In November of 2002, no one knew who Theo Epstein was. He was this 28-year-old kid who made history becoming the youngest to serve as a Major League Baseball General Manager, hired by the Boston Red Sox.
He had the baby face going on and his full head of light brown hair. He was ready to prove all of his critics wrong. He accomplished that in 2004 and then again in 2007 by adding key players to produce winning ball clubs.
Now, seven years later this November, the 35-year-old is no longer a kid anymore. His light brown hair is streaked with grays and his hair line is creeping up and thinning out.
Epstein has a lot of work ahead of him this offseason. In today's Boston Globe, Red Sox beat writer Amalie Benjamin compiled a page of what the 2010 ball club may look like.
The starting pitching staff looks to be set with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, with Tim Wakefield pending.
But it'll be interesting to see what he does with David Ortiz and Mike Lowell. Lowell didn't have a bad season despite only playing 119 games because of a hip injury. The third baseman batted .290 with 17 home runs and 75 runs batted in. Perhaps he could take the designated hitter's role?
Ortiz will never be the same since Manny Ramirez was traded away. That three-four combo is gone and now that every team does the "David Ortiz shift" and seems to work every time, maybe it's time to say good-bye to Big Papi.
He somehow finished the 2009 season putting up 28 HR and 99 RBI, but hit a measly .238.
Papi gave the Sox some great years and no one will ever forget that, but it's clear especially after this postseason he isn't the same clutch hitter. Going 1-for-12 isn't going to cut it.
Good Mr. Epstein. We only hope that you don't lose your whole head of hair over this.
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