Pedroia is talkin’ baseball
Red Sox second baseman glad to BACK ON fiELD
PAWTUCKET – From footing the bill for lavish postgame spreads from swanky steakhouses to playing the game without the aid of chemical enhancements, Dustin Pedroia covered plenty of ground before his second rehab game with the Pawtucket Red Sox was washed out.
Tuesday’s postponement against Buffalo means that Pedroia and his surgically repaired knee will be down for a few days before resuming his rehab assignment.
The PawSox will play an 11 a.m. game on today and will have an off day on Thursday. Pedroia’s next game will come Friday when the local Triple-A squad plays at Rochester.
Nothing is etched in stone, but Pedroia figures to see action in at least two of the three games the PawSox play over the weekend against the Red Wings. The odds are pretty good that the all-star second baseman will be back at McCoy Stadium next week when Pawtucket kicks off an eight-game homestand on Monday.
“I’m at the point where I’m fully confident,” said Pedroia as he fielded questions while sitting in the PawSox dugout on Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve been doing what I’m told throughout this whole thing. The doctors have given me timeframes as far as physical steps I would be at. I tried to beat all of those and I have. I haven’t once thought, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’”
It hasn’t been all one-sided as far as Pedroia following the doctor’s advice and that’s that. As someone who’s been the big leagues for 12 years, the 34-yearold represents the best source when it comes to self-evaluation.
“I don’t buy into the whole timing thing. When you’re in a game, you’re just competing. Timing is your body’s reaction to the pitches and things like that,” Pedroia said. “The more reps you get, your comfort level goes up. I hit the ball on the barrel three times (on Monday night) but I was out in front. The body gets used to the (pitcher’s) velocity, but it’s about taking a deep breath and relaxing.
“I can do it now. I think (the Red Sox) know I can do it know, but it’s probably not responsible coming back from this surgery, going straight to the big leagues and playing,” Pedroia added. “Could I do it? Yeah. Absolutely, but I don’t think they’d be comfortable with that.”
When you’ve been idle from major-league game competition as long as Pedroia has, waiting an extra week or perhaps two before returning to Fenway Park doesn’t seem like a major inconvenience.
“They’ve told me many times that what I’ve been through, it’s not worth risking for a short amount of time,” said Pedroia, who’s under contract through the 2021 season.
For many years, Pedroia has been linked to Robinson Cano as two of the premier second baseman in the American League, if not the entire majors. Cano received an 80-game suspension for PED use on Tuesday based on a substance that he tested positive for during the offseason.
In light of the punishment that was handed down to Cano, Pedroia was asked about how much pride he takes in playing clean.
“I try and set an example for our organization and my family. It’s pretty important that you do things the right way and play the game hard,” Pedroia said. “When you look back, you want to be proud of that.”
When Pedroia was with the PawSox in 2005, he remembers David Wells purchasing a postgame spread following a rehab start. Thirteen years later, Pedroia finds himself in the position of treating the Pawtucket players and coaches to a lavish feast. On Monday, Pedroia sprang for steaks, potatoes, Caesar salad, and lobster macaroni & cheese from the Capital Grille.
Pedroia was ready to provide for another postgame feast on Tuesday, but PawSox executive chef Rob Gemma said that he was working on prime rib.
“(Gemma) told me that I can’t get a spread. I said, ‘Dude, it’s on you if you mess this up. Don’t let me down,’” Pedroia said with a smile.
PawSox manager Kevin Boles having some fun with his Tuesday’s lineup card after the special food delivery that Pedroia orchestrated after Monday’s game. Batting third and playing second base for Pawtucket was “Capital Grille.”
“Now I can say that I’ve managed him, which is an honor,” Boles said. “Great spread … he can stay as long as he wants.”
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is confident he will be back with the team soon as he continues to rehab in Pawtucket.
PawSox fans will likely see Dustin Pedroia (pictured) during the team’s next home stand that starts Monday against Scranton.