News

Bombing’s shadow lingers as Boston prepares for World Series

Bombing’s shadow lingers as Boston prepares for World Series

BOSTON STRONG: Chris Williams paints the World Series logo on the field during media day the day before game one of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Photo: Reuters

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) – This year’s World Series has special significance for Boston Red Sox players and baseball fans, coming a little more than six months after the city was rocked by twin bombs that killed three and injured 264 at the Boston Marathon.

While the matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals has not captivated the city in quite the same way as the teams’ 2004 contest, which brought Boston its first World Series win in 86 years, officials said the games will provide a much-needed boost following the April 15 attack.

Slugger David Ortiz, who rallied Bostonians with a defiant speech declaring “this is our (expletive) city” at the team’s first home game after the attack, repeated that missive, in a more toned-down fashion, on Saturday night after the Red Sox clinched their spot in the series.

“This is our bleep city, Boston is strong,” Ortiz told the crowd after the team defeated the Detroit Tigers to become American League champion.

Fans strolling by Boston’s Fenway Park on Tuesday said a win of Major League Baseball’s most prestigious trophy this year would carry extra heft.

“Because of everything that Boston has been through, it would be good to see them win,” said Linda Provencal, a 64-year-old retiree who stopped off to buy souvenirs. “Boston has had a rough time.”

Team officials said the players knew the city was counting on them for a boost.

“These players feel a special bond, a connection to this city. It’s there for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the tragedy we’ve all experienced together,” said Larry Lucchino, the team’s chief executive, at a Tuesday press conference at Boston City Hall. “This team understands what the city, the victims went through.”

The April 15 attack occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, about a mile from Fenway Park. Twin homemade pressure-cooker bombs tore through spectators, volunteers and athletes at the race’s finish line.

A pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts have been accused of setting the bombs. The older of the pair, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died three days after the bombing in a gunbattle with police. Younger brother Dzhokhar escaped the confrontation and was found hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts, backyard late on April 19, after a daylong manhunt by police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Security has been ratcheted up at public events in Boston since that attack. Boston Police Department Superintendent in Chief Daniel Linskey told reporters that police would have a sizable presence at this week’s games.

“Obviously things have changed in our world but we’ve got the benefit of all the citizens of Boston who were with us on April 15 and will be with us tomorrow as we go forward,” Linskey said.

While Boston holds its sports traditions dear — the Red Sox still play in a 101-year-old stadium — one World Series tradition will be skipped this year. That is because the city’s mayor, Thomas Menino, was unable to get his St. Louis counterpart, Francis Slay, to agree to a friendly wager of food.

“The mayor of St. Louis said he was too busy to put a bet together,” Menino said of the tradition in which the mayor of the losing city sends a local specialty to his counterpart in the winning city. Slay said on his Twitter feed that the practice took up too much of his staff’s time.

Menino, now in the final months of a 20-year-stint as mayor, had planned a wager that would have reflected the heritage of Boston’s first Italian-American mayor: fried ravioli.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Saturday’s NHL Playoff Results

FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Lightning rebound to even series against Red Wings Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop stopped 24 shots for his first NHL playoff…

in Sports

NBA Playoffs: Warriors survive scare, Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Bulls decisive over Bucks, Rockets beat Mavs

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Stephen Curry gestures against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter of Game 6 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Stephen Curry scored 34 points with an MVP-worthy performance, and the Golden State went up big before holding off New Orleans.

in Sports

NHL player Jarret Stoll arrested in Las Vegas

File Photo: Jarret Stoll at the 2014 ESPY's. 
Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

The two-time Stanley Cup winner was arrested Friday for suspected cocaine possession at the MGM Grand Hotel's Wet Republic pool complex.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

roseanne

A walk down Hollywood's memory lane.

in Sports

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has bypass surgery

FILE - This April 1, 2014, file photo shows former Los Angeles Lakers player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at an NBA basketball ball game in Los Angeles. Abdul-Jabbar is recovering after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery. A hospital statement on Friday, April 17, 2015 says Abdul-Jabbar had the surgery on Thursday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The doctor who performed the surgery, says the 68-year-old former NBA and UCLA star is expected to make a full recovery.

Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is recovering after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery.

Bellingham Traffic