By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
11:11 PM EDT, April 16, 2013
Roughly four hours before Tuesday’s first pitch at Camden Yards, Orioles manager Buck Showalter held a meeting with his players and staff to ensure them that proper safety precautions were being made in light of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured at least 170.
The brief meeting included Doug Duennes, the club’s executive vice president of business operations, who oversees, among other things, stadium operations. Showalter said plenty of behind-the-scenes things have happened in the last year or so to guarantee the safety of all those at the park — and the players may not have been aware of some of the improvements.
“Just wanted to, as the players go home, talk to their families. There's already been some stuff going back and forth,” Showalter said about why he held the meeting. “Make sure they understand some of the things that have been done and things that are being done. And some of the things on the road. Get ahead of some things.”
Showalter, who said he walked through Boston’s Copley Square last week while attending a screening of the new movie “42,” said the tragedy “certainly strikes home.”
Perhaps no one in the Orioles organization has more connections to Boston than executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who grew up in Massachusetts, spent much of his adult life there and still runs a sports academy in Hinsdale, Mass.
“It's just hard to come to terms with the whole thing, really. That's Boston's day, really, marathon day,” Duquette said. “And to have families waiting at the finish line for another family member ... it's just hard to process.”
Duquette’s ex-wife, Sharon, is a nurse and volunteers at the marathon to help racers with hydration issues at the finish line. His 23-year-old son, Daniel, attempted to get to his mother when the bombings occurred, driving toward the scene. But Sharon Duquette was ushered to a subway station and left the area.
“Fortunately, she wasn't hurt. She's a nurse. She was there volunteering. Daniel tried to go get her out of there, but she found her way to a T station,” Duquette said. “Daniel went over and spent the night with her. … Fortunately, they were safe, but there were other families that weren’t.”
The 8-year-old bystander that was killed on Monday is from the Savin Hill area of Boston, which annually sends kids to the Duquette Academy camps.
“The little boy who passed away was a little leaguer from Savin Hill,” Duquette said. “It's just hard to comprehend.”
Infielder Ryan Flaherty, a native of Maine who has attended games at Fenway Park on Patriots Day (when the Boston Marathon is held), said he had about 10 or 15 friends in Boston on Monday and knew “three or four” people who were running the race. Everyone he knew ended up OK.
“It was kind of scary that it happened,” said Flaherty, who was in his Baltimore apartment when he first saw the news on TV. “We didn’t know how big it was going to be or how big it was. Cell phones weren’t working. It was just a sad, sad day.”
Right-hander Steve Johnson (lat strain) and lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (2012 elbow surgery) will both pitch Thursday in an extended spring training game in Sarasota, Fla. Johnson will go four innings, and Wada will throw multiple innings. After that game, Showalter said they will be re-evaluated and their next steps will be decided.
Second baseman Brian Roberts, who was placed on the disabled list April 5 with a ruptured tendon near his right hamstring, has not resumed baseball activities yet, Showalter said. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but Showalter said that definitely will not happen. The original timetable for return was two to four weeks.
Around the horn
The Orioles held a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. Also honored by the club during the moment of silence were two Orioles fans who died earlier this year, Tommy Conelius and Matt Hersl. ... All members of the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson. Major League Baseball held its annual tribute to Robinson, who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947, on Monday, but the Orioles were off. The signed, game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off at www.orioles.com through April 23 with proceeds going to the club’s charitable foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. A “42” jersey signed by the team also will be auctioned at www.mlb.com/42 jersey. ... Pitching prospect Kevin Gausman allowed six runs (five earned) in Double-A Bowie’s loss to Erie on Tuesday. Gausman gave up 10 hits, walked none and struck out five in the no decision. He also threw two wild pitches, hit a batter and committed an error. ... Catcher Allan de San Miguel was moved from Short-A Aberdeen’s roster to High-A Frederick to take the place of Michael Ohlman, who was put on the 7-day disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.
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