A day to bask in the glow... then play ball

BOSTON -- As much as the Red Sox have talked about moving on to 2014 and their quest for a repeat title, there are reminders of what they accomplished in 2013 at every turn.

One such reminder is the ceremony prior to the home opener against Milwaukee on Friday afternoon. Pomp, circumstance and some shiny new World Series championship rings will all conjure up memories of a remarkable run to glory in a remarkable year in Boston.

“This one will have a special significance to it, given how special 2013 was,” Farrell said. “I’m sure there will be a flashback or two in the minds of everyone, particularly on what might stand out for each and every guy, but this is a day we all should enjoy.”

At the very least, Friday will serve as a reminder to the current crew that they have one of the most powerful support systems in the majors.

“I think our guys thrive upon the energy and electricity the fans create,” Farrell said. “We know that we’ve got a lot of people in our fan base that have great expectations for how we play. That brings out the best in all of our guys. When you feel that as a positive as a player, as opposed to it being against you, there’s just another gear that our guys bring every day regardless of how you feel or a late-night travel which you come off of, our fans give our guys a great boost of energy.

“We’re fortunate to play in this place 81 times. Just walking out there and knowing the history here, this is a special place. The players that have come through our clubhouse over the course of time, an organization that’s got a winning tradition. We’re fortunate to be in this place today.”

Once the ceremonies are all said and done, there is a game to played. For that, the Sox will go with this lineup against right-hander Marco Estrada.

1. Daniel Nava, RF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. David Ortiz, DH

4. Mike Napoli, 1B

5. Mike Carp, LF

6. Grady Sizemore, CF

7. Xander Bogaerts, SS

8. A.J. Pierzynski, C

9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jake Peavy, SP

In other news:

* RF Shane Victorino is not expected at the park as he continues to battle the flu, Farrell said. Victorino is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

* Farrell said he thinks everyone in the bullpen could be utilized, but that he is hesitant about using someone three days in a row at this point of the season. That means Farrell would like to stay away from closer Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa. Edward Mujica could step in if it's a save situation.