The Boston Red Sox clinched their eighth American League East division title on Wednesday thanks to the Baltimore Orioles‘ 3-2 win over the second-place Toronto Blue Jays

However, the celebrations were muted when the New York Yankees overcame a 3-0 ninth-inning deficit, which was capped off by a Mark Teixeira grand slam, to beat Boston 5-3. 

The Red Sox still took to Twitter to confirm that they clinched their spot atop the only division in baseball featuring four teams with a record above .500:

Even though the new division champions were still playing, that didn’t mean the party wasn’t getting started early as Ryan Hannable of WEEI showed the Red Sox’s ownership group celebrating in the box seats of Yankee Stadium:

Only In Boston was just waiting for the team to join the party:

But Lil Wayne couldn’t wait:

However, SportsCenter‘s Jade McCarthy pointed out that it might have been hard to celebrate after Teixeira’s homer:

MLB Network’s Chris Rose didn’t know what to do:

It looked like the Red Sox didn’t know what to do either, as’s Rob Bradford caught a glimpse of the team’s dugout:

Regardless, there were new digs waiting in the visitors’ locker room, via the MLB:

And it didn’t do much to rain on the parade of the Red Sox’s Twitter page or NESN’s Emerson Lotzia Jr.:

Once they got into the locker room, the loss was shrugged off, and Boston was able to do some celebrating in the Bronx, via the Red Sox:

There was no holding back either, per NBC’s Jack Korte:

Especially when it came to Chris Young and his dance moves, via the Red Sox:

The Red Sox came into the regular season with two major storylines: the impending retirement of David Ortiz and the arrival of presumed ace David Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million contact with the organization in December.

Big Papi looked far more like a slugger in his prime than one ready to start life after baseball. The 40-year-old designated hitter remained a force in the middle of the Sox lineup, racking up more than 30 home runs for the 10th time as he put together one of the best seasons in his Hall of Fame career.

Although his continued success at the plate raised questions about whether he’d reconsider retiring, he’s stayed steadfast in his plan to call it quits after the team’s season comes to a close. He told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated in July that he could still hit, but his body can’t handle the 162-game grind anymore.

“Because I don’t care,” Ortiz said. “My mind is free. There is no doubt in my mind that I can hit for the next couple of years at this highest level.”

Knowing Ortiz is on the brink of playing his last game in a Red Sox uniform adds an extra layer of intrigue and pressure heading into the playoffs. Few athletes in the rich history of Boston sports have made such a major impact both on the field and in the community.

If Boston is going to capture its fourth championship since 2004, Price will likely need to elevate his level of performance after a mundane first season with the franchise.

While the 31-year-old left-hander sports a strong record, his ERA is the second-highest of his career, in part due to a new career high in homers allowed. He’s pitched better during the second half, however, which provides a silver lining heading into the playoffs.

The strength of the Red Sox is their offense, though. Along with Ortiz, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia have all enjoyed great years at the plate. That’s why the club leads the AL in runs by a massive margin.

That said, rarely can a team merely mash its way to a World Series crown. The Red Sox are going to need their pitching staff to carry its fair share of the burden.

The back end of the bullpen is strong with Craig Kimbrel closing out games alongside the setup tandem of Koji Uehara and Brad Ziegler. There are some questions in the middle innings, however, which puts pressure on the starters to go six strong frames.

Ultimately, the success of Price’s entire first season will be determined by how he performs during the playoffs. But there’s just as much urgency for the likes of Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz to help push the city of Boston toward yet another title celebration.


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