“Hey, I’m here. Can I come?”

Neil Diamond’s out-of-the-blue phone call to the Fenway Park switchboard early Saturday afternoon, according to Red Sox officials, that set in motion his surprise eighth-inning appearance singing “Sweet Caroline.” The unofficial Sox anthem became an emotional touchstone for Boston in the days after the marathon bombing, so the singer felt a need to be there for the first home game since the tragedy. His rep told the Hollywood Reporter that Diamond and his wife took a red-eye from L.A. to Boston, making it to the ballpark less than an hour before the first pitch.