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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Theo Epstein reflects on bombings

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein was in draft meetings when he found out about the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

It was just a few minutes earlier he had talked with his brother, Paul, who had just finished running in the marathon -- about 45 minutes before the bombs went off.

"My mom used to run the marathon, as well as her twin sister, so a lot of memories of seeing them run by," Epstein recalled Tuesday afternoon. "The city is really shaken, but it's a really resilient city. They'll get through it. It's almost impossible to process something like that."

Epstein is a native of Boston and worked there for 10 years helping the Red Sox win two World Series championships.

"I used to live a block south of there," Epstein said. "For a decade, going to work, seeing the [Red Sox] game then I'd always leave the game about the seventh inning to see my brother run by ... I'd give him a high-five and go back to work."

Like Epstein, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Dale Sveum both spent time in the Red Sox organization.

"It's kind of the best day in the city," Hoyer said of Patriots Day. "You bolt out of the office and over to the race and have a really fun night."

"That's (Boylston Street) where we spend a lot of our time," Sveum added. "Like everyone else, you're shocked. That's a pretty special day, their biggest day of the year."

Epstein tried calling his brother back after the bombs exploded, but cellular service was down. He reached him 20 minutes later and was relieved to find out he was OK.

"Almost everyone there was there waiting for a loved one or a friend or there to cheer on a stranger," Epstein said. "To have someone try to kill and hurt strangers doesn't make sense. It's amazing human beings are capable of both those extremes."

He called the images of his hometown "surreal" but is confident Boston will rebound from the tragedy.

"You see the darkest side of humanity with someone trying to harm innocent people and then you see the best side of humanity when you see people running towards an explosion like that to help people in harm's way," Epstein said.