Wow, so much of this post feels really forced. Did Simmons personally commission someone with “how can we make this World Series about the Red Sox?”
Yes, the guys mentioned all were on the Red Sox at some point, but there’s some silly attribution here. Jon Lester is bona fide associated with the Red Sox in most people’s minds: he’s played far more for them than for any other team and was drafted by the organization.
Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox but never played above AA in their system. He broke into the majors for half a season with San Diego before being traded to the Cubs and becoming a star player in Chicago.
Lackey was an Angel for 8 seasons, played for the Red Sox for 3.5, then the Cardinals for 1.5. He pitched more than twice as many innings for the Angels as for the Red Sox.
Napoli was a Red Sox for 2.5 seasons out of an 11 season career in which he’s been on 4 teams. He had more games played and plate appearances with the Angels, and his best season (by both WAR and offensive counting stats) was in Texas.
David Ross played for the Red Sox for 3 seasons out of a 15 year career. He has been on 7 teams. The Red Sox rank 4th of those 7 on Ross’ list of games played and plate appearances.
Andrew Miller played on the Red Sox for 4 seasons out of an 11 year career.
And: conveniently fail to mention that Hoyer and McLeod both in fact have left working for Epstein before. They both left the Red Sox for jobs with the Padres in 2009.