BOSTON -- After the capturing of the two alleged Boston Marathon bombers, the city got back to some normalcy with the Red Sox taking on the Kansas City Royals Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
There were plenty of extra security measures in place, with assistance from the Boston Police department. Every person entering the park was searched thoroughly and police dogs inspected every area in the park before the game.
“Security was great,” said Nancy Rossetti, from Bow, NH. “They searched my bag and even my truck at the parking garage. Definitely more than normal, but I can’t wait, it’s going to be a very special day.”
For the Red Sox players themselves, they know they have a role to play in the recovery period, giving the people of Boston a sense of normalcy and a place for the people to come together as one.
“It’s an opportunity to get back on the field and focus on the things our guys know best, and hopefully to the public and to the fans some symbol of normalcy and hopefully over the time we’re in between the lines we can give a little bit of diversion in a tragic week we just came through,” manager John Farrell said before the game.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks echoed his manager’s sentiments, acknowledging how important baseball is to the city, and what role the team can play.
“We take a lot of responsibility,” Middlebrooks said. “We know what a big deal baseball is here and how passionate everyone is about it. We’re just happy to get back out there and help the city heal.”
Although the games will go on, it is hard to simply move on and forget the events of what has been an emotional, tiresome week.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster in terms of emotion for people in Boston,” outfielder/designated hitter Jonny Gomes said. “Bombs going off, deaths, injuries and then capturing the two guys a couple days later. A true emotional roller coaster and like I said, it’s a true tearjerker when an eight-year old boy and a police officer, all these people’s lives. But, then to celebrate the capture of these two guys, it says a lot about the police force and everyone involved.”
Before the game, in a moving ceremony, the Red Sox honored dozens of individuals associated with the past week's affairs, which included the runners, marathon volunteers, survivors, medical personnel, and all law enforcement, including those who led the investigation.
The ceremony was capped off with remarks from David Ortiz who closed with, “This jersey doesn't say Red Sox. It says Boston. This is our (bleeping) city and nobody is going to take away our freedom. Stay strong.”
And with that, the game got underway and for at least three hours Boston and it’s people could enjoy something which means so much to them -- Red Sox baseball. Maybe for the first time ever the result of the game did not matter as 37,000 people strong came together to enjoy a baseball game and live their normal lives.
“I truly don’t think a win-loss is what we’re looking for today,” Gomes said. “I just think the fact of us taking the field, filling the seats with people -- you know it’s hard. You want to move forward, but you don’t. At the same time you want to remember those people, you do want to be saddened and celebrate the lives, but at the same time the American way holds true. We have to keep chuggin’ and not let that act slow us down.”
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.