Copley Square is about 1.5 miles from Fenway Park and, on Monday, the Red Sox’ team bus was scheduled to leave the stadium for Logan Airport promptly at 3 p.m. ET. The explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon occurred at about 2:50 p.m.
David Ortiz, however, was not among his teammates who heard the sirens as they left the area. The Red Sox’ designated hitter is still on a rehab assignment with Pawtucket — he’ll be back in the lineup on Tuesday after experiencing some more pain in his heel — but has a unique perspective on the tragedy. As the team’s elder statesman, he’s playing in more matinee Patriots’ Day games that anyone and, as a Boston icon, has a special connection to the city.
On Tuesday, the Pawtucket Red Sox played a matinee of their own, and before the game The Providence Journal’s Tim Britton spoke to Ortiz about the Boston Marathon tragedy. At one point Ortiz talked uninterrupted for three minutes, so check out his comments (as transcribed by The Providence Journal) below:
“Yesterday was a tough day for all of us. Anyone related to Boston — even not related to Boston — it was a hard day. My phone was blowing off yesterday, people from back home calling me and asking how everything was and how everything was going.
“I got very angry. I couldn’t process anything through my stomach last night, especially watching the news. Why people would do things like that, man? Watching the news last night, I saw this eight-year-old kid that was right there with his mom and his sister, waiting for his dad to cross the finish line. All I think about, man, is how this could happen. It’s very sad, and I got very emotional last night.
“This is a nation that is good at sticking up together, staying together when things like that happen. All of us are behind it. I’m a person that is proud of this country. This country gave me and my family the opportunity to be who I am today. I always say it is an honor for me to be part of this country.
“Seeing things like this happen, it just gets on everyone’s minds. You want to do something about it. You definitely want to do something about it. I heard our president last night talking, and it looked like he was struggling. To see what happened at that school last year, a lot of children and people lost their lives. And then you see a day like yesterday. It’s one of the biggest days in our country because you have a lot of people sacrificing themselves to raise money for a beautiful cause. Some [expletive] just came out with things like that. It’s not fair, man. It’s not fair. It was a tough day yesterday.”
“… If you go through the history of this country and how things have been put in place, Patriots Day is one of the days that every American should be proud of being an American,” he said. “It’s a day that this country fights for freedom. It’s a day that a lot of people sacrificed their lives for us to have better lives, a better living style today. It’s a special day for everyone, especially here in Boston with the marathon for a beautiful cause. People from all over the planet come to try to do their best to have that beautiful event that’s been going on for years. It’s something that’s very special. Things turning out like they did yesterday is horrible. It’s horrible.”