IT’S BEEN A YEAR-LONG PARADE of underdogs, resurrections, and redemptions, with many a misguided notion reconsidered, revised, and upended in its wake. We accepted Bay would never be Manny (but we didn’t know what a blessing that would be). The “faithful” were certain Varitek was done, or at least believed the Sox should be done with him. Nick Green was in AAA hoping to get signed in Japan somedaymaybe – if he worked at it hard enough. Wakefield was 41 years old and All-Star-less for every one of them. Brad Penny and John Smoltz weren’t even on the radar. And Big Papi was laid to rest. A lot’s changed since the previous All-Star Break, and more will change by the next one, making now a good time to savor the standings – which show the Boston Red Sox with the best record in the American League, leading their division by three games over the New York Yankees.