BOSTON – A sleep-deprived David Ortiz hid his eyes behind dark glasses as he held up baseball's biggest prize Monday, soon after the new World Series champions arrived at Fenway Park after claiming their second title in four years.
"Man, we got it man," Ortiz told reporters, the glittering World Series trophy in his hands.
Boston Red Sox wasted no time Monday in raising their "2007 World Series Champions" banner outside Fenway Park, much to the delight of hundreds of fans who gathered outside the stadium to welcome home the team.
The red banner is nearly identical to the one next to it from 2004, when the Sox broke an 86-year World Series drought.
Several hundred fans crowded Yawkey Way in anticipation of the team's homecoming from Denver, where they completed 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 the unshaven General Manager Theo Epstein.
Dozens of anxious fans eagerly reached out to briefly touch the trophy.
Moments later, the sunglasses-clad Ortiz accepted the trophy from Werner and, with his left hand, held it aloft before approaching the crowd.
Ortiz said he hasn't got much sleep, but he's not worried about that because "I don't have to play baseball no more" this season.
"There was a lot of celebration," Ortiz said of events following Sunday night's victory.
The city is planning a "rolling rally" Tuesday from Fenway to City Hall Plaza to celebrate the championship.
Tim Wakefield, one of the handful of holdovers from the 2004 championship 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.
Wakefield said he thinks the Red Sox will be serious condenders for the championship in the coming years.
"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.
Wakefield, who was left off the World Series roster because of right shoulder problems, said he's going to get an MRI in the next couple of days to make sure there's no damage.
Richard Dorset, a 50-year-old chemical salesman from Stratford, Conn., was near Fenway in the area on a sales call, so he stopped at Fenway to buy hats and banners and other team gear.
Even though he lives in what he described as "Yankees country," he said he was relaxed going into the postseason this year, despite the team's history of postseason collapses. He said this year's World Series was even sweeter than 2004, when the Sox game from three games down to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
"The best feeling was beating the Yankess in 04. The world series was anticlimactic. So this World Series was better, plus it was a statement — 'We belong here, We're really that good. It wasn't a fluke."'
On Tuesday, the team will board several World War II-vintage amphibious duck boats and roll through the city. The parade will pose in three locations — Copley Square, the Boston Common and City Hall Plaza — so closer Jonathan Papelbon can dance his wacky Irish jig, accompanied by the Dropkick Murphys.
The parade will take the same route as the 2004 championship parade, except they won't go 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."
Menino acknowledged having the celebration on a week day would inconvenience some businesses and keep school children away, but said players were eager to get home to their families and begin their vacation.
Menino also said a "rolling rally" was easier for city officials to manage, because it spread out 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 of people to disperse, several officers were struck by rocks and bottles. Sixteen cars parked along Newbury Street were vandalized, with broken side view mirrors and windows, or damaged windshield wipers.
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 American League Championship Series.