Rays shaken by tragic events in Boston
BALTIMORE -- The tragic events of Monday's Boston Marathon were still being discussed in the Tampa Bay clubhouse before Tuesday's series opener in Baltimore.
The Rays had finished the early game with the Red Sox before the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The club got out without trouble, but they were clearly shaken by what happened.
"It's absolutely terrible, and there's some way we've got to figure out how to work through all this because it's about fear, and when that occurs within a group of people, then somebody's winning," Rays manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday. "It's about a bunch of punks doing a bunch of stuff that really we have to fight back with. I just feel horribly for the families."
Pitcher Brandon Gomes is from Massachusetts, and his parents came to Monday's game at Fenway Park. He said he called his mother and uncle a few times after discovering what happened, but he couldn't get through due to phone line problems.
Gomes said he finally got in touch with them, but was worried until that finally happened. Still, he's hoping to see that the people of Boston can bounce back from this.
"That's a mentally strong city," Gomes said. "A lot of blue-collar people that grind it out. The type of mentality that I grew up in have that 'you hit me, I hit you back' mentality. They're going to come together and unite and make a positive out of something so tragic."
Sam Fuld is another player who had family at the game. Fuld, starting in right field Tuesday, said his parents were at Fenway Park and were walking back on Boylston Street towards their hotel and turned on to a side street.
That turn took them away from the location of the explosions.
"It hadn't even occurred to me that they were going back to that area," Fuld said. "I thought that they had their car and they were just driving from Fenway home back to New Hampshire. It was all so relevant and close to us that we all sort of contextualize what we do."
Fuld said it also makes him wonder about if something like that could ever happen at a game in which he's playing.
"I think about it," Fuld said. "Not constantly. But every now and then you think about, 'Man there's 40,000 people here. If somebody really wanted to affect this country, this would be a good place to do it. That's going to be on our minds a little bit more now."
The Rays stayed in a hotel about a block away from the explosion site, but they had checked out around 9 a.m. and gone to the ballpark. Fuld said he actually went to the finish line around 8 a.m. and took pictures of the special place.
"That finish like is what it's all about," Fuld said. "People kill themselves training and they just ... spend so much time and energy training for that finish line. In some ways, it's the most riveting way to shake things up."