The Red Sox had business to which they needed to attend Monday night, the first game of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers, another team in the American League wild-card mix.
But for much of the day, their focus -- in the clubhouse, on the field, and in the offices of Fenway Park -- was elsewhere, fixed squarely on franchise icon David Ortiz, seriously wounded in a shooting in his native Dominican Republic Sunday night.
The act itself was shocking enough — sudden, brazen and unexpected. But perhaps what made it so difficult to comprehend was that an act of violence would be perpetrated against Oritz, known for his high-wattage smile, gregarious nature and larger-than-life persona.
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy termed the events of Sunday night -- with Ortiz shot in the back by someone wielding a gun in a Santo Domingo nightspot -- "jarring, frankly stunning and terrifying. It was a horrific incident. Our exclusive focus is on his health and well-being and doing what we can to support the family.''
Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, a teammate of Ortiz's from 2003 through 2011, struggled to keep his emotions in check as he addressed the shocking news.