Tainted Theo?

Spencer Ackerman of TPM Muckraker is a self-proclaimed Yankees fan. Still, his take on what the Mitchell Report says about Theo Epstein and the Red Sox is worth pondering:
Acording to Mitchell, Sox general manager Theo Epstein acquired flop reliever Eric Gagne nearly a year after learning of serious circumstantial evidence of Gagne's steroid use....

The Red Sox scouted Gagne, once a valuable relief pitcher, after the 2006 season, when Epstein began overhauling the Sox pitching staff. Yet a certain concern lingered. On November 1, 2006, Epstein emailed his scout, Mark Delpiano, "Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?" [emph. added]

Delpiano replied:

"Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. [emph.added] Has had a checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent [sic] self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff."

Yet the Sox picked up Gagne from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline during the 2007 season. What does that say about Epstein's commitment to a steroid-free championship team?

Amalie Benjamin of the Globe quotes the Epstein-Delpiano exchange, too--but she doesn't address the bigger question of how it reflects on Epstein and the Sox. Ditto for the Herald's Rob Bradford.

In their defense, this may be a subject best pursued by Boston's sports columnists. Let's see if any of them take it on.

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