The Red Sox held an emotional pre-game ceremony this afternoon at Fenway Park to honor those affected by Monday’s Marathon bombings. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and Boston Police commissioner Edward Davis were both in attendance for the occasion and received generous applause from the crowd.
In a tradition started by the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, the crowd sang the National Anthem in unison. You can watch that here. Then we had our ceremonial first pitch, which featured some local heroes: Matt Patterson, an off-duty firefighter, saved the life of a young boy on Monday. Steven Byrne, who was hospitalized after being injured during the bombings. And the father-and-son running team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Fenway did the ceremony right, but as our own Aaron Gleeman notes, David Ortiz stole the show before the players took the field.
Maybe a couple of you will take offense to the expletive, but it almost felt poignant given the hell that city has been through this week. Hey, the fans sure didn’t seem to mind.
UPDATE: Below you’ll find the (edited) video of Ortiz’s comments, but we think you’ll get the gist.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.