On Nov. 25, 2002, the Boston Red Sox hired 28-year-old Theo Epstein as general manager. The young man who had lived in New England for much of his life — he grew up in Brookline and graduated from Yale University, where he was the sports editor for the Yale Daily News — was the youngest G.M. in baseball history. The last time the Red Sox had won the World Series before Epstein was hired, the season was cut short because of World War I. That was 1918. The next eight decades became a nightmare for Sox fans.