Former Red Sox general manager and current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday.
Epstein spoke to several media outlets -- including Alex Speier of WEEI.com, who profiled Epstein on Thursday -- about a "monster" that was created by the success of the Sox and the massive expectations that followed. Epstein was asked if, later on in his tenure as GM, there was pressure from ownership to make major free-agent signings to satisfy the fan base.
"There are no villains here, it's the reality," Epstein said. "The reality of what happens in a big market, especially when you have incredible performance on the field as well as off the field. Things get bigger and bigger and I was always concerned about it getting too big. When you start to grow and it starts to become insatiable it becomes hard to take a reasonable long-term approach both on and off the field. There's no villain, there's no one to point the finger at. … If anything, I blame myself, in the end it started getting too big and I didn't do a good enough job of managing that inherent tension and the realities of a big market team when things start to fall of a little bit, which is natural. And certainly I should have executed better in big-name free agency."
The final two major splashes of Epstein's tenure in Boston were Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. With Gonzalez struggling in 2012 and Crawford yet to take the field this season after a disappointing 2011, Epstein was asked if it was ultimately his decision to add the two players at the cost of nearly $300 million.
"I think too much has been made of that, it was an organizational decision to add two impact players in Crawford and Gonzalez that winter," Epstein said. "I think Adrian Gonzalez is a great bet to perform at an elite level the way he has throughout his entire career and the way he did for most of last season. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions there and I think the same could be said of Carl when he gets back from his injury."
To hear the interview, including Epstein's thoughts on the fallout from last September and the possibility of Kevin Youkilis landing in Chicago, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news visit weei.com/redsox.
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