At 41, Andy MacPhail was four years older than Theo Epstein when he came to Chicago to run the Cubs in the fall of 1994, but he too was every bit the baseball prodigy.
Like Epstein, MacPhail, a member of baseball's young elite, already had two World Series titles on his resume. MacPhail was also the last executive traded in baseball, arriving in Chicago in exchange for a Class A pitcher sent to Minnesota in compensation for the much-heralded hire by the Cubs.
"There were similarities," MacPhail agreed about him and Epstein, "but it was a different kettle of fish."
He was referring to the fact that when he left the Twins, he was on good terms with owner Carl Pohlad, happy in Minnesota, and left (he walked away from an offer of $4 million and part-ownership of the Twins) only after promising it would not be for the same job.
But there is something else, MacPhail said, that will be different for Epstein.