CLEVELAND: Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox for eight seasons, so the first-year Indians skipper has strong feelings about the two bombings that killed three and injured more than 170 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
“I’m not sure you have to have roots in Boston to care about that,” he said Tuesday. “Whether you saw it on TV or you were there, it’s personal. I think it’s personal for everybody. I could see the church where my daughter got married [on the news].”
Francona was at Progressive Field when the news broke and didn’t see video of the explosions until later.
“I was here at the park and saw that I had some missed calls from my daughter,” he said. “I called her back, and that’s how I found out.”
The bomber or bombers have yet to be identified, nor has the act of terror been ascribed to a radical group, either domestic or foreign, or one or more individuals. However, whoever built and planted the bombs might have been trying to make a political statement.
“Here, there’s a right wing and a left wing,” Francona said. “I wish there were no wings. It’s hard enough as an adult, imagine what it’s like to be a little kid.”
Often it is said that the distraction of watching a game can aid in the healing process after tragedy that has a strong emotional effect on virtually the entire country.
“It would be terrific if it helps anybody at all,” Francona said. “And I think it does. I don’t know how you quantify what happened. It’s unfair, but I hope our game does help.”
The series between the Red Sox and Tribe is Francona’s first encounter with his former team since he was forced out of his job at the end of the 2011 season. Last year, Francona spent the season as a commentator for ESPN.
“I had eight mostly good years in Boston,” he said. “I like where I’m at now, and I think they like where they’re at. But it will be harder when we go to Boston.
“Now, we’re in Cleveland. This is my home and my home team. But I’m not saying that this is just another series.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.