Bailey ‘excited’ about joining the Red Sox

Here’s some of what Andrew Bailey said on a conference call this evening:

On the trade: “I’m very excited. This is where my family and I live in the offseason. Born and raised in New Jersey, spend the offseason in Connecticut. Can’t get much further than Oakland from the East Coast. Definitely excited to play baseball on the East Coast and for the Red Sox.

On going to the Sox: “I’m excited, obviously. It’s an organization that continues to win each and every year and definitely a contender each and every year. … [Oakland] is headed down a different road where they’re trying to get younger and build for the future.”

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On Bobby Valentine: “Bobby and I are good friends. Bobby and I have a good relationship. He’s excited to have me on board and I’m excited to be there for him. We’re both looking forward to it. It helps knowing someone going in.”

More on Bobby: “It’s a good relationship. He’s a great guy and brings a lot of energy to everything he does. That’s why he’s perfect for what he does with us. … He’s very engaging. He’s going to do great with that bunch of guys in Boston. He’s hard not to like.”

On the pressure of closing in Boston: “I haven’t experienced it yet. I’m looking forward to experiencing it. I think every kid playing T-ball out there strives to pitch in the postseason and meaningful games in September and ultimately the World Series. I’m going to welcome that with open arms. It’s not going to change the style I [use to] attack the hitters. I’m aggressive, like to [go] right at these guys. As long as I stick to my guns and trust my stuff, I’ll be fine I’m sure.”

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On facing the Yankees: “Going to college in Staten Island, I’ve already gotten a lot of my buddies texting me. They’re die-hard Yankees fans. It’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to it. I have a lot of friends who are Red Sox fans, also. It’ll be fun to be part of the rivalry. Me growing up in New Jersey, I know a lot about it.”

(Bailey grew up in South Jersey and was a Phillies fan as a kid.)

On improving as a closer: “Staying healthy is No. 1. That’s the key to success. Obviously don’t shy away from who you are. I’m not going to blow it by you at 98, 99. I’m not that type of guy. I usually sit in the low 90s and rely on control and getting ahead of guys. There’s a motto I live by, it’s strike one is the best pitch in baseball. If you stick with that, you’ll be fine. Obviously pitching, and closing for that matter, is bigger in Boston. But I’ll be fine with that. The last three years have been great, being able to close.”

On pitching at Fenway: “Fenway is the greatest stadium in baseball. Being able to pitch in that uniform and in that stadium is something I’ll never forget.”

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