By Dan Bernstein-
(CBS) There has never been any love lost professionally between Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and agent Scott Boras, or between Boras and any keeper of MLB purse strings.
But Wednesday's surgical dismantling of Boras' tactics by Epstein in an interview with CSN Chicago is one that will be referenced for years to come, or at least until baseball collectively bargains new ways of doing business. Kris Bryant is the latest unwitting bit of fodder for such a skirmish, and Epstein went in hard.
"I have a lot of respect for Scott, and he by and large does a great job for his clients," Epstein said. "The only part about it that bothers me is that he certainly could have picked up the phone before going to the national media about this. He never once called me and asked me if Kris would make the team or anything about his situation. So just from a personal level and professional respect, that would have been something that I would have done if I was in his shoes."
And there's more, as Epstein used the interview as a chance to defend the decision to start Bryant's year in the minors.
"A major league debut is a sense of time, and if it doesn't go quite the right way and if you don't put them in the right position to succeed, you can get in the way of their whole integration into the major leagues and it's something we take seriously," Epstein told CSN Chicago. "I've never once done it. I've never put a young prospect in a position to make his major league debut on Opening Day. Opening Day, when it is cold out and there is a lot of attention and even veteran players don't feel like themselves, they're not quite into the flow of the season yet.
"I've never done it, and it's always been for baseball reasons. This is not a different situation than we've faced in the past, so let's make the best decision for the Chicago Cubs and for Kris Bryant's development."
Sounds like he already has.
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