Originally posted by ESPN.comEpstein and Red Sox management issued a joint statement Thursday saying he will return to the organization full-time, but they did not specify his capacity except to say it will be in baseball operations. His return had been rumored almost since the day he slipped out of Fenway Park wearing a borrowed gorilla costume to avoid the media.
"As you know, we have spoken frequently during the last 10 weeks. We have engaged in healthy, spirited debates about what it will take over the long term for the Red Sox to remain a great organization and, in fact, become a more effective organization in philosophy, approaches and ideals," the statement said.
"Ironically, Theo's departure has brought us closer together in many respects, and, thanks to these conversations, we now enjoy the bonds of a shared vision for the organizations future that did not exist on Oct. 31. With this vision in place, Theo will return to the Red Sox in a full-time baseball operations capacity, details of which will be announced next week," the statement continued.
The statement came from Epstein, principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino.
Theo Epstein: How did things ever get so far? I don't know. It was so unfortunate, so unnecessary. Lucchino lost face and I lost my dream job. We're quits. And if Lucchino agrees, then I'm willing to let things go on the way they were before.
John Henry: We're all grateful to Don Epstein for calling this meeting. We all know him as a man of his word. A modest man who will always listen to reason.
Larry Lucchino: Yes, Don Henry, he is too modest. He had all the sportswriters and fans in his pocket and refused to share them.
Epstein: When, when did I ever refuse an accommodation? All of you know me here. When did I ever refuse, except one time? And why? Because I believe that idiot Shaughnessy is gonna destroy us in the years to come. I mean, it's not about leaked trade rumors or front office intrigue, or even breaking the curse of the Babe, which is something that most people want credit for nowadays and it's forbidden to them...by the fans. Even the politicians have helped us in the past with re-zoning and other things. But they're gonna refuse to help us when we drop into fourth place. And I believe that then - and I believe that now.
Henry: Times have changed. It's not like 2004 when we could do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. Don Epstein has all the goodwill of sportswriters and the fans in Boston and he must share them...He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly, he can expect a big payday for such services. After all, we are not the Devil Rays...
(laughter all around)
Epstein: I hoped that we would come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man, I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems.
Henry: Then we are agreed. Don Lucchino will continue to make the final call on players, with advice, and Don Epstein will get a promotion to Vice President and give us cover in the media - and there will be the peace.
Lucchino: But I must have strict assurance from Epstein. As time goes by and his position becomes stronger, will he attempt any individual vendetta?
Henry: Look, we are all reasonable men here. We don't have to give assurances as if we were lawyers.
Epstein: You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance gonna bring popularity back to you or the 'boy genius' label to me? I forgot all the vengeance in having to wear that stupid gorilla suit. But I have selfish reasons.
I haven't had this kind of vibe in a long time about an upcoming baseball season. For the first time in a while, it's back to the way it was: The Yankees, The Red Sox, and Everyone Else. I didn't miss it. Anyway, here goes... AL EAST 1.