Red Sox owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino, in a Friday morning appearance on the Dennis & Callahan Show, declined to comment directly on the Cubs' request to talk about a job in their organization with current Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Both Henry and Lucchino said that the organization has a policy of not commenting on requests for permission by other clubs to talk with their personnel, with Lucchino noting that the team had not commented on (or made public) a past request about Epstein and Henry noting that other teams had requested permission to talk to Lucchino in the past.
"Every year we get requests from people. We’ve never discussed them publicly," said Lucchino. "We don’t comment on requests."
Speaking generally, Henry did note that permission is typically granted by teams to organizations that want to discuss a promotion.
"There is a certain protocol in this game," said Henry. "If someone asks permission for a job that’s not lateral, you give them permission. That’s just the way it works."
That said, Henry also said that it was fair to assume that Epstein would at some point move on from being the Red Sox GM, just as former Sox manager Terry Francona reached a point at which it was time to move on.
"Everyone has to understand a couple of things, and I think Tito alluded to this," Henry said. "I think there's a certain shelf life in these jobs. You can only be the general manager, if you're sane, you can only be the manager for a certain amount of time. It's a tremendous pressure-cooker here, 162 games. It's a long season, and the pressure here is 365 days.
"So, Theo is not going to be the general manager forever. Just as, if Tito had some back for the last two years, would he have gone past 10 years? I can't imagine that he would have. I think that Theo will. He's the guy now, he's been the guy, we've had tremendous success. We fell apart at the end of the season. As Larry expressed, we're upset about it. No fan could be more upset than I am about the result this year. But he's done a tremendous job for us over the last [nine] years."
Without commenting on the uncertainty surrounding Epstein's future, Henry and Lucchino did insist that the Red Sox' search for a manager to replace Francona -- who left the job a week ago after eight seasons -- was proceeding.
"We're actively engaged in that search for a new manager," said Lucchino. "Theo is actively engaged. ... [Assistant GM] Ben Cherington is actively involved in that process. ... That process is moving ahead. It's not going to happen overnight."