|Big Brother was watching||07.24.09 at 8:20 pm ET|
Adam LaRoche, like any player going from a cellar-dwellar to a perennial championship contender, couldn’t be happier to be wearing a Red Sox uniform.
He met with the media prior to his first official game with his new team following Wednesday’s trade that sent him from Pittsburgh to Boston for minor leaguers Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland.
After acknowledging his appreciation to Red Sox management for bringing him to Boston, he said there’s only one really tough adjustment.
“The hardest part this year is leaving my little brother,” the 29-year-old LaRoche said of his 25-year-old brother Andy with the Pirates.
LaRoche got his chance to play with baby bro when the Dodgers traded Andy to the Pirates last season.
But quickly, both LaRoches learned that all the brotherly love in the world won’t turn them into the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.
“I got a chance to play with him for a year,” Adam said. “It’s something that I can never replace. Obviously, we would have love to have done that for the next 10 years but not on a losing club.”
“When we got LaRoche he became a little redundant.” Francona said of Mark Kotsay being designated for assignment.
Francona went onto add that Nick Green, he of the rifle arm, could play center and right field as a fifth outfielder option, now with Kotsay off the roster.
Maybe just as important as LaRoche being welcomed to the clubhouse was the message by Francona that his objective is “to win.”
Tito went on to add that some players accustomed to coming in and assuming they’re in lineup may have to change their thinking.
“It’s not something I’m going to be bitter about,” LaRoche said of going from everyday first baseman for the 42-53 Pirates to the 55-39 Red Sox. “I can handle not playing everyday for a chance of getting back to playing in October.”
As for coming to Boston and joining hunting buddy J.D. Drew, he couldn’t be happier. Even if he’s already taking some heat from David Ortiz for making Drew look animated.
“Obviously loving it,” LaRoche said of his first day in Boston. “I’ve heard so much about playing here. I’m pretty easy. Just tell me when you want me to play and I will.”
Aside from leaving little brother behind, about the only other difficult thing this week for LaRoche has been the travel pains he’s had to put his family through as they had to go from Pittsburgh to Arizona before learning he is headed for Boston.
Oh yeah, there’s one more really cool thing to LaRoche about playing in Boston.
“Not having to wear suits anymore on trips is a plus” LaRoche said.
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