Monday, June 25, 2012
Lillibridge surprised but excited to be here
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The newest member of the Boston Red Sox described himself as a high-energy player, someone who only wants to do the right thing every single time he gets an opportunity to play, and that’s one reason the club acquired utility man Brent Lillibridge from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Kevin Youkilis on Sunday.
Wearing No. 23 and dressing at Youkilis’ old locker stall, Lillibridge said he’s excited for this opportunity in Boston.
“I’m obviously excited,” Lillibridge said. “You kind of have to turn the page pretty quick in this game and I’m excited to be a part of this team. Obviously it’s an historic franchise. It’s going to be a lot of fun and hopefully I can contribute.”
As the White Sox were about to face the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, the Chicago players knew there was a strong possibility the club would acquire Youkilis via trade, which meant one of them could be on their way to Boston.
Lillibridge was that guy.
He admitted on Monday in the home clubhouse at Fenway that he did not expect it would be him. He explained that he was on the bench and ready to hit in the 10th inning on Sunday when White Sox manager Robin Ventura pulled him aside and told him.
“I thought I did something wrong,” Lillibridge said with a laugh. “In the end, he told me I was part of a trade.
“It was a shock right away, but it’s amazing what one days does. I’m here wearing red instead of black and I’m ready to go.”
The infielder/outfielder played a total of 49 games for the White Sox this season and posted a .175 average with no home runs and two RBIs. He played 20 games at first base, six games at third base, 16 games in left field and five games in center field.
There’s no denying his versatility.
"That’s why I think I’ve been in the big leagues for as long as I have because of what I’m able to do -- outfield, infield, all that stuff -- and hopefully that’ll help get me in the lineup here, too,” he said. “I don’t have any expectations other than being a part of this team and helping us try to win and moving on past the White Sox.”
Lillibridge, 28, was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the 2005 draft and has 285 games of big-league experience with the Atlanta Braves (2008) and the last four seasons in Chicago. Now he’s excited for a chance to play as a member of the Red Sox at Fenway Park -- for a few different reasons.
“It’s pretty special,” he said. “I was spoiled with the White Sox and their fan base, but it’s kind of hard to compare to the Red Sox. Growing up my family were huge Red Sox fans, being from the New England area, Rhode Island, so my dad’s pretty excited. His dad, he’s passed away, but he was a huge Red Sox fans so it’s very special for my family. I’m excited to do it, wear some different colors, but more importantly to be on a team that has a legitimate chance and I really want to help this team win.”