My Sportsman Choice: Theo Epstein
Posted: Monday November 22, 2004 12:35PM; Updated: Monday November 22, 2004 12:35PM
By Paul Zimmerman
Granted, I am an NFL guy, but before that, I was a Red Sox fan. Growing up in the Bronx, that wasn't easy. How many people do you know who cheered when we got Vern Stephens, the home run hitting shortstop, from the St.Louis Browns? Or Rudy York from the Tigers?
You have to go back to the 1940s for that, and let's face it, the NFL was in its predevelopment stage at that time. So I've been rooting for the Sox all these years and swallowing all the bitter pills, and then along comes a 28-year-old boy genius who knows how to put together a championship team.
Theo Epstein, the Red Sox general manager, is my Sportsman of the Year.
Sure it would be easy to go for one of the heroes on the field, such as Curt Schilling or David Ortiz, but how about the guy who swung the deal for Schilling and brought him to us? Or sent a scout down to the Dominican Republic to grab Ortiz away from the other greedy teams, and that was after suffering that hit with Jose Contreras, who stiffed us in favor of the Yankees.
Epstein brought us a bullpen; he got us defense last July. He knows what he's doing, thank God, and the least I can do in return for the joy he's brought me, is choose him for this award
Sports Illustrated will announce the 2004 Sportsman of the Year winner on FOX on November 28. Check back every weekday until then to read more Sportsman picks from SI writers.