BALTIMORE — They had a champagne celebration in the clubhouse after Game 6, a parade through the streets of Boston, and a gathering at the White House. Now the Red Sox have one party left before they can drop the curtain on their World Series title last season.
The team returns to Fenway Park on Friday afternoon, with a pregame celebration that will include the raising of the World Series flag in center field and the presentation of rings to the players.
“I’m sure it’ll be electric,” manager John Farrell said Thursday before a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. “I would think there’s probably a mix of emotions that will be generated probably by what that videoboard shows.
“There’s going to be tragedy, there’ll be triumph. There will be, in the end, a great day to look back on a very, very special year.”
The Red Sox asked fans to be in their seats by 1 p.m. for the 2:05 game. The ceremonies will include the national anthem, a helicopter flyover, and a ceremonial first pitch.
There will be a moment of silence for Boston firefighters Michael R. Kennedy and Edward J. Walsh, who died last week in a fire that raged through a Back Bay building not far from Fenway.
The Boston Fire Department Quartet will perform “God Bless America” in the seventh inning.
Dropkick Murphys will perform the national anthem along with members of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart.
Personnel from Hanscom Air Force Base will line the length of the Green Monster as the American flag drops for the anthem.
Players will wear special gold-trimmed jerseys with gold stitching around the World Series patch on the left sleeve and around the letters and numbers on the front and back of the jersey.
The team also will wear special caps with the World Series logo on the side and the “B” trimmed in gold.
The gates at Fenway Park will open at 11:35 a.m.
The players have not seen their rings and are anxious for the ceremony. Farrell was the pitching coach of the 2007 title team and keeps his ring in a safe. He said he has worn it only once, a few days after he received it.
“I’m certainly proud of it. But I guess I’m not into bling,” he said.
Ryan Dempster, who was placed on the restricted list in February, will attend the ceremonies to receive his ring.
Nine players from last season now with Triple A Pawtucket — Drake Britton, Rubby De La Rosa, Brock Holt, Ryan Lavarnway, Brandon Snyder, Brayan Villarreal, Allen Webster, Alex Wilson, and Steven Wright — will be on hand as well.
Quintin Berry, now playing for Baltimore’s Triple A team, told the Red Sox he would attend.
There are 16 other players from the 2013 roster currently with other organizations. They will receive their rings when the opportunity presents itself during the course of the season.
John McDonald, now with the Angels, is sending his wife and children to Fenway on Friday in his stead. They live in Scituate.
Friday’s opponent, the Brewers, did not have a game Thursday after playing a day game Wednesday at home. The Red Sox weren’t expected back in Boston until well after midnight.
Jake Peavy, who starts Friday, returned to Boston Thursday afternoon so he could get a full night of rest.
The Baltimore players weren’t happy with their schedule, either. The Orioles have a 1:08 p.m. game in Detroit on Friday.
Grady Sizemore was out of the lineup after starting the first two games in center field. Jackie Bradley Jr. got his first start of the season and went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.
With a night game followed by a day game, Farrell decided to rest Sizemore, who will start Friday.
The Sox batted Jonny Gomes leadoff, something he had not done outside of two games in 2007.
“I hit leadoff in the minor leagues and winter ball a lot,” said Gomes, who went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts and was hit by a pitch. “I’ll hit wherever they want me to hit.”
Gomes is not a traditional leadoff hitter. But a .377 career on-base percentage against lefthanders was enough for Farrell. He is trying different lineups with Jacoby Ellsbury no longer an option.
“Your thoughts evolve based on who’s available,” Farrell said. “We lose a premier leadoff guy, we’re going to find ways that fit our group the best and right now that might be a little mix and match.”
Farrell doesn’t see a need to have one player designated as the leadoff hitter.
“While there might be change, at least there’s some continuity to the change and we’re looking at the same candidates,” he said.
Shane Victorino, on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, has a case of the flu and was sent back to Boston.
“He was able to go in and get treatment on his hamstring but other than that we’re keeping him away from everybody else,” Farrell said.
It’s uncertain whether Victorino will attend the pregame ceremony on Friday.
“We’re still working through that because we don’t want him around anybody,” Farrell said. “He’s still highly contagious. Just another element to the whole equation here.”
Keeping her promise
Erika Brannock, who lost her leg in the Marathon bombings last year, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday.
The preschool teacher from Towson, Md., went to the mound with the aid of a walker and received a big cheer from the crowd. Brannock, 29, visited Camden Yards while in a wheelchair last June and vowed to return and throw out a pitch.
Brannock told the Baltimore Sun that she would return to the Marathon finish line later this month to cheer for her mother.
Boos for Braun?
Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun received cheers at Miller Park in his first games since returning from a 65-game suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Now he’ll be on the road for the first time and playing before what figures to be less-forgiving fans . . . Craig Breslow started a rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket by pitching two-thirds of an inning. He walked two and threw 20 pitches. He is scheduled to pitch for the PawSox again on Friday . . . Lefthander Henry Owens threw a six-inning no-hitter in the season opener for Double A Portland. The SeaDogs won at Reading, 5-0. Owens, 21, struck out nine and walked two in a game ended by rain. He threw 86 pitches and retired the final 17 batters he faced.