Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

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    Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff

    Despite the panic across Red Sox nation this morning, Theo Epstein is remaining positive and hopeful that his team can turn things around in the last 16 games of the season.

    The Red Sox general manager spoke this morning about the team's swoon, and revealed that J.D. Drew has a broken finger, in an interview on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan Show:"

    “We have an opportunity ahead of us to play good baseball for two and a half weeks, ride that momentum into the postseason. If we don't do it, we don't deserve to be there," Epstein said. "We have to prove that we were the team that had the best record in baseball, four plus months, we're not the team that started 2-10 and went 3-10 most recently, so that's on us. We need to go out and do it."

    Epstein said there wasn't one specific reason for the current collapse.

    "It's never one factor," Epstein said."There are a lot of things that we're not doing well right now, and those are all contributing obviously. We're not getting very good starting pitching right now, our bullpen is in a downturn. We have some guys that are not having the kind of at bats that they've had throughout the course of the season. We're not playing great defense. We're making some mistakes with the balls in play so a little bit of everything contributed to it. It's not just one thing, it's just right across the board why we've had a really bad couple of weeks."

    More from Theo's Q&A with WEEI:

    On if the bad play becomes contagious throughout the team:

    Epstein: "It seems that way. It's hard to tell whether it actually is. It probably is to a small extent and beyond that it's just seems that way when so many things aren't going well. I do think that when you have a run of bad starting pitching, it does obviously impact the bullpen, and has a little bit of effect on the offense as well. They go into at-bats early in the game feeling like they're down 5-0, sometimes they are, sometimes it just feels that way, and it's hard to have, especially with our kind of approach, you need to be patient, you need to have good at-bats, let the other guys knock you in, sort of the group offense mentality. Hard to have those kind of at-bats when you feel like you need to put a crooked number on the board all the time. I'm sure that's the way it is, guys start looking at each other wondering who's going to step up, sure. When you're playing well, we won two out of every three games over four months, there's a contagiousness to that when you're expecting things to go well, and when you're on the other side of the coin, sure, you're expecting things to go poorly.

    "The thing we have going for us here, beyond the fact that we're a very good team just not playing like it right now, is that we’ve pulled ourselves out of this before. April was no walk in the park, different from September, you've got the length of the season to fix things, but you were around the team then, you remember what that was like, That was not fun. And this team did a great job of pulling itself out of that, so we certainly can do it again and have to. We’ve been punched in the mouth here a little bit, it’s how we respond that matters."

    On J.D. Drew's finger injury:

    Epstein: "J.D.’s got a broken finger, he's had an avulsion fracture of his middle finger so it needs to heal, hopefully he can come back. We haven't ruled anything out with him. He wants to be out there. He cut back his rehab game, went 3-for-3, then in that last at-bat broke that finger. So, he's doing the best he can and we want to try to get him back as soon as we can. Same as the case for a number of other guys that we've had out for a long time here."

    On John Lackey's struggles:

    Epstein: "Again, I think it's a number of factors. We were pretty hopeful for a while there that he would pull himself out of it. He had a run of good starts, was starting to throw the ball better, had a little bit of regression here lately but that's what makes it frustrating. If it were that easy to pinpoint, obviously he would have made an adjustment by now so it's a continual struggle to try to pinpoint exactly what's going on with him and make adjustments so he can help us."

    On the message he wants to send to the players:

    Epstein: "For me the message is, and obviously I think this purveys the clubhouse, is that it’s not what happens to you, every team is going to stumble, every team is going to get kicked in the mouth. It’s how you respond. It’s incumbent upon us to respond the right way. If we don't respond the right way, there's going to be night after night after night that every single one of those players is going to wake up and say ‘Gosh we were three and a half up with 17 games to play, and we felt like it was slipping away from us, why didn’t we just come out and play great baseball the way we had for most of the year.'

    As much as this team [has] a massive problem, this is a tremendous opportunity to respond for the second time in one regular season after some horrendous play with great opportunity to be had beyond that. If we can right the ship and we will, not only will we be where we want to be at the end of the regular season but we're going to have great momentum heading into postseason. I'm glad we play the Rays four times coming up. If we can't right the ship against these guys, if we can't do what we need to do, we probably don’t deserve to get into the postseason. As much of this looks like a crisis from the outside and obviously hasn't been fun from the inside, this is an opportunity. If we are what we think we are, to quote somebody else, then this is a great opportunity for us to go play well for two and a half weeks, ride the momentum into the postseason, and be the team we were for four months, the best team in baseball over four months, and we have to go do that."

    On if players assumed they were already in the postseason a little prematurely?

    Epstein: "I can’t get into the minds of every single player in that clubhouse. I don’t think so. There's always been a focus to go out and win that night’s game. When Tito and I get together after the games, talk about how we played, and then he asks what happens in the other games beyond the scoreboard, we’ve always been talking about the Rays. Even when we were 10 up a couple of weeks ago, whatever it was. We never really fully erased them from radar. yeah you want the division, and we do want the division, still want the division. You look ahead of you, and in a division like this you're always looking around you. Sure it looked good. We put ourselves in position where it looked good. It still looks good if we play the way we're supposed to, but I don't think we ever took 100 percent for granted that we're in the playoffs. You have play until you spray champagne and then you can look to the postseason. We're not there yet and we've got a lot of work to do ahead of us now to get there."

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from the---yazman. Show the---yazman's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    i wish someone would pull inepstein from the front office ASAP.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from BeaconHill19. Show BeaconHill19's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Your days are numbered. Pumpsie has arrived.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Thesemenarecowards. Show Thesemenarecowards's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Dear Theo,

    Your job is to spend a rich mans money.  I don't need to hear your "every team is going to get kicked in the mouth" pep talk BS.  You assembled the team, now shut up and watch them and quit talking like anything you say matters.

    P.S.  Julio Lugo and Mike Cameron send their best. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from losingsucks. Show losingsucks's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    wow, such negativity for a team that will make the playoffs
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Thesemenarecowards. Show Thesemenarecowards's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    I agree that they will make the play-offs, I just think it is a joke for a guy who watches in a polo shirt from a luxury box to talk about "getting kicked in the mouth".

    And listening to Theo comment about Lackey is like listening Donald Rumsfeld talk about Iraq.  Both will speak in vague terms about execution and what needs to be fixed when all they need to say is, "I F***ed this thing up from the beginning and now we're stuck." 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from traven. Show traven's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    I would imagine that this team would be riding a high without the present injuries to the pitching staff and the position players.  That said - isn't this deja vu all over again - ala 2010?  Maybe the Sox need to trade for a training and medical staff over the winter and forget about FAs.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from losingsucks. Show losingsucks's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    the hottest team heading into the playoffs always wins the world series.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]the hottest team heading into the playoffs always wins the world series.
    Posted by losingsucks[/QUOTE]

    Like Colorado in '07?
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from BeaconHill19. Show BeaconHill19's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Yankenstein is one of my favorite Yankee fans on this forum. The regulars however like all of them - even Babe, Mikey, and Pinstripes. Jeter and Rizzuto are also great.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]the hottest team heading into the playoffs always wins the world series.
    Posted by losingsucks[/QUOTE]

    HAHAHAHAHA...one of the wrongest things ever said on this forum.  Check out how the 2006 Cardinals or the 2000 Yankees finished the season.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]Yankenstein is one of my favorite Yankee fans on this forum. The regulars however like all of them - even Babe, Mikey, and Pinstripes. Jeter and Rizzuto are also great.
    Posted by BeaconHill19[/QUOTE]

    Leave it to Pike to welcome NY rivals with open arms:)
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BeaconHill19. Show BeaconHill19's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Yankenstein, Rizzuto, and Jeter NEVER come here to annoy Red Sox fans. The others do. I thought that this was obvious.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]Yankenstein, Rizzuto, and Jeter NEVER come here to annoy Red Sox fans. The others do. I thought that this was obvious.
    Posted by BeaconHill19[/QUOTE]

    So was my mock.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from OhEFFU. Show OhEFFU's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]the hottest team heading into the playoffs always wins the world series.
    Posted by losingsucks[/QUOTE]

    Really?  You know what, I haven't even looked, and I am 100% sure that is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.  Just try not to overstate things.  You just mean, it is somewhat important how you are playing when you enter the post-season.  You don't really mean the hotest team ALWAYS wins the WS.  It's just that, in all these message boards, anonymity breeds unfounded confidence.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kimsaysthis. Show kimsaysthis's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before' : Dear Thesemenarecowards,   I don't need to hear your BS.  You  now shut up and watch them and quit talking like anything you say matters.  Please read this over and over again until the fall asleep.
    Posted by OhEFFU[/QUOTE]

    LOL.
     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from BurritoT. Show BurritoT's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Irregardless of the overall experience what he did in 2004 stands on its own. Courting Schilling to trading Nomar and then some, spectacular.

    I do feel now there is too much of the New York mentality and we forsake wise moves by spending just because we can.

    The best free agent on the market is not necessarily the best player for your team.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    In Response to Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before':
    [QUOTE]Irregardless of the overall experience what he did in 2004 stands on its own. Courting Schilling to trading Nomar and then some, spectacular. I do feel now there is too much of the New York mentality and we forsake wise moves by spending just because we can. The best free agent on the market is not necessarily the best player for your team.
    Posted by BurritoT[/QUOTE]

    Some good comments there, Burrito.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from jackyldo. Show jackyldo's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    Despite the panic across Red Sox nation this morning, Theo Epstein is remaining positive and hopeful that his team can turn things around in the last 16 games of the season......

    What  does the writer suggest, Theo  should be on the toll plaza of the Tobin,  contemplating a swan dive into the Mystic?

    Other than Mike Cameron  (traded  to Marlins - injured and released) and Darnell (Gee, what a nice guy)  both making the team  and   laying eggs  for  4 months of the season  the roster  looked pretty  starting out.

    They  made trades  put pieces in place    now it's up to the players.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Diamondtalk. Show Diamondtalk's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    What else can Theo be expected to say ?     He has to put a positive spin on the failures and still show hope that Wakefield, Lackey, and Miller can get the job done.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoUconn13. Show GoUconn13's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    That is right about what should Theo say.  Look at Joe Maddon of Tampa Bay who have already mouthed off about that Tampa will take over Boston for the wildcard spot.  Now it is Boston turn to counter mouth off back to Tampa Bay about they are not going to fold.

    Someone got to speak up and try to motivate Boston's team.

    This is nothing wrong for Theo or Henry or etc speaking up for the team.

    Now tonite is the start for the team to wake up and start winning ball games to clinch the playoff spot asap!!!

    Go Red Sox!!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from BurritoT. Show BurritoT's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    no matter how well the team played this year we just could not get more than a 2 or 3 game lead on NY, and here we are 4 back all of a sudden. I cannot stand the Yankees.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Theo Epstein on WEEI: 'We've pulled ourselves out of this before'

    m
     

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