announcement couldn't be made until after October 27th.

That would seem very late for both the Red Sox and Cubs as they begin their offseason planning kicked off by the General Manager's/Owners meetings in Milwaukee starting Nov. 14th.

We are all very jittery in anticipation, especially after a day at Starbucks.

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