The worst kept secret in Boston over the last few months has been the impending return of Theo Epstein to the Boston Red Sox. That move became official last night as the Red Sox issued a press release around 7:30 or so stating that Epstein was returning to the Red Sox in a full time baseball operations capacity and that more about his role would be revealed in a press conference next week.

Chris Snow and Michael Silverman report on the return of Theo to the Red Sox. Interestingly, Snow’s article contains quotes and comments from John Henry, as Snow acknowledges in the course of the article that the Globe had an interview with the Red Sox principal owner prior to the team making the official announcement and that Henry had stated that Epstein would be returning, but that he is ”not going to come back in a higher position” than what he previous held as GM. Sean McAdam also reports on the return of Theo, and notes that Larry Lucchino had “lobbied to hire Jim Beattie as Epstein’s permanent replacement, but was consistently rebuffed by ownership.” That could make things interesting within the Red Sox. David Heuschkel wonders what has changed to make Theo change his mind on working for the Red Sox. David Borges and Garry Brown have more on Epstein’s return to the Red Sox.

Tony Massarotti says that it has taken the Red Sox 2 1/12 months to simply run in a circle and end up where they were before. He notes their curious move of issuing the release and then holding off on the press conference until next week, stating that the are “Acting like a collection of children who cannot garner enough attention