And it's not exactly a surprise that it involves Theo Epstein. Theo, of course, is the Most Overrated Baseball Executive In Baseball History, having been far less responsible for the Greatest Cultural Awakening to occur during the Shrub administration (the "advent" of the Red Sox") than virtually anyone believes.
Theo has a theatrical legacy in his family, so he (along with many other master manipulators) has some heightened skill with fake symbolism, flim-flam, and what's semi-affectionately known in the parallel world of the Beltway Bandits (and don't think baseball insiderism isn't all about that same sh*t...) as "weasel words." (And let's stop for a moment to thank our fabulous sponsor, Fright Quotes R Us, currently in negotiations for a merger with "the whole enchilada" of urban dictionary web sites in order to deliver irreverence directly to your email address for a very nice price...)
Now, "weasel words" and "hubris" are not completely synonymous...though they often keep the same company. The former is usually an outgrowth of the latter, though Theo was probably incredibly precocious when it came to this and was already highly accomplished in the practice prior to secondary school.
So it should not raise any eyebrows that he is currently trying to weasel his way out of the type of grasping behavior that overly-entitled insiders with an overly-practiced, baked-in look of searing intensity employ in order to create the requisite amount of psychological distance from the all-too-willing-to-be-callow media.
|Rick (Rich) Renteria wasn't much of a hitter in|
his baseball career, but no one could blame him
if he was tempted to take the bat to the noggins
of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.
It's the type of behavior that believes inherently (in a manner parallel with the less fortunate who are endowed with such traits, who are merely sociopaths...) that they should be able to get away with anything and everything they want.
Hence the exceptional shadiness involving Joe Maddon, a late-blooming egotist in search of a legacy, and Rick (Rich) Renteria, a garden-variety, anonymous foot-soldier with a upside managerial profile like Terry Francona. The former has an outsized reputation--though not as outsized as Theo, who always looks as though he was just broken out of his own plaster-saint replica (there's rumored to be just such an artifact in the Cubs' executive washroom...). The latter is just some guy to stand there and get pissed on when the time and occasion call for it, no matter if he might have demonstrated a good bit more affinity for the job than anyone initially suspected.
Theo's "weasel words," of course, as he brazenly attempts to deflect attention from what at the least is breach of faith (and the worst? Don't stop short of the "T" word...), are front and center in his disingenuous obloquy.
|We'll take this "Uncle Joe" over|
the other one (left): less ego, more
So, to wind down the wind machine (you may cheer as you see fit...), we won't be surprised to discover that there will have to be some compensation made to the Rays once all the slime boils over. We think that shortstop prospect Addison Russell is just about the right cost for Theo and Jed (and Granny and Jethro, too).
Anything less, in fact, would be--a scandal? In baseball, where insider sh*t is more sanctioned than in the Washington world of lobbyists?? No, just another example of "rugged individualist" hubris trumping ethics--again.
Of course, what would also be a kick in the head would be if the Rays turned around, hired Rick Renteria--and won the World Series in 2015.