As the Boston Red Sox are expected to name Ben Cherington their next general manager on Thursday, the man who used to occupy that position, Theo Epstein, gave his final farewell to the team’s fans on Tuesday morning in a letter in the Boston Globe.

He reminisced on his lifelong love for the Sox and how happy he was to see the team win twice during his reign.

He went on to explain why he’s leaving Boston. “Football legend Bill Walsh used to say that coaches and executives should seek change after 10 years with the same team. The theory is that both the individual and the organization benefit from a change after so much time together,” he wrote.

Even though Epstein is now moving on to run the Chicago Cubs, he’s proud of the legacy he leaves in Boston.

“Beyond the results on the field, I believe the Red Sox came to stand for certain things over the last decade. Pride in the uniform. Appreciation of our history. Controlling the strike zone. Grinding at-bats. Having each other’s backs… These principles united the organization and came to define us.”

He called the Red Sox late-season breakdown this year a “collective failure,” but he hopes that the team will move on and grow from the experience.

“It may not seem this way now, but I am convinced that we will look back at September of 2011 not as some harbinger of the demise of the Red Sox, but as an anomaly in the midst of a decades-long run of success for the franchise. Some good may even come from it. I know the climate is especially hostile right now, and our mistakes are well documented, but I encourage fans not to lose faith in the players or in the organization. Red Sox Nation is a fantastic place, and it’s even better when we take a deep breath and give each other the benefit of the doubt.”