Epstein graciously declines prom invitation

PORTLAND, Maine -- Alice Evans and Grace Needleman need a new date for the prom.

Boston general manager Theo Epstein won't be escorting the Cape Elizabeth High School seniors, who recently went to the Red Sox spring training complex with two handwritten signs, one that read: "Will you go to prom with me?"

After Epstein took a break and talked to the girls, the
potential of a prom date was written about in newspapers and
featured on radio and TV, including ESPN.

But the 32-year-old Esptein is bowing out, Glenn Geffner, vice
president of media relations for the Red Sox, told the Portland
Press Herald.

"Theo appreciates the support, but of course he will not be
attending. We were all surprised to see the media coverage this
good-natured exchange generated," Geffner wrote in an e-mail

The girls met Epstein on Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla., during a
vacation with Needleman's family.

"This all was taken in fun," said Grace's father, Richard
Needleman. "These kids know he is not coming up here."