Unlike his new teammates, Andrew Bailey already has a working relationship with the new Red Sox manager.
During the past two years, the closer has called upon Bobby Valentine to emcee events for his charity, the Strike 3 Foundation. In addition to those events, they have also collaborated on smaller charity functions in New York and Connecticut.
Now, Bailey will have a chance to return the favor to Valentine — but in the Red Sox bullpen. And the former Athletics closer certainly understands what to expect from Boston's new skipper during the upcoming season.
"He's a great guy and brings a lot of energy to anything he does," Bailey said. "That's why he's perfect for what he does with us…he's very engaging. He's going to do great with that bunch of guys in Boston. He's hard not to like, so I'm sure I'll get along well with him."
Before speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Bailey said he chatted briefly with Valentine on the phone. After the conversation, the hurler emerged encouraged about seeing at least one familiar face in the Boston dugout.
"Bobby and I are good friends," Bailey said. "Bobby and I have a good relationship. He's excited to have me on board and I'm excited to be there for him. We spoke about this year. We're both looking forward to it.
"It helps knowing someone going in."