Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics Return to Action as Boston Begins Return to Normal, Or Something Like It

Brandon Bass, Jarrod SaltalamacchiaLet’s do this.

After one of the most harrowing weeks this city has ever experienced, Boston finally can begin its return to something resembling normal life. What “normal” means now is unclear, of course, as Monday’s tragedy at the marathon and Friday’s day-long manhunt redefined the word forever for the residents of Boston and its suburbs. For the families of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier, the death of one of the bombing’s alleged perpetrators and the capture of the other will never be sufficient to return their lives to the happy “normal” they knew less than a week ago.

But it is a start along the path to healing. So as the residents of Watertown awaken on Saturday morning, bleary-eyed from the surreal preceding 24 hours, they can finally begin to pretend that life is on its way back to normal. We can turn on the news to confirm to ourselves that Friday really happened, that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev truly is clinging to life in a hospital bed and not running free, then dedicate a few quiet moments to reflect in honor of the victims.

Then we can turn on the Red Sox at noon, provided the weather clears up, or the Bruins, who will line up for the opening face off around the same time Clay Buchholz‘ first pitch will sail into the catcher’s mitt at Fenway Park. Around the time those games are wrapping up, the Celtics tip off Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series in New York. For a solid six hours or so, we will create the illusion that this is just another day in sports-loving Boston.

The games themselves are irrelevant, obviously. The Bruins eliminated two games from their schedule this week, the Red Sox and Celtics one each, and nobody has uttered a peep of complaint. Anyone and everyone would trade wins in all three games today if it could help bring back the four people who have lost their lives needlessly.

Yet we all know that it would not. As three of Boston’s teams return to action, the games are simply a reminder of what two men’s actions took from us — or tried to, anyway. Getting life back to normal, or something like it, begins now. On Saturday, we will show the perpetrators that Boston, for all the tears shed in the last six days, has not forgotten how to cheer.

Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.

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