This one’s for the newbies.
There will be plenty of time to extol the accomplishments of the Pedroias, the Lesters, the Youkilises. Last night belonged to those who haven’t been here before.
To Jason Bay, toiling in baseball’s purgatory, traded four times since being drafted by a team that no longer exists, filling the largest shoes perhaps any midseason acquisition has had to fill.
To the indispensable rookies — Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie, Jeff Bailey — filling in when there were no other options, succeeding despite overwhelming pressure.
And to the road-weary veterans. Paul Byrd, Mark Kotsay, Sean Casey. They’ve been down this road before, but not with this team. Not in this town. And they’re still questing for the ring.
And it’s partly for the bit players, as well. The ones who provided little pieces of the Red Sox’ fifth playoff-bound season in six years: Kevin Cash, Brandon Moss, Chris Carter, Michael Bowden and, yes, even Bartolo Colon.
Yesterday was also for the man who has seen almost everything. This isn’t new for John Michael Pesky (nee Paveskovich). No. 6, never to be worn again, except by the right-field portico. It’s a long-deserved honor, one that has been denied too many Red Sox players.
Indeed, a great day for a great team and a great man. The journey’s really just begun, but the beginning is well worth celebrating.