Curse-killer gets his due
THEO Epstein, who put paid to the second Major League Baseball “curse” of his career last week, was named Executive of the Year in a vote of 56 club executives.
Epstein, 42, is president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs, who captured their first World Series crown since 1908 by defeating Cleveland in the best-of-seven final four games to three.
In voting conducted by the Sporting News, Epstein received 13 votes to nine for Cleveland Indians president Chris Antonetti and eight for New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Epstein had built the 2004 Boston Red Sox championship team that ended that team’s 86-year title drought to finish off the “Curse of the Bambino”, the supposed hoodoo stemming from the Red Sox trading beloved star Babe Ruth to the Yankees.
Epstein’s curse-killer reputation was enhanced by the title for the Cubs, who some say were suffering under the “Curse of the Billy Goat” after a tavern owner and his goat were ejected from a 1945 World Series game and he vowed the team would not win again.
After joining the Cubs in 2012, the team endured three losing seasons before making the playoffs last year and winning a season-best 103 games this year.
The only previous Cubs executives to win the award were Phil Wrigley in 1945 and Dallas Green in 1984. –