The Boston Red Sox did not invite former general manager Theo Epstein -- architect of the team's World Series championships in 2004 and 2007 -- to take part in the Fenway Park 100th anniversary ceremonies Friday, according to a report on CSNNE.com.
A team source told Boston sports radio station WEEI that Epstein was invited to Fenway for Friday's game, but was not invited to take part in the ceremonies. Another source said Epstein did not receive that invitation until Thursday afternoon.
The Red Sox extended invitations to all former uniformed personnel to take part in the Fenway ceremonies, but did not include any executives.
"Apparently we decided to just invite uniformed personnel," Red Sox owner John Henry told CSNNE.com. He said he was unaware Epstein had not been asked to return until a reporter informed him.
Epstein, who left the Red Sox after last season's September collapse to take a job as president of the Chicago Cubs, sent an email to Boston sportswriters Thursday saying he wouldn't attend the ceremony.
"I hope tomorrow is a great day for Red Sox fans and for the whole organization," he said. "I have plans to be at the Cubs game tomorrow, but I will take a moment to toast Fenway along with everyone else who loves that ballpark."
Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona at first declined the invitation from the team after a messy parting.
"I'm not quite ready for the hugs yet," he had said.
But on Wednesday he announced he had changed his mind and would attend Friday's ceremonies, which come 100 years to the day after the first regular-season game at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox are keeping their plans for Friday's 100th anniversary celebration under wraps. What they've announced is that ceremonies will begin at about 2 p.m. ET (an hour before the game against the New York Yankees) and will include the Boston Pops and a stadium-wide toast to Fenway Park.
Both the Red Sox and Yankees will wear 1912 throwback uniforms.