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

Stamkos has goal and assist, Lightning beat Rangers 2-0

Fresh
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper gestures to his team during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

Game 6 is Tuesday night in Florida

in Sports

AP Source: Adrian Peterson tells coach he won’t be at OTAs

Fresh
In this Aug. 16, 2014, photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) warms up before a NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Minneapolis.Millions of people using the top three fantasy football platforms have generated three different answers to the question of that top draft pick. Yahoo says LeSean McCoy of Philadelphia. ESPN says Adrian Peterson. CBS Sports says it’s Jamaal Charles of Kansas City.

JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that…

in Sports

Juan Pablo Montoya wins Indy 500 after late duel

The top of the Borg-Warner Trophy is seen on display during the drivers' meeting for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, May 28, 2011. The 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday.

Will Power finished second, followed by Charlie Kimball.

in Sports

Blackhawks beat Ducks 5-4 in Game 4 of Western final

FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates his goal with Patrick Kane during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Chicago. The Blackhawks have agreed to eight-year contract extensions with captain JonathanToews and star forward Patrick Kane. General manager Stan Bowman said all along that the extensions were his biggest offseason priority, and the team announced the megadeals Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

Antoine Vermette scored at 5:37 of the second overtime

Bellingham Traffic