Big League Stew - MLB

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

Age: 34

GM since: Nov. 2002

World Series titles: 2

AL East titles: 1

2008 payroll: $133 million

Height: 6-foot-2

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

First trade: Acquired Todd Walker for Josh Thigpen and Tony Blanco (12/02)

Boldest trade: Acquired Orlando Cabrera (Expos) and Doug Mientkiewicz (Twins) for Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton (July '04)

Best trade: Acquired Curt Schilling from D-backs for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge de la Rosa and Michael Goss (Nov. '03)

Worst trade: Acquired Wily Mo Pena from Reds for Bronson Arroyo (March '06)

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

Age: 31

GM since: Nov. 2005

World Series titles: 0

AL East titles: 1

2008 payroll: $44 million

Height: 5-foot-6

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

First trade: Acquired Sean Burroughs from Padres for Dewon Brazelton (Dec. '05)

Boldest trade: Acquired Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza and Eduardo Morlan from Twins for Brendan Harris, Delmon Young and Jason Pridie (Nov. '07)

Best trade: Acquired Dioner Navarro, Jae Wong Seo and Justin Ruggiano from Dodgers for Toby Hall, Mark Hendrickson and cash.

Worst trade: Acquired Calvin Medlock and Brian Shackelford from Marlins for Jorge Cantu, Shaun Cumberland and cash (July '07)

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.

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