FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, at a Sacred Heart University event, suggested that in retrospect, while he did not regret leaving the Red Sox for approximately three months after the 2005 season, he could have addressed the concerns that led to his departure without abandoning his post as GM of the club.
"That was a time conflict of what organization stood for. I didn’t agree with the values the ownership had of running Red Sox. You have to be all in when you’re a general manager. You use up a lot of energy and sacrifice your personal life. If you’re not all in you can’t do it," Epstein said. "Due to an internal conflict, I didn’t like what the organization came to stand for. There were a lot of internal politics. I didn’t want to sign a long-term contract with an organization that I didn’t stand for their values. I said no thanks and took some time away. The owner got more involved and we discussed what we wanted the organization to stand for. We talked through the process, the values and we got on same page and it was great. In hindsight I could have accomplished same thing without leaving, but at the same time I am glad I did what I did."
Ultimately, Epstein returned to the Sox for almost six more years, a span in which he reached the playoffs three times and won a second World Series. In contrast to his departure in 2005, which represented a conflict over the values of the organization, Epstein characterized his decision to leave Boston this winter for the Cubs job as a deeply personal one.
"The [Cubs] job represents a great new challenge. That is just the way I am wired; I tend to get a little bit restless in places. I believe in change, rebirth and new challenges," said Epstein. "The experience in Boston was so meaningful to me in so many different ways that I felt like I couldn’t go just anywhere as I looked around the baseball landscape. The fact that you only live once and try to be in a lot of different places and do different things, I couldn’t find many places that carry that type of meaning. I didn’t want to go anywhere because it was a nice situation, or because the weather was nice. Because the Cubs haven’t won in 103 years and have a fan base that wants a winner, the job connected with me. That is what makes it fun."
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