Today is an off-day for the Red Sox and Yankees, but ESPN has two articles about the age-old rivals in case anyone has gotten bored in the last 12 hours. Bob Klapisch writes about the Yankees' front office hysteria, while Peter Gammons explores the friendly relationship Brian Cashman shares with Theo Epstein.
According to Epstein:
"It's ridiculous when people try to make it seem as if we have a personal rivalry," says Epstein. "It's just the opposite. We are good friends, as much as we can be in our business. We shook hands and joked with one another after each one of our three games at Fenway last weekend. He is one of the general managers I admire and respect most; hey, he's one of the most respected, period. He doesn't obsess about what the Red Sox do and I don't obsess about what the Yankees do because it can be costly and counterpdroductive."
The Gammons piece concentrates on Epstein's open-minded way of running things in Boston:
"Theo likes having a lot of people with imput and the constant buzz of ideas," says one of his assistants. "You have the sage, experienced and fearless voice of Bill Lajoie, and Josh Byrnes. Then there are a bunch of us who brainstorm with him every day. What is most interesting is that he wants voices that disagree. He wants every side to every issue, and encourages contrary opinions."
This is the reason why Epstein is so appealing, and why the Sox are an extremely likable team. (It was much easier to despise them when Dan Duquette was running the team.) Reading this article reminded me of something that Oakland's assistant GM, Paul DePodesta said in "Moneyball:"
"It's looking at process rather than outcomes," Paul says. "Too many people make decisions based on outcomes rather than process."
Focusing on the process is not a luxury Brain Cashman can afford working for Boss George, which makes what he's been able to accomplish in New York all the more impressive.