Theo Epstein As Next Tigers GM? Don’t Get Your Hopes Up, Detroit Fans
Al Avila's body was barely cold before Tigers fans on sports radio and social media seemingly coalesced behind one very popular potential replacement.
Tigers owner Chris Ilitch fired Avila on Wednesday after seven years in charge of the team's front office. Ilitch said the Tigers will conduct an "exhaustive" search to find "the best candidate to lead our baseball operations into the future." A loud segment of the fanbase had already identified that specific candidate:
No One Is More Qualified For The Tigers' Tall Task Than Epstein
Epstein is favored by every fanbase when their general manager position is vacant, and for good reason. The man helped break the two most infamous curses in baseball (and perhaps all of sports) history.
Epstein landed his first GM job with the Red Sox in the 2003 season. A year later, he exorcised Boston's legendary Curse of the Bambino by helping the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. He also guided Boston to a second championship in 2007.
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Four years later, Epstein took the helm of the Chicago Cubs' front office ahead of the 2012 season. Within just four years, Epstein had rebuilt the Northsiders from top to bottom. In 2016, he ended another historic drought, the historic Curse of the Billygoat, by helping the Cubs capture their first World Series championship in 108 years.
Epstein stepped down from his role with the Cubs in 2020.
Where Is He Now?
In early 2021, Epstein joined Arctos Sports Partners, a firm that buys minority shares of professional sports teams. Epstein has gone on the record saying he would like to personally own an MLB franchise at least in part, which explains his interest in the Arctos group.
Also in early 2021, Epstein began working as a consultant for the MLB Commissioner's Office. He reportedly advises the league on potential changes to the game.
Technically, Epstein is available. He doesn't work for any other MLB club, making him a free agent in the baseball executive world.
Pump The Brakes, Tigers Fans
But just because Epstein's available it doesn't mean that he's a legitimate candidate for Detroit's next general manager.
Anything is possible — we know this especially well in the sports world. But it seems like a virtual certainty that Epstein will not be the next top Tiger in Detroit's front office. Here's why.