Bob Ryan: ‘Patriots’ Day Was Just A Great Day’

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BOSTON, MA - APRIL 21: Marc Fucarile, injured in last years Boston Marathon bombings, prepares to throw out the first pitch prior to the Boston Red Sox/ Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Every Patriots’ Day is special in Boston, this year more so than usual.

“It was the day that we anticipated in that it was going to be a festive day, dammit, and it was,” Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said on The John Feinstein Show. “It was beautiful. Good conditions for the runners, good conditions for the spectators and, yes, clearly heightened security.”

Ryan started his Patriots Day at Fenway Park – “There was heavier security just getting into the ball park, which is certainly understandable,” he said – before making his way toward the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles, 7-6, but a humorous scene unfolded late in the game. When Meb Keflezighi – the winner of the Boston Marathon – appeared on the Jumbotron, there was no reaction among Red Sox fans. When the American flag appeared by Keflezighi’s name, however, there were loud cheers and chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

“The way it unfolded with an American winning the race (was perfect),” Ryan said of Keflezighi, who became the first U.S. citizen to win the marathon since 1983, “even though most people were kind of unaware that he was an American.”

All in all, it was a great day in Boston.

“There were no incidents, there were all kinds of incredible stories and (it) was just a great day,” Ryan said. “I thought it would be. In contrast, last Tuesday was somber, but yesterday was a day of celebration. It was a great day.”

Getting back to the Red Sox – who are 9-11 entering play April 22 – is it possible that they could be in for a letdown this year? After all, last year was such a wild ride and so unbelievably emotional.

“I think it’s possible,” Ryan said. “That was an extraordinary circumstance last year. But coming into this season, my feeling was that, No. 1, they had lost an extremely important part of the mix, which was (Jacoby) Ellsbury. They have not replaced him in any way, shape or form as a leadoff man. The center-fielding is fine defensively, but his offense is missed badly.”

Boston’s leadoff hitter on Monday was third baseman Brock Holt.

Ryan added that everything that could go right for the Red Sox last year went right, which can’t possibly happen again this year. And, let’s not forget that the division has strengthened. The Yankees “put together a rotation of import,” and Baltimore “can hit like hell” – and that’s without Manny Machado.

“A lot of guys in that lineup can hurt you,” Ryan said.

Tampa Bay’s pitching staff is decimated, but counting out the Rays is never a wise thing to do.

Regardless of what happens this year, though, let’s just enjoy last year for what it was: magic.

“It was a very, very fortuitous season,” Ryan said, “and a wonderful season.”

Looking at the bigger picture, where does the city of Boston go from here? Well, the only place it can go. Forward.

“The traffic’s back,” Ryan quipped. “I think we’re back, (but) who knows what normal is anymore? The big event is over and now you have to get on with it.”

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