October 10, 2008
Andrew Friedman and Theo Epstein, the men who respectively run the Rays and Red Sox, seem to be cut from the same cloth of superficialities. In addition to their relative youth and shared ethnic/religious heritage, neither played pro baseball, nor did they bird-dog many prospects in the sticks, nor did they spend a significant amount of time being groomed as a GM's top assistant (though Epstein did log some good time with the Padres).
And yet none of those "shortcomings" have prevented either from joining the ranks of the most successful GMs in baseball. So here, at the dawn of the ALCS, Big League Stew presents this handy comparison after so that the baseball faithful outside of New England and Florida can tell Theo from Andrew — and vice-versa.
* * *
Name: Theo Epstein
Team: Boston Red Sox
GM since: Nov. 2002
World Series titles: 2
AL East titles: 1
2008 payroll: $133 million
Hometown: Brookline, Mass.
Athletic apex: Rode the bench for Brookline High
Academics: Yale — American Studies ('95)
Non-vocational training: Passed California bar ('99)
First MLB job: Baltimore Orioles — intern (‘92)
Sugar Daddy: Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and and Dodgers executive Dr. Charles Steinberg
Best draft pick: Jonathan Papelbon (4th rd., '03)
One Ray of separation: Eric Hinske (‘06)
One who got away: Carlos Pena ('06)
Biggest headache: Manny Ramirez
* * *
Name: Andrew Friedman
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
GM since: Nov. 2005
World Series titles: 0
AL East titles: 12008 payroll: $44 million
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Athletic apex: Speedy, oft-injured outfielder at Tulane
Academics: Tulane, management ('99)
Non-vocational training: Intern and analyst for investment giant Bear Stearns ('99-'02) and MidMark Capital ('02-'04)
First MLB job: Rays director of baseball development ('04-'05)
Sugar Daddies: Rays owner Stuart Sternberg
Best trade: Acquired Dioner Navarro, Jae Wong Seo and Justin Ruggiano from Dodgers for Toby Hall, Mark Hendrickson and cash.
Best draft pick: Evan Longoria (1st rd., '06)
One Sock of separation: Julio Lugo ('03-'06)
One who got away: Joe Beimel ('05)
Biggest headache: Elijah Dukes, dawg.