There’s at least one change in Dustin Pedroia’s life that makes the Red Sox second baseman absolutely sick: the impending move of his hometown Sacramento Kings to Seattle.
“Brutal!” he thundered, while teammate Shane Victorino gave him a hard time over calling the Kings “we,” as in, “When we went 29-53 . . .”
The Kings are far from the only change in Pedroia’s life, however, as he prepares to embark on his eighth big league season. On the personal front, he’s now father to two young sons, 5-month-old Cole and 3-year-old Dylan. He’s also preparing to say goodbye to his 20s, with his 30th birthday coming in August.
Professionally, Pedroia remains firmly in his prime, but the team around him has changed considerably since he arrived for good in 2007 and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award as well as a World Series title.
Gone are the veterans who once defined the Red Sox, guys like Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, and Curt Schilling, and more recently, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek.
Now, Pedroia is that veteran, one of the few with the institutional memory of the last championship and the ALCS Game 7 that followed in 2008.
“You appreciate those first couple of years more,” Pedroia said yesterday after working out at JetBlue Park. “I didn’t necessarily enjoy them at the time the way I should have, because I didn’t know how to. We want to get back to being that type of team again.”
Of all the players on the roster, perhaps none is better positioned to lead them there than Pedroia. He’s the perfect combination of youth and experience, and his best days are not yet behind him.
Save for two spats with ex-manager Bobby Valentine last year — Valentine had that effect on people — Pedroia has remained largely above the fray that typically accompanies playing in Boston, a fan favorite through thick and thin.
Prime time for Pedey
Boston Herald | Feb 25