Amid an offseason so far failing to be “full throttle” as previously promised, the Red Sox made a welcome addition to their ownership group. The franchise may have also reportedly admitted fault regarding its baseball team.
Fenway Sports Group announced the hiring of former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein as a part owner and senior advisor of FSG Friday. The move reportedly came partially because of the ownership group’s growing investment portfolio and thus lack of focus on the Red Sox.
“According to people with an understanding of the arrangement between Epstein and the Red Sox, he was brought back into the fold,” MassLive’s Chris Cotillo and Sean McAdam wrote, “At least in part, due to Red Sox ownership privately acknowledging that they have, at times, not given the club the attention it has deserved in recent years as the FSG portfolio has rapidly grown.”
Epstein, who held the position of the Red Sox’s general manager from 2003-2011, was hired this time around to “re-institute processes and lines of communication” that helped the team break the curse of the Bambino in 2004 and win another World Series trophy three years later, according to the report.
“Despite team president Sam Kennedy and others repeatedly reaffirming the ownership group’s commitment to the Red Sox publicly, within the organization, there has been an internal realization that the club needs to be more of a priority for FSG,” Cotillo and McAdam said. “Winning fans back is paramount after three last-place finishes in four years and a disappointing offseason that has included inconsistent rhetoric from team brass.”
This winter hasn’t necessarily been enjoyable for Red Sox fans. Between chairman Tom Werner’s “full throttle” promise in November that has yet to be fulfilled, president Sam Kennedy calling Red Sox fans who don’t think ownership is dedicated anymore “liars,” and a lack of free agent signings this winter, bringing back someone like Epstein who was integral in the franchise’s past success is welcome.
Despite ownership reportedly privately taking accountability for a shortage of nurturing toward the Red Sox, any form of accountability is a step in the right direction of making amends with fans.
Epstein will reportedly be involved in all of FSG’s investments such as Liverpool FC and the Pittsburgh Penguins on top of the Red Sox. This means his total attention won’t be focused on the baseball club.
Nonetheless, an effort on FSG’s part to improve the state of the team amid a tumultuous offseason and back-to-back last-place finishes in Boston is positive movement.
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