BOSTON -- With visions of another World Series championship entering this much-anticipated season, the Red Sox got some inspiration from the New England Patriots prior to a 5-3 victory over the Pirates on Opening Day at Fenway Park.The Pats, fresh off their fifth Super Bowl title in the past 16
BOSTON -- With visions of another World Series championship entering this much-anticipated season, the Red Sox got some inspiration from the New England Patriots prior to a 5-3 victory over the Pirates on Opening Day at Fenway Park.
The Pats, fresh off their fifth Super Bowl title in the past 16 seasons, highlighted pregame ceremonies by coming out of the Green Monster with all five trophies.
The star-studded contingent was led by Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, James White, Dion Lewis and owner Robert Kraft.
The packed house roared "Brady" as No. 12 -- a one-time catcher and former Draft pick of the Montreal Expos -- stepped to the mound and delivered the ceremonial first pitch to Dustin Pedroia.
Minutes before that, as Brady lifted his white jersey to the crowd -- the one that had gone missing after the Super Bowl -- Gronkowski snatched it out of his hand and ran to the outfield grass.
Brady, who isn't known much for his speed, ran down his teammate and sacked him.
"Those are two obviously great athletes. To see them do that was pretty funny," said Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi.
Boston has had tremendous sports success as a city in the 21st century, with the four major teams combining to win 10 championships. The Red Sox have won three of them.
"Yeah, it's always neat to share our day with others and vice versa," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I think that's the one thing that's so unique about Boston is the crossover and the winning tradition by so many great franchises here in town.
"And to be part of it is special, but from a personal standpoint on what it means to our guys, this is the end of the work that we put in for Spring Training and [the start of] a seven-month journey that is going to throw us a lot of twists and turns, and how we respond to those as a group is what matters to me."
Prized new acquisition Chris Sale -- who makes his debut for the Red Sox on Wednesday -- received the loudest ovation during player introductions.
The pregame festivities included a flyover from two F-15C's flown by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Mass. There was a flag draped over the Green Monster, and the Boston Children's Chorus performed the national anthem.
"We're certainly partial and biased, but our ability to put on a pregame ceremony is probably second to none," said Farrell. "Whether it's the flyover, whether it's involvement by other sports teams in our city. Any time Tom Brady walks on the field, it's going to draw a response. It's pretty neat. We've had that a few times with him and others, Mr. Kraft and others. A very good display."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.