It’s the right thing to do, first of all, but it also helps you because you end up building better relationships with players, they start to trust you, and you can ask more out of them when they trust you.” Epstein’s candor has served him well in the clubhouse, in the front office and with the public.
After managing in the minors — Michael Jordan was one of his Chicago White Sox prospects — Francona guided the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997 to 2000.
Everybody knew the rule, of course, but it was an early signal to players that Francona would shield them from public criticism — and the next day, in private, Francona chewed Martinez out.
The success of the 2004 Red Sox, who broke an 86-year streak of futility, seemed to add another component to his vision.
Schilling called Epstein the only general manager he ever played for who truly understood his place in the clubhouse — when to be there, when not to be there, and what it all meant.