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Hermida: ‘I’m ready to play some real baseball’

01.14.10 at 9:13 pm ET

Jeremy Hermida knows the quickest way to the hearts and minds of Red Sox fans.

Talk about how much he is looking forward to playing in Boston and how he’s heard it’s unlike any other place in the world. And follow that up by talking about how much he’s looking forward to his first taste of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry on Opening Night at Fenway.

The outfielder, who turns 26 on Jan. 30, did both on Thursday night at the Westin Waterfront in South Boston at the annual Boston baseball writers’ dinner.

He was acquired on Nov. 5 from the Florida Marlins to add outfield depth with the anticipated loss of Jason Bay. He spent his first five years in the bigs with the Marlins. But that didn’t keep him from speaking frankly about the difference he already feels in Boston.

“This is all new for me up here,” Hermida announced on Thursday. “Coming here from Florida, this is a little different but I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to play some real baseball up here and play in a market like this.”

As for April 4 and the season lid-lifter with the defending champion Yankees, Hermida couldn’t be more excited.

“I’m more than excited about it, to be honest with you,” Hermida added. “I’m not even sure of a word that describes it. To be able to come up here and join a team like this is something I’ve been waiting for for a long time, to get in a market like this. I’m thrilled to be a part of this. The team that they’re putting together up here, it looks great on paper. We’ve got to prove it on paper.

“Opening Day against the Yankees will be fun, and get out there and get the seasons started.”

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