For those of you who need yet more evidence that these 2013 Red Sox are a far, far cry from the sad, faceless, mailing-it-in 2012 Red Sox, we give you this: David Ortiz is not a lonely All-Star.
You probably don’t remember that Ortiz was the Red Sox’ lone(ly) representative at last year’s All-Star Game, which was played in Kansas City, whose fans have been accustomed to seeing one obligatory Royal take part in the Midsummer Classic.
And Red Sox fans grew accustomed over the years to ladling out either pity or sarcasm at fans of, say, the Royals, Pirates, Astros, Mariners and other struggling teams that were represented by the “Somebody Has to Go” pick.

For some reason I remember watching the 1979 All-Star Game and wondering what it was like for catcher Jeff Newman to be the only representative of an Oakland A’s outfit that could barely be called “major league” once owner Charlie Finley no longer had Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue and other stars. Newman did have 16 home runs at the break, but he was hitting only .229 and would not have been an All-Star were it not for the “Somebody Has to Go” rule. (Newman, who later played a couple of seasons with the Red Sox, didn’t get into the game.)
So there was Ortiz last year, sleepless in Kansas City, designated to be a designated hitter because, well, somebody had to show up and wear a Red Sox uniform.
Not that Ortiz didn’t deserve to be there: The Big Papster was hitting .312 with 22 home runs and 57 RBI at last year’s All-Star break. The Achilles injury that would doom most of the rest of his season was still a week away.
But a sense of order has returned to the baseball universe. When players for this year’s Midsummer Classic are introduced tonight at Citi Field, Ortiz will be joined by teammates Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz. Pedroia, who is having what may turn out to be his finest season in the bigs, made it as a reserve infielder. Buchholz, though injured and unable to play, was named to the pitching staff.