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Byrd: ‘Maybe I can get that World Series ring’

08.05.09 at 11:21 pm ET
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Patience paid off for Paul Byrd.

After taking a chance and spurning free agent offers in the offseason to spend time with his family throughout the school year, Byrd found himself without any major league suitors throughout May and June, when he thought the door would re-open to get back in the game. 

But Wednesday the 38-year-old hurler found his opening as he agreed to a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

“I’m excited,” Byrd said. “I think I can be back in shape and help them out in whatever role they need me to help them out in in September. Maybe I can get that World Series ring.”

Byrd, who had been working out near his home near Atlanta, will report in the next few days to the Red Sox Gulf Coast team in Fort Myers where he will “go down there, throw some innings and get back on track and get some arm strength”. And although the team didn’t see him workout, the impression the righty left on the Sox during eight starts in 2008 was enough to allow warrant the deal.

“No, I wasn’t,” said Byrd when asked if he had been working out consistently throughout the season. “I did a little bit of a roller coast and when I say that I mean I’m not ready to throw five innings tomorrow. I am in shape I have been throwing. It’s not like I haven’t picked up a ball. I have been throwing, I’ve been off a mound twice in the last three days, six times in the last two weeks. There’s  a difference between pitching in a game and throwing a bullpen. I would need to start out at one or two innings and build up arm strength.”

Byrd was hoping for a bigger midseason payday, but was clearly excited to be back with the team he helped get to the postseason a year ago.

“It’s structured to where I have to get myself ready. It’s not something where I have a ton of money and everything is guaranteed,” said Byrd, who had a 4-2 mark with a 4.78 ERA with Boston last season. “My hearts in it, everything is in it. It was just a situation where the timing had to be right and I feel like it is now.”

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