Buzz: Boston tragedy hits home for Derek Lowe

Monday’s tragedy in Boston hit close to home for Derek Lowe. Lowe spent the early part of his career with the Red Sox, living just 15 minutes outside of the city in nearby Quincy.

“It’s one of those sad things that you don’t understand, you don’t know what would make people do something like that,” Lowe said. “If you look at it, the casualties could have been so much more when you think about how many people are down there at one point and you have two bombs going off within 20 seconds of one another.”

Lowe’s manager Ron Washington was similarly perplexed by the incident.

“I don’t know how people can take out innocent people,” Washington said. “What message are they sending?”

Washington’s Rangers teams spent Patriots Day in Boston in 2008, 2010 and 2012, playing a game only in 2008. Washington said he spent the off days during the marathon walking around the finish line, in close proximity to where both bombs were detonated.

During his nearly eight seasons with the Red Sox, Lowe experienced many Patriots Day festivities in Boston and said it was always a special day.

“No one that I knew was impacted by it, but a lot of my friends do go down to the marathon,” Lowe said. “It’s always a sad situation when something like this happens. It was always -- and it’s still gonna be -- a great day that so many people in the city look forward to.”

It’s always a unique day because you play at 11 in the morning. But it’s one of those things that you always look forward to -- which sounds crazy because it’s 11 o’clock -- but just because the city is abuzz and there are so many people in one area. There’s 27,000 people that run, on top of all the fans and the 35,000 at Fenway. You know it’s going to be hectic, you know there’s going to be traffic, but you look forward to it. Starting at 8 a.m., the bars are packed and it continues all day long.”

Murphy gets a day off: David Murhpy has struggled early this season, posting a .160 batting average. Washington decided to give him Tuesday off with lefty Travis Wood on the mound for the Cubs. With Monday a scheduled off day, Washington was able to shoehorn an extra day of rest in for Murphy.

“(I’m) trying to get them all a break early here,” Washington said, denying that Murphy needed a mental break. “We’ve played 13 games, he’s been in every single one of them. Having a day off sitting in the hotel and running around Chicago ain’t the same as having a mental day off at the ball park. I just chose the day. It’s a lefty (on the mound for Chicago) so it works out perfectly.”

Washington managed to do the same with fellow lefty Mitch Moreland early in the season when the Rangers faced southpaw Jason Vargas following an off day. Washington emphasized that he has no concerns about Murphy’s struggles.

“He’s a battler,” Washington said. “He’s not the only one (who has struggled). We have a few guys who need to come around. It’s early in the year and two things happen: you get off good or you get off bad. He has a record showing that he knows how to recover and he’ll be back in there tomorrow.”

Soto unlikely to start in Wrigley return: Washington didn’t seem too eager to give former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto a start at his old stomping ground over the next three days.

“If for some reason we end up playing a doubleheader, he will,” Washington said, referring to the expected rain coming through Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday. “I can’t say he definitely (will play) if we don’t play a doubleheader.”

Berkman limited to pinch hitting: Washington also confirmed that Lance Berkman would not be starting any of the three games in Chicago, but would be available to pinch hit, with a caveat.

“He is available, but if he can’t loosen up, I’m not sending him out there,” Washington said. “It all depends if he can stay warm in the clubhouse and get loose.”

Berkman spent the bulk of his career with the former Cubs' division-mates Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. With his lengthy stay with Cubs' rivals combined with the fact that he recently made some disheartening comments about Wrigley Field to the media, Berkman can expect to be booed heartily if he does make a plate appearance.