04/14/2009 3:03 PM ET
Brad Penny: Pitching for Red Sox Nation
Right-hander final makes his Junior Circuit debut
I haven't been with my new team, the Red Sox, very long, but I had a good Spring Training with the team, and, best of all, I left camp feeling good about the club and with a strong belief in what we're doing here.
Before I decided to sign with the Red Sox as a free agent, it just seemed to me like a good fit. I talked to people like general manager Theo Epstein and Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell -- guys I played with in Florida. Those conversations helped convince me to come here. The fit seemed just right.
To pitch with the guys we have, it is a lot of fun. I think John Smoltz said it best when he said we have a lot of streak stoppers here. Of course, you don't want to jinx yourself, but with guys like Jon Lester, Beckett, Dice-K and Tim Wakefield, you just know you're going to be competitive every night. You know you have a good chance to win.
Since I've been here, I've also noticed how hard the other starters work. These guys work their tails off. That's evident off the field, especially in the weight room. I like how they go about their business -- like professionals.
The season is obviously young, and I'm new, so I haven't had the chance to see Red Sox Nation at its strongest. We're on a road trip now, and I think I'll begin to get a feel for it the first time I take the mound at Fenway Park, which will probably come this weekend. I imagine the atmosphere helps to give you that extra adrenaline.
I started my big league career in Florida, where you pitched in front of crowds of 2,500 people. There is no adrenaline that comes with that. When fans are really involved, that tends to help me a lot, so I'm really looking forward to pitching in front of Red Sox Nation.
Veteran right-hander Brad Penny is in his first season with Boston after spending 2004-08 with the Dodgers. A member of the World Series-winning Florida Marlins of '03, he is trying to rebound from an injury-filled '08 season. Penny was a winner in his first start for the Red Sox on Saturday in Anaheim.