Thursday October 13, 2011 | 06:01 AM

Theo Epstein is gone to Chicago and God help the next Boston Red Sox general manager (presumably Ben Cherington).

The new GM will be responsible for building a winner. And if the Red Sox win the championship, make sure the ego-crazed ownership group gets enough credit.

And if Boston loses, especially in the dramatic fashion of this past September, watch out. The owners will take no responsibility. They will say they are responsible but, behind the scenes, blame everyone else, going to the extremes of attempting to ruin another man's character.

No wonder Epstein left. No wonder David Ortiz talks about going to the Yankees (in an ESPN interview).

(By the way, if Ortiz wants to go, don't over-pay to keep him ... and, besides, the Yankees probably don't want him).

Who would want to work for the Red Sox these days and their ownership? Who could trust them? Wednesday's Boston Globe story about the Red Sox collapse is full of allegations against players, and against manager Terry Francona.

Many of those allegations had to come from ownership, especially the ones against Francona. To allege that Francona had problems with painkillers is slanderous. And to say that Francona was distracted because of marital trouble, or because his son is serving in Afghanistan is absurd.

Curt Schilling is right when he calls this character assassination.

I will have more on the subject later (my Sunday column just changed topics, from prospects to the soap opera).

These are sad times at Fenway Park ... not because the Red Sox lost baseball games, but how the men at the top are handling it.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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