BOSTON – A collection of thoughts on a 100th anniversary day.

The 100th anniversary celebration for Fenway Park brought chills and memories Friday afternoon. The post-celebration event (i.e., the game) brought a reminder that this 2012 Red Sox team is looking flawed.

And few teams can expose your flaws like the Yankees.

Having the Yankees here for the big bash “adds to the day, of course,” Manager Bobby Valentine said, before sounding his indecisive self. “Or it takes away from the day. I’m not sure.”

As for the day, Valentine said, “before the game, it was a well-orchestrated, major league presentation of pride and glory. It was spectacular. It’s a downer now.”

The high point of the pregame festivities was 212 Red Sox alumni entering the field in waves to slow, dramatic music (picture Field of Dreams, without the cornfield).

The highlight of the pregame had to be Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield assisting wheelchair-bound Bobby Doerr, 94, and Johnny Pesky, 92, to second base. Pesky and Doerr played shortstop and second base for the 1946 World Series team.

The next highlight came when the old-timers and current players gathered around Doerr and Pesky, while John Williams and the Boston Pops performed a Williams original, “Fanfare for Fenway.” It brought back memories of Ted Williams drawing a crowd of players at the 1999 All-Star Game.

The biggest ovation could be heard for former manager Terry Francona, who initially said he would not come because of the shoddy treatment he received from ownership after his departure. Francona said he changed his mind because of the fans. Based on the chants of “Tito,” it was a good idea.

Ed Phillips, the Wells resident who grew up in Portland and pitched for Colby College and the Red Sox (1970), joined the crowd of former players.

Among the absent was pitcher Curt Schilling. He sent a tweet that he did not receive an invitation until last Friday and had already scheduled a flight to China that — “I could not cancel” — for his video game business.

Last Friday? Really? Did the Red Sox just put this thing together?

Among the others who sent their regrets, according to Sean McAdam of, were Wade Boggs (charity auction in Florida), Fred Lynn (25-year anniversary trip to France), Don Zimmer (illness) and Trot Nixon (son’s first Little League game).

I like Trot Nixon’s reason the best. A man has to keep his priorities.

Also missing — from the game — were recovering outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. This present-day roster is thin. I love former Sea Dogs infielder Nate Spears, but when he is Boston’s first choice as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, it says something.

Did you catch the top of the order for Boston — Mike Aviles and Ryan Sweeney? They are hitting, but even Valentine said the lineup “wasn’t one of the ones I was planning on in spring training.”

Boston’s offense, by the way, has scored three or fewer runs in eight of 13 games, including its last four. “Frustrating,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “Just have to pick it up.”

Is Boston’s starting pitching in trouble? Valentine said, “the starting pitching is good — with bad innings.”

In Clay Buchholz’s case, it was five bad at-bats, all solo home runs. “I made five mistakes today and they hit them all,” Buchholz said.

Valentine tried to excuse Buchholz, saying “he’s still building” (from last year’s injury), but Buchholz said he had no excuses. “I feel 100 percent healthy. I don’t think last year has anything to do with it. Today was a matter of missing up in the zone.”

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said Buchholz was fine in spring training. On Friday, “he was trying to over-pitch, maybe.”

Positive news: Junichi Tazawa recorded five straight outs. Could he be an unexpected boost in the bullpen? “That’s the fastest I’ve seen him throw,” Valentine said. “He seemed liked he belonged.”

One of the Yankees home runs came from the bat of Alex Rodriguez — his 631st, passing Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time home run list for fifth place. Rodriguez is now trails Mays (660), Ruth (714), Aaron (755) and Bonds (762).

Derek Jeter recorded his 3,111th hit, moving to 18th on the all-time list.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin his minor league rehab assignment Monday with advanced Class A Salem. If the Red Sox plan on moving him up one level at a time, Matsuzaka could be pitching in Portland next weekend.

Valentine said Pawtucket Manager Arnie Beyeler has been told to use rehabbing reliever Andrew Miller “as needed, and see how he progresses.” Miller has looked strong at times, but also terribly wild. “It is concerning,” said Valentine, adding with unvalidated certainty that “I think it will all work out.”

Valentine did not have to spin the fact that it was a special day on Friday at Fenway Park. “This park has a magic to it,” he said. “It’s the baseball Land of Oz. People dream about this place.”

The next April 20 celebration, while not as big, will be in 2014 — the 75th anniversary of Ted Williams making his major league debut.

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases