BOSTON -- The new guys tried to envision the excitement since signing with the Red Sox during the winter months. But they didn't truly feel it until Sunday, when they arrived for their first official day of work at Fenway Park with the season opening against the New York Yankees.
"It was actually kind of a normal day until I saw this," said center fielder Mike Cameron, speaking of the mob of reporters that surrounded his locker. "That makes my heart rate go up a little bit. It's cool. To be on this side and see what it's all about and experience it, it's going to be another great experience and another great chapter in my career."
For shortstop Marco Scutaro, the only challenge leading up to the game was just getting into the park. Like double-play partner Dustin Pedroia, his diminutive stature can fool people.
"Yeah, I had a hard time getting in," said Scutaro. "The [security] guy was like, 'Who are you?' The other security guy said, 'Man, what's wrong with you?'"
Opening Day always creates extra adrenaline, and that only intensifies when it's the first day with a new team amid a rivalry as storied as any in sports.
"I think I got about 25 texts this morning, with people saying they're going to be watching me play," said Cameron. "I said, 'What about the whole team?' I appreciate the fact that it's going to be special. Most importantly, what we're all here for is to try to get a victory."
One thing the new acquisitions will learn soon is that almost every day at Fenway feels like the adrenaline of Opening Day.
"There's no easing into it," manager Terry Francona said. "You know what, though? They're all veteran guys. I know our atmosphere is a little bit different than a lot of places, but I know on those day games after night games, they'll come to understand in a hurry how you're expected to show up every day. Our ballpark is full every night. There's going to be the same number of people here two Sundays from now that there is tonight. That's always the way it is. That's one of the cool things. I'm sure for the new guys, it's going to be different."