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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

Durbin: ‘Now is time for mourning’

Royals agree with decision to call off weekend baseball games

September 14, 2001

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— Chad Durbin would have been almost embarrassed if baseball had tried to play games this weekend.

"It just doesn't feel like it's time to play baseball yet," said the Kansas City Royals pitcher.

"Right now is a time of mourning. It just doesn't seem like a good time to play any game in any sport. It's too close to what happened."

The Royals thought they might have to take a 15-hour bus trip Thursday to Detroit, where they were scheduled to begin a weekend series on Friday. They all brought their luggage and then spent several hours in the clubhouse waiting for word from the commissioner.

"I don't think you would have heard anybody complain about a long bus ride to Detroit," said first baseman and player representative Mike Sweeney. "At least nobody had better. What would our inconvenience be compared with the inconvenience to all the people who have lost their lives and lost their loved ones, or been injured?"

Like the rest of the league, the Royals will be idle from Tuesday when terrorists hijacked four jetliners and used them to attack targets in Washington and New York to Monday, when play is scheduled to resume.

Ex-Marine Tony Muser was angry, like many Americans.

"Your initial reaction depends on where you come from, how things have gone in your life," said the Royals manager. "You try to get things going as quickly as you possibly can. But I think the overall morale of our country is down.

"It makes you angry. And it's scary to think we've got an enemy we can't see."

Relief pitcher Roberto Hernandez grew up in New York and has many friends and relatives still there.

"This is a time of mourning, not for playing baseball," he said. "We're still thinking in the back of our mind, 'What's next?"'

The Royals now won't be home until closing out what has been a disappointing season with seven games the last week of September.

"It's going to be hard to play baseball with your heart and soul with all this stuff going on," Durbin said. "I think it's a good idea to push things back and let everybody get their feet on the ground before we travel across the country to go play a game."

Muser has been having trouble sorting out his feelings all week. "A lot of emotions run through you," he said. "I think the one thing that's shocking is that it's happened on our soil, and the disbelief of how it can happen. It tells you how vulnerable we are.

"It's a tough thing. It really is a tough thing."

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