Re “Epstein’s clean getaway irks owners” (Sports, Aug. 30): Kudos to Dan Shaughnessy for pointing out the view of a Forbes writer that former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was “the decade’s most overrated baseball executive.”
Shaughnessy points out most of Epstein’s mistakes, but omits what I think was the biggest one: not re-signing Johnny Damon. The center fielder was the kind of hard-nosed, gritty ballplayer that the Sox needed, but Damon apparently did not fit the sabermetrics model. Epstein never grasped that baseball is more than numbers.
It should be pointed out that Epstein did engineer the deal that brought Curt Schilling to the Sox for the championship season in 2004, a championship that the Sox may not have won without him. He also signed David Ortiz (for his defense) and Dave Roberts and built a farm system that produced Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz.
Overall, Shaughnessy got it right.