Epstein confirms Starbucks sighting

CHICAGO -- Theo Epstein has two standard lines when he is approached on the street by people and doesn't want to be recognized. Noah Pinzur heard both earlier this month in a Starbucks blocks away from Epstein's future workplace, Wrigley Field.

Pinzur's claim of spotting Epstein and his wife in a Starbucks on Oct. 8 was confirmed by Epstein himself on Tuesday when he was introduced as president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

"When I'm somewhere where I don't want to be recognized and somebody recognizes me, I have a couple standard lines I go to," Epstein said. "I usually always say like, 'Oh no, that's not me, but I guess I kind of look like him. I get that a lot.' Or I say, 'Theo Epstein? Who's that?'

"And I was so excited to be in Chicago and so surprised to be recognized that I dropped both lines on this guy without stopping to realize they don't really work well in concert with each other. My mistake, and actually, I'm a little bit more of a Dunkin' [Donuts] guy to begin with. Now that I know Dunkin' supports the Cubs, that's a good thing."

Pinzur heard both of those lines when he approached Epstein that day. His story first appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Pinzur later recounted it on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. Since then he has experienced quite a reaction with some on message boards accusing him of making the whole thing up.

Now that Epstein has confirmed his story, does Pinzur feel validated?

"It's nice. Either way even if he didn't [confirm it] I knew what I saw," Pinzur said Tuesday. "It's always nice to be validated."

Pinzur said he was using his laptop in the Starbucks at Racine and Wrightwood avenues when he saw a black SUV pull up and watched a man and a woman get out. Pinzur approached Epstein in line and asked if he was the Red Sox general manager.

Epstein said no and added "I get that a lot." Then he said: "Who is Theo Epstein?"

Pinzur said he was "99.9 percent sure" it was Epstein and later erased the smidge of doubt when he Googled "Theo Epstein's wife" and got an image of the woman he saw waiting in line.

Count Pinzur among the many Cubs fans who is excited to have Epstein running the baseball operation at Wrigley Field.

"It's always nice when you have a target and that's who they were going to get," Pinzur said.

ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report.