BOSTON — The Red Sox’s 2014 season is in full swing.
The Red Sox, who took two of three from the Baltimore Orioles in their season-opening series at Camden Yards, fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in Friday’s home opener at Fenway Park. The day was much more about the Red Sox’s World Series ring ceremony, though, as it was a special occasion that offered Boston one last chance to bask in the glory of last year’s title.
The Red Sox will get back to work Saturday for the second of three games against the Brewers. Let’s first tie up some loose ends from Friday’s memorable home opener.
— The Red Sox’s World Series rings are absolutely sick. But you already knew they would be, right?
— David Ortiz was even luckier than most because he received two rings. The Red Sox’s ownership group surprised Ortiz with a personalized World Series MVP ring to go along with his regular World Series ring.
“It was special, man. I appreciate it,” Ortiz said. “They surprised me with the extra ring. It’s nice, man. It’s a beautiful ring besides the one that we got from the World Series. It’s something that you’re not expecting, but everything was so crazy last year and I appreciate the fact that they thought of myself that way.”
Ortiz admitted he was thrown off a bit by the gesture.
“I thought they were giving me somebody else’s ring,” Ortiz said laughing. “I was like, ‘Hey, you gave me two. I thought I was only getting one.’ They were like, ‘No, that’s the MVP one.’ I was like, ‘Whoa.’ It was very kind coming from them, and I thank them very much.”
— It’ll be interesting to see what everyone does with their new jewelry. Don’t expect any of the rings to end up on eBay, though, as most players — including Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks — said they plan to wear them only on special occasions.
“It was a special day for us. It’s emotional,” Middlebrooks said looking back at Friday’s festivities. “For all of the guys who were a part of that (title) last year and the journey we were on, it was really special. To have all my family in town and just being able to walk out and show my dad the World Series ring, it was pretty cool.”
— Boston sports champions Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown, Ty Law, Leon Powe and Mark Recchi attended Friday’s ceremony.
— Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday morning that all signs pointed toward Shane Victorino missing the ceremony because of the flu. Yeah, right. Victorino emerged from the dugout to his usual “Three Little Birds” walk-up song.
— As crazy as it sounds, there was an actual game Friday.
Jake Peavy surrendered two runs and six hits over six innings. Edward Mujica was torched for four runs on four hits in the ninth inning, paving the way for Milwaukee’s 6-2 win.
— Farrell didn’t turn to Koji Uehara with the score tied in the ninth because he wanted to avoid using the closer for a third consecutive day. Brandon Workman likely would have pitched the 10th if the score remained tied.
— Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was loudly booed every time his name was announced. Braun served a 65-game suspension last season for violating baseball’s drug program.
— The Red Sox had won their previous nine home openers, dating to 2004. It was the longest such streak in club history and the longest active streak in the majors.