Millar: ‘I’m excited’

The following is a sampling of this afternoon’s comments by Kevin Millar — who is returning to Fenway Park tonight for the first time since leaving the Red Sox at the end of last season:

  • When asked about the Johnny Damon booing Monday night, Millar said “I think the Johnny Damon situation was magnified. Everybody loves Johnny Damon. There’s not a person in this city that doesn’t appreciate what he’s done.”

    He said fans appreciate the former players like Damon who play hard: “Same with myself and OC [Orlando Cabrera],” said Millar.

  • On missing Boston:

    “You do miss it,” he said. “We did something very special here. You miss these guys and you miss Boston.”

  • Regarding his time with the Red Sox, Millar said “a lot of stuff is my fault. Offensively [I struggled]. One thing is not a lack of effort.”
  • When asked about the 2006 Red Sox, Millar said, “guys have told me it’s different. It doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t win. Guys [from last year’s Sox team] were more vocal … [David] Ortiz would love to see my naked body.”

    “They always have a legit chance to win it all,” said Millar. “Come July, if they need somebody, they’ll get him.”

  • “I do keep in touch [with my old Red Sox teammates],” Millar said. “Text messaging makes it a lot easier, with those Trio phones everybody has now.”

    “I think fans appreciated the below-average guys. We had a few superstars, Manny [Ramirez], Ortiz … but look at [Bill] Mueller, etc. guys grinding their way.”

    “It was surprising to see a lot of position players leave in a six week span. That was strange. You can’t control that as a player … we gave everything we can.”

  • On seeing Doug Mirabelli’s dramatic return:

    “The drama of the Sox and Yankees. That’s the things you miss. Those are the fun times.”

  • Would he change anything about his time in Boston?

    “I would change my first half starts. I was quite miserable at times. It drives me nuts but it’s part of the game.”

  • Speaking about his time with the Orioles, he said “I don’t know how much these guys know me yet. Definitely a situation with Miguel Tejada, our personalities are similar.”
  • Is he nervous about tonight?

    “I’m excited. It was exciting to land here early in the morning. Looking at the streets it reminded me of when we got back from St. Louis [after winning the World Series].”

  • On Yankees manager Joe Torre being upset about the reaction to Damon’s return to Fenway:

    “Johnny never said no to an autograph. He was a phenomenal teammate. He played hurt. With a superstar like that, everybody says ‘let’s boo him.’ Everybody loves Johnny Damon. If you don’t like him, you got problems.”

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