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Welcome home, Red Sox

Wally the Green Monster was on hand as a team of Fenway Park employees prepared for the home opener on Thursday.
Wally the Green Monster was on hand as a team of Fenway Park employees prepared for the home opener on Thursday. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

The beautiful noise never stopped, and Friday we celebrate 2013 one more time.

In our (expletive) city, before the Red Sox turn the (expletive) page.

The worst-to-first Red Sox won the World Series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night, Oct. 30, triggering a five-month baseball bacchanal that will finally wrap when the bearded brethren get their rings before the 114th home opener.

We haven’t seen these Red Sox in Boston since the eve of Halloween, when champagne flowed on the Fenway lawn and Bob Marley’s lyrics, “Every little thing gonna be all right,’’ blared out of the loudspeakers. It was quite possibly the loudest night in the history of the 102-year-old ballpark.


“There’s no way it can be that loud again,’’ said Friday’s starting pitcher, Jake Peavy. “No way.’’

Through a ridiculously cold, snowy, pothole-filled winter of 2013-14, the cheering for the Sox never stopped. Church bells rang, Christmas cards celebrated the Boston Strong baseball team, and quickie books (“For Boston,’’ “Livin’ The Dream”) wallpapered newsstand storefronts at Logan Airport.

Meanwhile, NESN peppered the region with its “Bearded Band of Brothers” video, and the defection of Jacoby Ellsbury to the Evil Empire was celebrated as more evidence that the local team is the only baseball team that does things the right way.

Larry Lucchino and friends even got the last laugh on nemesis Scott Boras when Boras and Stephen Drew turned down a $14 million qualifying offer and Drew wound up unemployed on Opening Day. (How great would it be if Drew showed up to collect his ring?)

Everything is Awesome. When the Sox dropped by the White House Tuesday, the leader of the free world reminded us, “This team helped Boston to heal.’’ David Ortiz took a promotional selfie with the president and everybody thought it was hilarious. The Sox, remember, can do no wrong.

And so the five-month parade that started on Boylston Street and ultimately snaked down I-75 South, through Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, and Baltimore’s Eutaw Street will finally halt on Yawkey Way at 2:05 p.m. Friday.


Manager John Farrell and his grizzled men will get their rings, raise the banner, and then go back to work in their quest to compete in the American League East. No team has won back-to-back World Series since the 1999-2000 Yankees, and the Red Sox have not turned that double play since 1915-16, when lefthander Babe Ruth was the backbone of the Boston pitching staff.

“It’s another reminder of the tremendous year and the tremendous experience for a number of people,’’ said Farrell. “I think we’ll all take our own special memories from it and it will be a fun day.’’

Fenway maestro Dr. Charles Steinberg no doubt has an emotional pregame plan. Boston Marathon victims will be remembered, as will the two Boston firefighters who lost their lives on Beacon Street last week. The Boston Pops will perform and flags from championships past will be unfurled.

It’ll be interesting to see who gets the honor of tossing the ceremonial first pitch. After the curse-breaking, Biblical victory of 2004, the Sox produced Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, and Tedy Bruschi for first tosses. In 2008, the Sox went the cathartic route, welcoming epic goat Bill Buckner for the honorary pitch. Neither of those Red Sox teams made it back to the World Series, but both qualified for the playoffs, and the 2014 Sox promise to be in the mix in their wildly competitive division.


“It’s going to be an unbelievable ceremony and we are looking forward to it,’’ said Ortiz, the only player who was part of all three Red Sox championships this century.

Peavy didn’t come on board until the middle of the magical 2013 season, but he has an unusual appreciation for hardball history. He’s the only Boston athlete who was inspired to purchase his own duck boat.

“It’s a day I know a lot of my teammates have waited for, to have a ceremony and to receive a ring,’’ said Peavy. “It’s a special day for us and a special day for fans and people in Boston.

“It’s an honor to be in the starting lineup and it’s something I don’t take lightly. I take that responsibility with the utmost importance and will do everything I can do for us to win.

“Last year’s never going away. It’s not a bad thing to talk about last year. I think the stuff will die down after Friday, but I think the guys have done a pretty good job of turning the page and trying to move on.’’

“We’ll sit back and enjoy it,’’ said Dustin Pedroia, who won his first ring in 2007. “This is what you shoot for — home opener and a World Series ring. That’s the goal. Pretty awesome.

“But once it’s over, we’ll get ready to play a game.’’

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.