Dealing with all the hoopla, the questions about the glory days and the dramatic exits, now will be left to general manager Jed Hoyer, who was Epstein's assistant GM in Boston.
"It'd be fun to watch those two teams play, and any chance to go home is always a lot of fun," Epstein said. "But I'll be there in spirit."
Perhaps Epstein will pull out the gorilla suit for old time's sake, a nod to the day he first quit as GM and left Fenway Park dressed in the furry outfit to avoid the media, only to return to the job a few months later.
Epstein had a legendary career in Boston, and is quoted in the book, "One Day at Fenway," as saying: "I thought it would take me years, if not decades, to earn a Led Zeppelin reputation for breaking things."
Now he says the story was a myth, and he only went along with it because it seemed like a cool thing to have done.
"Actually I slammed a door and threw my notebook across the room," he said. "And the Yankees scouts created this myth where I trashed the entire hotel room."
Myth-making aside, Epstein said he's disappointed to miss the series, which begins Monday, but noted he did return to Boston in late May for a dinner in honor of the 10th anniversary of the 2004 team that ended the franchise's 86-year championship drought. He saw a lot of former players he hadn't spoken to in years and former front-office colleagues.
But Epstein didn't attend the next day's on-field ceremonies at the park. Some former Red Sox players attributed that to his relationship with ownership, which soured during the fateful 2011 collapse.
"It's unfortunate," pitcher Tim Wakefield said. "But that's the way it is."
Epstein insisted the ceremony was for the players, and his presence wasn't really needed.
"I kind of don't spend any time thinking about those days," he said. "I've kind of totally moved on, and then it was kind of like a great high school reunion, bringing it all back. I enjoyed it."
Former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke said he didn't expect to see Epstein at all.
"It meant a lot to me that he came," Foulke said. "It was great to see him, great to talk to him. He had a lot to do with me coming (to the Red Sox) — well, everything — so I owe a lot to him."
Was it a shame Epstein wasn't being feted with the team during the ceremonies?
"Hey, he has a job, he's getting paychecks," Foulke replied. "I don't think he's too worried about it."
Epstein said he didn't need any recognition, and that he sees friends from the front office on occasion for "old stories over a couple of beers."
What type of reception would Epstein have received if he had walked onto the Fenway Park field this week for the first time since his departure for the Cubs job?