The recent mega-deal signed by Albert Pujols has, naturally, generated a lot of discussion. Red Sox fans have been spared to some degree. The move didn’t affect the Sox directly. They weren’t getting Pujols, since they already have a first baseman. The Yankees didn’t get him either. So, the signing was a marginal issue at best. But, it doesn’t mean the national shows weren’t all over it.
I heard one show the other day discussing how it affected the Cubs. Sure, it was great to have Pujols leave the division. But, should the Cubs have gotten him themselves? The general feeling was a “Trust in Theo” mentality. They were willing to believe that Theo has a plan, and that even if it didn’t make sense to them, it would produce results. That seemed reasonable. When Theo was the Boston GM that certainly was often the case. Fans may not have completely agreed with his moves, but often gave him some slack. He has two rings as a GM. He must know something. Then it hit me. Theo’s not the GM in Chicago. He’s the team president. Not once in these discussions did Jed Hoyer’s name come up. His plan was never mentioned. The GM seemed irrelevant. It was all about Theo. I found it interesting.
The Red Sox team president is, of course, Larry Lucchino. I see story after story about how he needs to butt out of things. How Ben Cherington needs to assert his control. How awful it was that he might have been overruled in the manager hunt. Was it a blow to his credibility? Is he the GM, or not? I saw a story mention that Lucchino may have stayed away from the winter meetings, just as a symbol that Ben’s in charge. So, Theo’s GM is completely ignored in any discussion of the Cubs but Larry’s GM needs to be the only person in the room? Why the difference?
And, really, if anyone’s GM should be ignored, shouldn’t it be Larry’s? He’s the one with the longer track record of success. He’s been the president of eight playoff teams. Theo hasn’t been the president of any. Theo was the GM of only six. Larry is the owner of three World Series Championship rings. Theo, two. Still, the Cubs fans are willing to follow Theo blindly into battle, and we want Larry to stay away.
Why don’t we want Lucchino even more involved than he is?