« A few notes from Francona's pre-game chat
Schilling's rehab over; will start for Sox Sunday in Seattle »
August 1, 2007
Arriving in Boston at about 2 o'clock this afternoon, Eric Gagne met with the media a short time ago. A few excerpts from that press conference:
Calling the Red Sox ``the best organization in baseball’’ and Boston ``the best sports city in America,’’ he said he jumped at the chance to come here.
``It’s an honor. I’ve got to get used to that red. I’ve never worn red before. So I’m pretty excited. Everybody knows what Boston means, and being a Red Sox is a great honor. I’m just excited to be here and win a World Series.''
Gagne says he received more phone calls following the trade announcement than he did after being named the 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner.
``There are so many fans in Montreal and Canada, especially with the Expos gone, and everybody in Montreal pretty much are Boston fans.''
(Gagne admits he was an Expos fan growing up, but that Boston was his second choice once the Montreal team folded.)
Although Boston was among the teams included in his no-trade clause, Gagne says that was primarily because he prefers to be a closer and he knew that Boston already had one in Jonathan Pabelbon. And he insisted yesterday that agreeing to go to Boston was ``one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.’’
``I want to be a closer. I’ve always wanted to be a closer. I think I see myself as a closer. But I have a chance to have 15 more saves and win a World Series. That was a pretty easy choice, so I’m really glad to be here.’’
Gagne says he has already spoken to Mike Timlin and plans to pick up some tips from him to help him adjust to his new role as a set-up guy: ``It’s going to be a good challenge. I’m just here to help the team win the World Series. Basically that’s what it comes down to. I want to win, and it’s not every day you have a chance to come on a team like that.''
Sidelined for the better part of the last two seasons by various elbow and back injuries, Gagne was asked how he's been feeling this season: ``It was probably a month and a half ago where I went back-to-back days, had a day off and went back-to-back again. That’s really when I felt like my arm was bouncing back, and my back was feeling good. I felt great all year, but it just got better and better every week. It’s good to be out on the field and be able to compete and not worry about your body, not worry about anything else but make pitches and get people out.’’
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 5:40 PM to Thornton