The World Champion Boston Red Sox hosted their home opener at Fenway Park today. On hand for the raising of the Championship Pennant were members of the Boston Pops who provided an elegant backdrop for the ceremony. Led by James Orent, the ensemble played while the players were introduced and received their World Series Championship Ring from Red Sox owners and management John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and Theo Epstein.
The ensemble performed a wide array of classics including “When the Saint Go Marching In”, took on the Dropkick Murphys for closer Jonathan Papelbon’s entrance, The Standells “Dirty Water” for heavy hitter first baseman David Ortiz and the National Anthem.
The Red Sox front office continues to show off its World Class by inviting formerly vilified first baseman Bill Buckner to throw out the first pitch to Dwight Evans. Buckner was cheered in Boston for the first time in more than 20 years. With more than 20 years gone and two shiny new Championship Rings (2004, 2007) Boston is free to let the past go and accept and appreciate Bill Buckner for his years of quality play.
Red Sox Instructor Johnny Pesky called out the traditional opening “Play ball!” to officially start the game and season at Fenway Park. Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka faced off against Detroit's Kenny Rogers (no not that Kenny) on a beautiful spring day in Boston.
Hometown hero and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler gave a decent performance of “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch dedicating his performance to “our boys in Iraq.”
In the top half of the 8th inning Neil Diamond appeared in a special video and sang “Sweet Caroline,” a Fenway staple. On the video, the performance was followed by Neil Diamond accepting an invitation from Tom Werner to play at Fenway this summer. The show is booked and Neil Diamond will perform at Fenway Park on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 as part of his 2008 World Tour.
The Sox shut out the Detroit Tigers 5-0 with Matsuzaka going 6 2/3s for the win and Youkilis having a big day offensively with 3 hits and 2 RBIs. Kenny Rogers got the loss for the Tigers. The Red Sox are now 4-4 and the Detroit Tigers are 0-7.