October 30, 2007 in Sports

Jubilation in Boston

Ken Maguire Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Red Sox fans cheer outside Fenway Park in Boston on Monday, as they gather to greet the arrival of the team. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

BOSTON – Sunglasses shielding his sleepless eyes, David Ortiz held the glittering World Series trophy aloft for Red Sox fans gathered outside Fenway Park.

“Man, we got it man,” Big Papi told reporters, his hands still on baseball’s ultimate prize.

“There was a lot of celebration,” Ortiz said. “I got to go. I am tired.”

The city is planning a rolling rally today from Fenway to City Hall Plaza. The parade will pause in three spots – Copley Square, the Boston Common and City Hall Plaza – so closer Jonathan Papelbon can dance his wacky Irish jig.

The parade will follow the same route as the one from 2004, except it won’t venture into the Charles River, Mayor Thomas Menino said Monday. Menino said accommodations had to be made for fans to see Papelbon.

“He has to do a dance,” Menino said. “He promised the people he would do a dance.”

The team returned in the afternoon from Denver following a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-3 victory Sunday night.

Their flight from Denver arrived at Logan International Airport just before 4:30 p.m., and dozens of airport workers waved to players and applauded as their buses were escorted out of the airport.

Six buses transported the players and their families back to Fenway Park. Team owners John Henry and Tom Werner exited the first bus and carried the World Series trophy toward the crowd of Red Sox fans, then handed the prize to unshaven general manager Theo Epstein.

The Red Sox wasted no time Monday in raising their “2007 World Series Champions” banner outside the ballpark, delighting hundreds of fans who gathered outside the stadium to welcome the team.

The red banner is nearly identical to the one next to it from 2004, when the Red Sox broke an 86-year World Series drought.

Tim Wakefield, one of the holdovers from that team, said he was looking forward to the parade.

“It’s something to give back to the fans. We had such a great time in ‘04. It was a little long, but it was worth every hour of it,” he said. “The organization has set up the team to contend for a long period of time. With all the young guys we’ve got, with a mixture of some veterans that come back, we are set up to, hopefully, play well for a long time,” Wakefield said.

Menino acknowledged the weekday celebration would inconvenience some businesses and keep school children away. But he said players were eager to return home and begin their vacation.

Menino also said a “rolling rally” was easier for city officials to manage because it spread the crowds. He estimated security would cost $500,000.

Fans began celebrating immediately after the Red Sox won their second World Series title in four years.

Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said 37 arrests were made early Monday in the city, mostly for disorderly conduct. No serious injuries were reported.

Thirteen people were arrested after they refused to leave the Kenmore Square area near Fenway Park, police said.

After police told a large crowd to disperse, several officers were struck by rocks and bottles. Sixteen cars parked along Newbury Street were vandalized.

The police department had announced it would have more than 50 cameras trained on the city to record any vandalism. Boston authorities cracked down on rowdy sports celebrations after an Emerson College student was struck and killed when police fired a pepper pellet into an unruly crowd celebrating the Red Sox’ 2004 victory over the New York Yankees in the A.L. Championship Series.

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