Boston's newest arm is anxious to pitch in for a shot at a World Series championship.
For Eric Gagne, there wasn't much to think about.
"Fifteen saves or win a World Series," he said. "It's an easy choice."
The newest Red Sox pitcher was all smiles during his 10- minute meeting with the media before Wednesday night's 5-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
Why not? He left a team in Texas that had no hope of playing in October and landed with one that hopes to play until November.
"It's an honor (to be here)," he said. "I've got to get used to that red.
I'm pretty excited. Everyone knows what Boston means and being a Red Sox is a great honor. I'm excited to be here and win a World Series."
"World Series" - those were the optimum words during Gagne's press conference. He must have mentioned them a half-dozen times, all in relation of doing what he can to help the team win its second championship in four seasons.
If the Sox are to win it, Gagne will play a supporting role. A closer by nature, he'll be a setup man with this team, pitching eighth (and maybe seventh) innings to get to Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth.
But that's OK with him. Again, the World Series is the goal, not saves.
"It's a new challenge," he said about setting up. "It's going to be
different. I talked to (Mike) Timlin a little bit and he told me some little tricks. I'm just going to close the eighth inning. That's the only
difference. I'm really looking for ward to that. It's going to be a good challenge.
"I'm just here to help the team win a World Series. Basically, that's
what it comes down to. I want to win, and not every day do you have a chance to come to a team like that."
The Sox traded starting pitcher Kason Gabbard, Triple-A outfielder David Murphy and rookie league outfielder Engel Beltre for Gagne before Tuesday's trading deadline. Gagne waived a restricted no-trade clause that precluded the Rangers from trading him to Boston, but he said that was just business. The clause, he said, was for "leverage."
"It's the best organization in baseball," said Gagne of the Red Sox.
"It's the best sports city in America. That's why I jumped on the chance to come here. It's a good feeling to come here and think you're really wanted."
Gagne still views himself as a closer and probably will be with another team next year. The Sox already have Papelbon in that role and certainly won't pay Gagne closer's money to pitch the eighth inning.
But that's in the future. For two months, hopefully three, he's a rent-a-reliever the Sox hope will help them secure the championship.
That's his plan too.
"It's about a 30-game turnaround, so that's pretty cool," he said about leaving the Rangers and coming to the Red Sox. "It's good to be here and know that every game means something. It's a good feeling to be here in first place and looking forward to going to the World Series.
"Winning is everything in base ball. That's our passion. That's the reason we compete. I came here to give innings. I want to be here. I want to be a Red Sox the rest of the year and help them win a World Series. That's all I care about.
"There are guys who play 15, 20 years and can't even taste the World Series. That's why I'm here. I've got the chance to be here and I jumped on it."