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Byrd was at Fenway Park for Game 7 of last year's AL championship series on the day the San Francisco Chronicle reported he had used human growth hormone from 2002-2005. He said before the game that he had used it for a medical condition but that he never injected the banned drug without a doctor's prescription.
"I have nothing to hide," Byrd said about two hours before Game 7. "Everything has been done out in the open. I have a reputation. I do not want the fans of Cleveland or honest, caring people to think that I cheated.
"Because I didn't."
He said in spring training that he met with baseball officials on Dec. 17 in New York but gave no details. He also said the offseason was "stressful."
Boston beat the Indians three straight times to win the ALCS.
"I wasn't a Red Sox fan this offseason, put it that way," Byrd quipped. "It will take a quick adjustment, but I'm eager to play for Terry Francona and with a talented team with a chance to win it all.
"I'm 37 and you only get so many chances."
Byrd went 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 31 starts last season, his most wins since 2002 with Kansas City. He won both his starts in the playoffs -- in Game 4 of the AL division series against the New York Yankees and in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Red Sox.
Byrd, a soft tosser with a classic, double-pump windup, struggled through the first three months of the season with a 3-10 record and 5.53 ERA. But in each of his last three starts he went at least seven innings.
The turnaround came after a chat with former All-Star Bert Blyleven, now doing television work with the Minnesota Twins. Byrd credited Blyleven with giving him a refresher course on throwing the curveball.
"I'm as confident right now as I've ever been," Byrd said. "I've got a good curve and am pitching well."
For his career, Byrd is 104-91 with a 4.37 ERA for Cleveland, the New York Mets, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Kansas City and the Angels.
Byrd went 15-11 for Philadelphia in 1999 in the third of Francona's four seasons as manager there and made the NL All-Star team.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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