NEW YORK - Scenes from a celebrating clubhouse, late Wednesday night:
*As champagne flowed and was sprayed to every virtually corner of the visitor's clubhouse, plots were being hatched.
Some mischevious players gathered to plot out their plan of attack and select a new victim.
Once all teammates had been targeted, the focus shifted to others -- preferably the nicer dressed visitors.
Principal owner John Henry, dressed in a suit, was spared - both out of decorum, and, one senses, self-preservation. In past years, someone like Kevin Millar might have entertained such a notion, but this group lacks that same sort of bold figure.
Then, finally, the group spied manager John Farrell being interviewed across the way. The group -- mostly pitchers -- assembled and then circled the manager before finally dumping bottle after bottle of champagne on Farrell's head.
But this display went beyond prank. There was a genuine affection for the manager as the surrounding players whooped and hollared and the the bubbly flowed.
"He's a fighter,'' remarked Mookie Betts. "He instilled that in us. You fight to win.''
Torey Lovullo, who managed the team in Farrell's absence last year and has been a close friend for years, was overcome with emotion.
"I told him I loved him,'' Lovullo said. "For what he's done, to come out on the other side health-wise....he's the leader of this team. It's very satisfying for all of us that have been behind him.''
Players messed his hair, patted him on the back, and Farrell, with a huge smile, stood and -- literally -- soaked it in.
For the past few days, Farrell had gone to great lengths to turn the focus away from his personal story -- one that saw him beat back cancer a year ago -- and turn it back to the players.
Hours before the clinching, Farrell had deflected a few questions about his own story, insisting he wasn't the centerpiece to what had taken place.
But for a few minutes Wednesday night, he was.
*While there were prominent veterans celebrating a division title — from 40-something David Ortiz and Koji Uehara to team greybeards such as Dustin Pedroia -- it was hard not to notice the number of young players under 26 who form the Red Sox’ foundation.
Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada are all young and still improving.
With Ortiz headed to retirement, Uehara eligible for free agency and uncertainty surrounding others, it's clear that the young core will form the nucleus of Red Sox teams for years to come.
The organization's hope is that that same group will help ensure against the up-and-down trajectory of recent seasons -- last, first, last, last and now first again.
"I think the way baseball's going these days,'' Henry told the Boston Herald, "if you don't have good young players, you're in trouble.''
"Looking ahead,'' added Pedroia, "we've got a lot of young players who are just going to get better.''