CLEVELAND - Baseball is just a game, said Boston Red Sox designated hitter Jonny Gomes Tuesday night.
"Kind of last on the totem pole of things that are going on right now," he said in Cleveland just one day after the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.
"There are some people having surgery today to save lives," he said in acknowledging the life-and-death battle still being waged in Boston. "At the same time (baseball) is something we can do to get people's minds off things and, you know, hopefully, grab a breath of fresh air."
Pitcher Jon Lester agreed. The Red Sox were the last Boston team to play prior to the blast and the first to play after. The NHL postponed Monday's Bruins game and the NBA canceled Tuesday's Celtics game.
"Gives the people something else to watch and maybe take their minds off of it for a little bit," Lester said.
Lester said he and his teammates knew something was up when they were leaving Fenway Park following their traditional Patriot's Day game and saw their traditional police escort leave.
"It started from the front of the bus all the way to the back of the bus and guys were kind of going ‘What's going on?'"
By the time they arrived at the airport, they knew what had happened and leaving wasn't easy.
"I know for me with my family back there yeah, it's a little tough. Just kind of that worry of, you know, ‘Hey, when you guys go out, just make sure you be careful. ‘"
"But at the same time, I would imagine it's pretty crazy there right now," Lester said.
Watching the events on television was Indians manager Terry Francona, who lived and managed in Boston for eight years. He was alerted to what was happening by one of his daughters.
"I went and turned the TV on and saw right where it was," he said.
"It's personal for just about everybody. I mean, some of those views you could see the church where my daughter got married."
Francona said you don't need roots in Boston to be impacted.
"It's hard for everybody, whether it's personal or not, it seems like it gets personal."
"You know, you turn on the TV, you hear right wing, left wing; I wish there were no wings, I just wish people would get along," he said.