Theo Epstein, the new President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, poses in the outfield following a press conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Boston Red Sox are having a ceremony Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Non-controversial, right? Wrong!
On Thursday, a bit of a brouhaha erupted surrounding the Boston Red Sox.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, considering there's been such an event nearly every day this young season. This one was caused by a report that former GM Theo Epstein had not been invited to the team's celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, scheduled for Friday before the Red Sox take on the Yankees.
When this was reported, it sent Red Sox management and ownership scrambling to send Epstein an invitation, though not for the ceremony itself, which was said to be for "uniformed personnel" only:
It is believed the invitation to attend the game was delivered via phone call.
According to another source, the invitation for Epstein to attend the game wasn't extended until Thursday afternoon.
Earlier Thursday, CSNNE.com reported that Epstein was not invited to Fenway Park for the celebration of the ballpark's centennial, with Red Sox principal owner John Henry expressing surprise that Epstein was not being invited back, something of which he was not aware until contacted by the website.
"Apparently we decided to just invite uniformed personnel," Henry told CSNNE.com, noting that the team hadn't invited former GMs Mike Port and Dan Duquette.
For his part, Epstein issued a tactfully worded statement:
"I hope tomorrow is a great day for Red Sox fans and for the whole organization. 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."
The Red Sox could probably have avoided trouble by simply inviting Epstein (and Port and Duquette) in the first place; it's unlikely that either Epstein or Duquette would have attended in any event, given their current positions.
Since the Red Sox have gone on record as saying the ceremony is for "uniformed personnel", it will be interesting to see if any non-uniformed Red Sox personnel, past or present, will take part during Friday's festivities, which you'd think would be non-controversial.
But with the 2012 edition of the Boston Red Sox, it appears that almost nothing comes without a rumpus.