Red Sox hope to bring some healing for Boston
Jon Lester has felt pride when slipping on his Boston jersey and
cap. Never more than now.
Away from home and family members they worried about during some
anxious moments on Monday, the Red Sox are hoping their return to
the field Tuesday night will help their wounded city heal after the
As always, the Red Sox will play for themselves – and all of
”It really hits home,” Lester said. ”Boston’s my home, just
like everyone else in this clubhouse. It’s obviously not a good
situation, but hopefully like 9/11 we come together as a city again
and as a nation and whoever did this make them realize we don’t
take kindly to things like this. It really hits home.”
The Red Sox and Indians will wear black armbands to honor the
victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon’s finish line. Three
people were killed and more than 170 were injured in the
The giant American flag flew at half-staff before the series
opener with a moment of silence before Tuesday’s first pitch.
Lester said there was never any discussion about not playing
”I think everybody just assumed we would take the field tonight
and be proud to put on that Boston uniform, like we are every day –
but especially with everything going on,” he said.
On Monday, the Red Sox had just beaten Tampa 3-2 on an RBI
double by Mike Napoli in the ninth inning in the annual Patriots’
Day morning game and were in a bus headed to the airport when they
received the first reports of explosions near the finish line.
”We usually have a police escort and they took off without
us,” Lester said. ”We started asking questions and it started
from the front and went to the back.”
Lester said players frantically called family members to check
on their safety. Later, on the flight to Cleveland, players who
normally pass the time by watching a movie or playing a game on
their laptops, were glued to TVs showing the latest events in
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was subdued and solemn as
he discussed all that transpired in the past 24 hours.
”It’s the worst thing,” he said. ”It’s awful. I was there the
day before. You can’t even describe how you feel. All of us, that
bus ride, it was silent. It’s still hard to put together.”
Pedroia, though, was sure Boston would rally.
”You take pride in the city you play in,” he said. ”This is
all some of us know. I’ve only played for the Red Sox. This city,
what they demand of their team, the way everybody – it’s the
toughest city out there. We put our uniform on, and it’ll be that
much more special every day.”
Indians manager Terry Francona, who won two World Series titles
during eight seasons in Boston, said he got word while he was
Progressive Field filming a commercial. As he caught up on the
tragedy, Francona was struck the familiar images appearing on the
”It’s personal for just about everybody,” he said. ”Some of
those views, you could see the church where my daughter got
married. It’s very unsettling for everybody.”
With the Bruins and Celtics having their homes games scratched
because of the attacks, the Red Sox can bring some comfort to a
region needing a break.
”When it comes down to anything in life, I know going back to
my experiences with cancer,” said Lester, who survived the
disease. ”The further you can get away from that and not think
about it, it eases your mind and maybe we can do that by taking the
field and easing some minds back in Boston. We can give them
something other than news to watch for a couple hours and hopefully
make people forget for a couple hours.
”Hopefully, we can bust our butts and keep playing hard.”
One TV in Boston’s clubhouse continued to show images of the
bombings, which occurred on sidewalks many of the players have
walked with their families.
Boston outfielder Jonny Gomes said he and his teammates have
”heavy hearts” as they move forward. However, Gomes said it’s not
like anyone from that area of the country to quit at anything, and
it’s up to the Red Sox to do their part to make Boston whole
”We’re trying to say the Boston Red Sox are not laying down for
this,” he said. ”We’re going to keep on trucking.”