BOSTON -- As usual, Darnell McDonald was at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon. It just wasn't in his usual seat to the left of David Ortiz.
Instead, McDonald got ready for Friday night's game in the locker between that of Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano.
The former Red Sox outfielder was designated for assignment last weekend, and was claimed by the Yankees earlier this week. He arrived at Fenway Park after sitting home all week, waiting for a call from another team.
His agent called him on Wednesday, and a conversation with Brian Cashman soon followed, in which the Yankees' general manager told him to stay in Boston until the rest of his new team came to town for this weekend's four-game series.
McDonald, who was hitting .214 with two homers and nine RBI in 38 games this season, realizes that the transaction is just part of the game, but also admitted that the news of being waived by the Red Sox came "out of the blue."
"Obviously we had some guys that were coming back with the Red Sox, a crowded outfield," said McDonald on Friday afternoon, inside the visiting clubhouse at Fenway. "But it's the nature of the business. I've been in this game a long time, and I understand the business side of it. It's always a tough thing to deal with. But, you've just got to keep pressing on."
McDonald, 33, will continue to press on, just now, after 2 12 seasons in Boston, it will be in pinstripes. He admitted that it is a weird feeling to be joining the other side of the historic rivalry, but also acknowledged just how special it is to be able to play for both organizations in his career.
"Ya, I mean, it's strange," said McDonald. "It's just good to be back playing baseball. It's been a tough couple of days just sitting at home, not being able to go to the yard.
"But if you've got to leave and go somewhere, this is not a bad place to come. So, I'm happy to be here and be a part of this organization.
"It's a great group of guys over here," McDonald later added. "I'm still playing the same game. So that makes it easier, making that switch. It's a great clubhouse over here. They welcome you over here. And as you can see, I cut my hair off, and starting a new chapter."
As usual, the Yankees told McDonald he would have to clean it up. So McDonald won't just be in pinstripes. He'll also no longer be sporting his long dreadlocks, as all of his hair now sits in plastic bags inside his locker, following a clean shave and a fresh buzz cut.
While he'll certainly have a different look, he said he envisions himself playing the same role that he played while in Boston the last two-and-a-half seasons.
"Just come to the field and be ready when your name's called," said McDonald. "Work hard, have fun, all those type of things. For me, I just try to pride myself on being ready."
McDonald wasn't in the Yankees' starting lineup on Friday night against Josh Beckett. But Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that he will get some at-bats against lefties in this four-game set.
"He'll play some outfield for us against some of the lefties," said Girardi. "We can move some people around and it gives us a few more options, on maybe who we DH sometimes. Especially in a weekend like this."