Jackson excited to enter pennant race

September, 1, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox newcomer Conor Jackson seemed perfectly comfortable in his new environment Thursday afternoon in the home clubhouse at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox acquired the utilityman from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for cash considerations and minor league pitcher Jason Rice late Wednesday night.

Jackson said he had no idea he would be traded and was informed only 15 minutes before the midnight deadline. He called the transaction a shock, but said he’s thrilled to be in Boston.

“I’m excited,” Jackson said. “I’m coming from a team that was 15 games out to a team that’s in the middle of a pennant race. I’m in the A.L. East and probably one of the friendliest parks in the game.”

He said he's comfortable playing any of the corner positions in the outfield and infield.

“Whatever they need,” he said. “It’ll probably be a bat off the bench and here and there playing against left-handers. I’ll be prepared for whatever my role is.”

Jackson, 29, is batting .249 with 17 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 38 RBIs in 102 games for Oakland this season. He played 50 games at first base, 28 in right field, 20 in left field and six at third base.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “It’s been a down year for me statistically and I’ve risen my stock a little bit by playing multiple positions. Hopefully I’ll get some ABs and impress some people.”

Jackson spent time after batting practice on Thursday laughing and joking around with Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia.

“In our clubhouse, he’ll be here a couple of hours and feel like he’s been here for awhile,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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