Lockdown forces Red Sox, Bruins to postpone games

Lockdown forces Red Sox, Bruins to postpone games
April 19, 2013, 11:30 am
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(UPDATED AT 3:10 P.M.)

BOSTON -- With the city in lockdown and public transportation shut down, there didn't seem to be any way the Red Sox or Bruins could play their regularly scheduled home games tonight.

And they won't.

Within seconds of each other on Friday afternoon, the Sox (who were scheduled to play the Royals at Fenway Park) and the Bruins (due to play the Penguins at TD Garden) announced they had postponed their games. The Bruins rescheduled the game for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with the Penguins' regularly scheduled game against Buffalo moved to next Tuesday. The team will announce by 8:30 a.m. Saturday whether or not the game will go on, depending on the status of the lockdown.

The Red Sox made no immediate announcement on a makeup date. This is the Royals' only scheduled visit of the year to Boston.

An early morning firefight between police and the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, which resulted in the death of one suspect, prompted city, state and federal officials to shut down Boston and some of its surrounding suburbs as they searched for the survivor. Residents were ordered to stay in their homes, businesses were told to close, roads were shut off, and all modes of public transportation were suspended. 

As morning turned to afternoon, the suspect remained at large as police conducted a house-to-house search in Watertown, MA. Officials said the investigation was progressing and new leads were being pursued, but there was no indication when the lockout would be lifted.

And that meant confusion reigned for the two local teams. In the early afternoon, two Boston reporters said on Twitter they were told by Red Sox slugger David Ortiz -- rejoining the team tonight after a rehab assignment in Pawtucket, where he was recovering from an Achilles problem that has sidelined him since last July -- that the game has been postponed  But a third reporter Tweeted that outfielder Shane Victorino said he was at Fenway Park and that, as far as he knew, the game was on. Ortiz later reversed course and also said the game hadn't been called off.

"Nothing official yet," Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said in a text message to CSNNE.com reporter Maureen Mullen at about 2:15 p.m. when asked if the game was on.

The Bruins already had a game postponed because of the Marathon bombing; their Monday night meeting with Ottawa was rescheduled for Sunday, April 28, the day after the NHL regular season was scheduled to end. They were able to play Wednesday, and their stirring pregame ceremony, capped by the crowd's a capella rendition of the National Anthem, was hailed as a welcome first step in the city's healing process.

Tonight's game had been highly anticipated, since it would be Jarome Iginla's first game in Boston after he declined a trade to the Bruins and instead arranged to be sent to Pittsburgh.

As for the Celtics -- whose Tuesday night game against the Pacers was canceled out of respect for the dead and injured in the bombing -- they're in New York, preparing to face the Knicks in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. Game 1 of their series will be played at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Madison Square Garden and shouldn't be affected by today's incident.

Even the Patriots, despite being out of season, have been affected. They had a pre-draft press conference scheduled for Tuesday that they postponed to Friday in the wake of the bombing, and then they postponed it again today after the lockdown was announced . . . even though Foxboro is about 20 miles south of Boston. They'll try it again on Monday.

Only Major League Soccer's New England Revolution haven't been touched by the attack, at least on the field. They only play once a week, usually on Saturdays, and are scheduled to be in New York tomorrow. But, unlike the other New England teams, they had a team member personally affected: Goalie Matt Reis' father-in-law was severely injured by one of the bombs, and Reis, at the race to cheer on his wife, helped tend to victims after the blast.