CLEVELAND — The televisions in the visitor’s clubhouse at Progressive Field were on CNN Tuesday afternoon, not ESPN. There was no music playing, either.
The mood was somber. None of the Red Sox are from Boston, but they’re part of the fabric of the city, and Monday’s deadly bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon hit them hard.
The Sox were getting on the team bus after a walkoff victory against the Rays when they learned the news. It came initially from a phone call placed to Will Middlebrooks from his father.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” said Middlebrooks. “But my dad was like, ‘Will, this is serious.’ It was just shocking. We’ve all walked on that sidewalk or had dinner in those restaurants. Our families and friends, too.”
No Red Sox employees were injured, team officials said. But several Sox employees know people who were affected by the attacks.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all that were affected,” manager John Farrell said.
Lefthander Jon Lester was visibly angry.
“Whoever did this, make them realize that we don’t take kindly to things like that,” he said. “We have to be together, united, and stand up to this and show these people that this isn’t going to break us.”
Lester, who has spent his entire career with the Sox, said knowing that area of the city so well made the attack especially unsettling.
“You see these things, it’s like movies,” he said. “For it to hit home like this, to be on that sidewalk plenty of times, eaten down at those restaurants plenty of times, it hits right at home. It’s a scary deal.
“But you can’t live in fear. You have to keep doing what you’re doing and not let these people ruin our lives.”
Dustin Pedroia, who always has so much to say, was sparse with his words and spoke in a quiet tone. He lives maybe a mile from the site of the bombings with his wife and two young sons.
“I was there actually the day before,” said Pedroia. “You can’t even describe how you feel. All of us. Man, that bus ride was silent. It’s still hard to put together.”
Pedroia takes pride in Boston and playing for the Sox.
“It’s as tough a city out there,” he said. “When we put our uniform on, it’ll be that much more special every day.”
The Sox are optimistic that baseball somehow can provide people with a diversion.
“Hope that it takes their mind off the situation for a second,” Pedroia said. “What’s going on there is the worst. I still can’t put it all together.
“It’s tough to deal with.”
The Red Sox hung a jersey with the number 617 in their dugout. It said “Boston Strong” on the back.
The Sox postponed the free Fenway Park Open House scheduled for Wednesday. It will be rescheduled for later this season.
“We all feel the grief of the horrifying tragedy that struck our community on Patriots Day,” team president Larry Lucchino said. “Our hearts are with our fellow Bostonians and visitors from around the world who were here for one of Boston’s most spectacular and time-honored events.
“In the coming days, we will join with others to find ways to show the victims of this heartless, cowardly act our sincere support, and to demonstrate to all, our community’s unity, strength, and resilience.”
Lucchino said the Sox are working with MLB and law enforcement agencies to reinforce the security at Fenway.
Indians pay tribute
The Indians, like the Red Sox, wore black armbands on their jerseys. There was a moment of silence before the game as the players lined up on the baselines.
The Indians also had the US flag at half-staff and played several Boston-centric songs, including “Sweet Caroline” before the game. “Dirty Water” was played after the Red Sox won, 7-2.
“We just wanted to take a moment at the beginning of this series to express our sympathy,’’ Indians president Mark Shapiro said.
Hanrahan to DL
The Sox placed closer Joel Hanrahan on the disabled list, saying his right hamstring strain needed time to heal.
Righthander Steven Wright was called up from Triple A Pawtucket.
“It was going to be total of 5-7 days recovery time for the hamstring,” Farrell said. “So him going on the DL was pretty clear cut.”
Farrell said Hanrahan would make a few rehabilitation appearances in the minors, too. The righthander had an 11.57 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP in six appearances.
Wright was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts for Pawtucket. The 28-year-old could make his debut against the Indians, the team that traded him to the Red Sox in July.
“It’s exciting to get to the big leagues,” Wright said. “Being in Cleveland makes it nice because I was here for so many years.”
Wright hasn’t worked in relief since he started throwing a knuckleball full-time in 2001.
Wright asked for No. 35 to pay tribute to the late Frank Pastore, the pitching coach who taught him the knuckleball. He died in December.
Drew gets a day
The Sox gave Stephen Drew (2 for 16) a day off and started Pedro Ciriaco at shortstop . . . John Lackey, on the disabled list with a strained biceps, threw out to 120 feet. “That’s a clear sign that he feels good about where he is physically,” Farrell said . . . Lefthander Franklin Morales, who is on the DL with a back injury, will start his rehab assignment Wednesday with a start for Single A Greenville . . . Rookie Jackie Bradley Jr., hitting .097 and hitless in his last 20 at-bats, was out of the lineup again despite Cleveland starting righthander Ubaldo Jimenez. Bradley seems sure to return to the minors once David Ortiz is activated, which could be as soon as Friday . . . The Sox had only six hits and struck out 16 times. But they drew nine walks. It was the most strikeouts in a nine-inning game since Sept. 21, 2007 when the Sox fanned 17 times against the Rays. It was the first time in history that the Sox struck out 16 times and walked nine times in a nine-inning game.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.