Appreciating Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia is About to Pull Off Something We Might Not See Again

Dustin Pedroia played all of three games in the 2018 season because of complications from a right knee surgery. That surgery was required thanks to a brutal spiking slide from Manny Machado on April 21, 2017 in Baltimore. Machado was well known around New England and the rest of the American League East Division as a dirty player with moments that tip-toed the line (or long-jumped across it depending on your viewpoint). The rest of baseball is now more than familiar with Machado’s playing style and “hustle” thanks to his abysmal showing in the 2018 postseason; his suspect footwork out of the batter’s box was more noticeable than the totality of his work inside the batter’s box. But in the wake of the 2018 season, a campaign where the Boston Red Sox destroyed all who dared cross their paths, everything went perfectly save for one man, Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia was constantly in the picture as the Red Sox steamrolled their way to yet another World Series title… but the one place you could never find him was on the field. Pedroia is looking to change all that in 2019.

That is because the Dirty Chicken refuses to let his career end on a dirty slide. Pedroia is your father’s favorite player. Listed at 5’9, 175 pounds, he was the harbinger of today’s modern ballplayer. The first giant name pf the lilliputian guard, now led by fellow second basemen Jose Altuve, Pedroia nabbed the AL MVP way back in 2008 in just his second full season at the MLB level. Today nobody bats an eye at the 5’6 Altuve winning an MVP a year before the 5’9 Mookie Betts cements his case for the trophy. But back in 2008? That was a different story. Pedroia swung the lumber like Paul Bunyan trying to fell a tree next to Babe (the Ox… not the Sultan of Swat). The baseball world had never quite seen something as galling or fascinating. Everyone kept doubting Pedroia… and Pedroia kept proving them wrong.

That doubt and need to prove everyone wrong is still what drives Pedroia today. Who would blame the dirt dog for hanging up the cleats after appearing in just three games all season and winning his third World Series? Nobody. Yet… Pedroia is spending the entire offseason in his baseball mansion in Chandler, AZ gearing up for the 2019 season so he can prove the doubters wrong one last time; “Put it this way, I just look at my whole career and nobody expected me to do what I did and I’ve enjoyed proving everyone wrong,” he told WEEI.com, filling his workout room with intensity. “I think I have to do it one more time. That’s it. And that’s going to be fun. I enjoy that. And I hope it turns out the way it did the first time” (quote taken from https://www.radio.com/articles/weei-boston/how-dustin-pedroia-plans-be-boston-red-sox-second-baseman-2019).

The key there is the “one more time” line. It gives you everything you need to know about Pedroia and his career. He wants to go out on his own terms, and that knowledge has him about as motivated as he has ever been, which is saying something for a guy that almost never takes a play, swing, or pitch off. One more time. One more year. That is what Dustin Pedroia is saying. After the 2019 season? More than likely he is going to call it quits. That will mean his entire career will have been with the Boston Red Sox.

Again, Dustin Pedroia is your father (and mother’s) favorite player. In a day and age where teams and fans count down the days of a player’s first contract, knowing he will jump ship for greener (and more lucrative) pastures, Dustin Pedroia is on a path to spend all 14 seasons of his career with one organization. You will never have to endure the indignity of a Pedroia shersey in pinstripes ala Roger Clemens. Never will you cry “jersey foul,” because you happened across some hipster fan rocking a Pedroia Diamondbacks uniform from that weird one year deal at the end of his career (how many people do you think own Jerry Rice Seahawks jerseys?) Pedroia broke into the majors at a time when a player spending a decade-plus with one club was a rarity, much less his entire career. He is going out at a time when nobody even harbors the faintest thought that it is even possible. However, Pedroia is probably sitting in his baseball player’s dream of a mansion right now, practicing and doing everything he can to prepare himself for one last rodeo.

Dustin Pedroia is everything you could ever want from a baseball player. A walking enigma that fits whatever mold you want to shape him into. Is he a throwback who somehow has his uniform mud-caked by the third inning? You bet. Is he the modern ballplayer taking massive hacks in a smaller frame, but whose slash line looms twice as large? Of course. Is he even a hilarious sound-byte generator that can propel drive time talk shows for days at a time? Laser show… relax. When it is all said and done, Pedroia will go down as one of the best second basemen not just in baseball history, but specifically in Red Sox history. While the world of baseball can appreciate his talent, hustle, and general greatness thanks to spending his entire career in Boston, only one fan base can claim him as their own, and for that, in 2018, there is almost nothing greater. 

By |2018-12-14T12:55:40+00:00December 14th, 2018|MLB, News|Comments Off on Appreciating Dustin Pedroia

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Sports broadcaster, specializing in play by play. Have called every sport under the sun with the exception of cricket, rugby, and kabaddi, but I wouldn't mind giving all three of those a try. The only promise I give you is if you tune in to one of my broadcast, for however long you do so, you'll enjoy life during that period of time. These blogs are my way of sharing with the world my passionate (and hopefully articulate) responses to the sports world and the world in general. I do not mean to offend anybody with these blogs, but if you're offended, hey, contact me and I'm always up for a discussion or debate.