Ex-Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon reacts to bombings in Boston
The images of terror were shown on four TVs inside the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ballpark. A shirtless Jonathan Papelbon sat stunned. He stood up, pointed to a corner of one screen, and told Cliff Lee, “That’s where I lived.”
Papelbon played seven seasons for the Boston Red Sox. He called the corner of Boylston and Fairfield Streets home for a majority of that time. The second explosion Monday that rocked Boston happened yards away from his old building, which was above a steakhouse called Abe & Louie’s.
The Phillies closer was visibly shaken.
“It’s sad, man,” Papelbon said. “Patriots’ Day is a big thing is Boston. The Sox play at 11 o’clock. It’s all ruined. Families are ruined, lives are ruined. For what? It’s just sad.”
For years, Papelbon was a walking symbol of Boston with his crazy antics, Dropkick Murphys soundtrack, and cigar-smoking celebrations. The city is ingrained in him.
Papelbon said he kept friends who still lived in his old neighborhood. Like most, he had difficulty reaching any on Monday afternoon.
“Hopefully, the city can rally and make things better, but it’s going to be tough,” he said. “It’s hard to put in words.”
Those Red Sox parades bounded down Boylston, just like the Boston Marathon, and nothing will ever be the same.
“I’m looking at it right now,” Papelbon said, “and I’m like, ‘Damn I used to live right there.’”
NBA REACTS — The Orlando Magic held a moment of silence prior to Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls to honor the victims of the explosions during the Boston Marathon.
Monday’s tragedy saddened Magic co-founder and senior vice president Pat Williams and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Williams ran the race 13 times.
“I’m just sick about it,” Williams said of the tragedy.
Thibodeau was born in Connecticut and served as a Boston Celtics assistant coach for several seasons.
“It’s just terrible,” Thibodeau said before tipoff. “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, the first responders - everybody there. It’s just terrible. Very, very sad.”
Thibodeau is familiar with Patriots’ Day in Boston. He was a Celtics assistant coach from 2007-08 through 2009-10.
“There’s so much going on and the entire meaning of that day,” he said. “It’s so festive. It’s unfathomable just to think about something like that happening there. Again, it’s just a terrible day. Terrible.”
David Gill, an NBA security official who is assigned to Magic games, said proper precautions were taken for Monday’s Bulls-Magic game.