They’re lining up the duck boats in Boston for the celebration of the greatest Red Sox team in history and while, at a major league high $228 million, you could also argue they were the best team money could buy, there is no denying this was a total team effort and a tribute to one of the greatest managing jobs in memory, by the pride of Puerto Rico, Alex Cora.

There’s no other way to look at it when you consider the Red Sox handily dispatched the Dodgers in five games despite likely AL MVP Mookie Betts hitting .217 with one RBI, Cy Young-contending lefty ace Chris Sale pitching only five innings with a yield of three runs and a homer, and closer Craig Kimbrel having a very subpar World Series (4.15 ERA, three hits and a homer in 41/3 innings).

In their place there was journeyman Steve Pearce emerging as one of the most unlikely World Series heroes ever, batting .333 with three homers and eight RBI, Nathan Eovaldi, eschewing his regular spot in the starting rotation and saving the staff with six innings of heroic relief work in the epic 18-inning Game 3, and David Price, he of the $217 million contract and 1-8 previous postseason record, eradicating his image (mostly) as a surly, overpaid big game bust with a 1.98 ERA for two World Series victories, including seven strong in the Game 5 clincher.

In retrospect, their in-season acquisitions of Eovaldi (from the Rays July 25) and Pearce (from the Blue Jays June 28) wound up defining this World Series.

So, yes, it was a total team effort by the Red Sox, orchestrated by Cora, who brilliantly manipulated his pitching staff, interspersing his starters – Price, Eovaldi, Rick Porcello and finally Sale – as relievers and getting the most out of his bench with pinch-hitters Eduardo Nunez and Mitch Moreland hitting critical home runs.

Even though the Red Sox won a club record 108 regular-season games, because of their payroll, Cora may not have gotten the same support for manager of the year honors as, say, Bob Melvin in Oakland and Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash, who did a lot more with less. However, his performance in the postseason clearly stamped Cora as one of the best managers in the game.

“Everything he did worked,” Eovaldi said. “He has a way of making you believe.”

That was no more evident than the selling job Cora did on Price, sitting him down at one point in spring training, and telling him that he was his guy and he had confidence in him to pitch in big games – like Game 5 Sunday night.

“I’m 33 years old now. The last time I was in this type of situation was when I was 23,” Price said after the game. “A lot of things have changed since then. To be able to come out on top and to contribute in October, that’s why I play the game.”

Forgotten for a moment was the anti-Price who cursed out and publicly embarrassed Red Sox icon Dennis Eckersley on a team charter last year and was routinely curt to the Boston media – until he was almost finished when he said: “I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold the trump card. You guys (the media) have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it any more. None of you do. And that feels really good.”

The Red Sox will have a couple more days to savor this remarkable season – the victory parade in Boston is Wednesday – and then come the hard decisions for the front office.

Breaking up is hard to do, but Eovaldi (who especially figures to command a hefty contract), Pearce, Kimbrel and reliever Joe Kelly, who had a light’s out World Series (10 strikeouts, no runs, no walks over six innings in five appearances), are all free agents. And with Betts, who won a record $10.5 million in arbitration last year, up again, and Dustin Pedroia, hoping to come back from major knee surgery, still owed $40 million for three more years, it’s hard to see how the Red Sox payroll won’t increase even more.