Thank you, Petey: Dustin Pedroia announces his retirement

Mugsy's Jock

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Back in 2006, when my son was around 12, we were lucky enough to get the chance to watch the Sox go through a morning practice on the field at Jet Blue in Fort Myers. I remember four players particularly clearly from that day...
  • PAPI was in a crummy mood, as he was in a terrible slump and there were whispers he was done. Not angry, but he looked sad/worried and wasn't in the mood to socialize. Fortunately, history would give him the last laugh.
  • JOSH BECKETT looked furious. He was scheduled to start that afternoon, and our Red Sox handler told us to stay away. He was scowling, folding and unfolding a towel in a very OCD way and it was clear we shouldn't go anywhere near him.
  • KEVIN YOUKILIS, as you might expect, was totally charming and chatted up me and Mrs. Mugsy in the most respectful and engaged way you can imagine. A kind, but relatively cursory "how's it going" to my son.
  • DUSTIN PEDROIA was the best. When he sprinted off the field after taking his reps, he made a beeline for my son (ignoring me and Mrs. Mugsy) and engaged in an incredibly animated conversation, including all manner of four-letter words (and a few twelve-letter words) and general baseball talk. Gave him a few minutes, called to the dugout for a ball for my boy, gave him a big punch in the arm, and ran off into the dugout. My son stood there with his mouth open.
 
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ookami7m

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Tom Verducci's 2011 SI profile of Pedroia had this classic introduction which is one of my favorite bits of baseball writing ever:



SI Vault - The Muddy Chicken Hits It Big

Thanks for everything, number 15.
I love that opening bit so much. It's the first thing I think of when I think of Pedroia outside the lines and between re-reading this and watching the 10 minutes of defensive highlights I'm going to need a few more minutes at work.
 

chawson

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He joins Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice as Sox players with retired numbers who never suited up for another MLB team. I hope Bogaerts and Devers follow suit, but it may be a long time before we ever see another one of those.
 

Shaky Walton

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Pedey was one of the Red Sox whose game, effort and competitive fire I have enjoyed the most over the years. His performance in the 2007 ALCS and WS sticks out in my mind, but that's only a small piece. He walked by me at Fenway in the year before he was on the Sox after he had received got some award for his achievements in his last year in the minors, and I could just see his confidence. I also loved that he so confounded Yankees fans by achieving at such a small size. More than once I heard Yankees fans deride him and Pedroia make them eat their words. Not that he gave two shits about what Joe Yankees Fan was saying; it just had this weird way of working out. Dustin will be missed (and has been since he got spiked).
 

Ale Xander

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Thank you Pedey. For 2007 and 2013 and your whole being. You gave a lot of hope to short people like me and always played hard and was a straight shooter. Enjoy your retirement.
 

santadevil

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He quickly became one of my favorites and is right up there with Pedro for me

I'll miss that swing and the defense. Guy was a hell of a ballplayer and played the way you want to teach kids to play the game

Enjoy the retirement Pedey and hopefully we'll see you around the game in some capacity when you're ready to be back
 

SemperFidelisSox

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The game that stands out for me was Game 7 against Cleveland. Breaks the game open with a 2 run shot off Betancourt, then clears the bases with a double to turn it into a blow out. And he was just a rookie.

Orsillo saying “Welcome to the Laser Show” after every screaming line drive into the Monster Seats was always great.
 

Nator

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Pedey was one of the Red Sox whose game, effort and competitive fire I have enjoyed the most over the years. His performance in the 2007 ALCS and WS sticks out in my mind, but that's only a small piece. He walked by me at Fenway in the year before he was on the Sox after he had received got some award for his achievements in his last year in the minors, and I could just see his confidence. I also loved that he so confounded Yankees fans by achieving at such a small size. More than once I heard Yankees fans deride him and Pedroia make them eat their words. Not that he gave two shits about what Joe Yankees Fan was saying; it just had this weird way of working out. Dustin will be missed (and has been since he got spiked).
He drove Francessa crazy. He once referred to him as, "That mouthy second baseman."

He had that ability to motivate team-mates by pissing them off and making them laugh at the same time.

“Listen,” screamed Pedroia, “you’re a Red Sox [player]. Here, I’m Fidel Castro, and you’re doing what I tell you.”
“Mentoring” Red Sox prospect and Cuban defector Jose Iglesias during Spring Training 2010
(Source: mlb.mlb.com)
Lot's of good Pedroia quotes at this link.

https://pedroiaquotebook-blog.tumblr.com/
 

Van Everyman

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I know people say he didn’t do it long enough to get in, but if Dustin Pedroia isn’t qualified for the Hall of Fame, who the hell is? The guy was the best overall at what he did for a decade.
 

bosockboy

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I know people say he didn’t do it long enough to get in, but if Dustin Pedroia isn’t qualified for the Hall of Fame, who the hell is? The guy was the best overall at what he did for a decade.
If no injury and plays to 40, probably gets to 2500-2600 hits. Puts him right on the doorstep with his defense.
 

DeadlySplitter

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It effects the CBT and Henry’s pocket but Pedroia can do whatever he wants. But if Abraham is saying he’s retiring and getting paid he’s wrong. It can’t be both. He’s either filing paperwork or just sitting out.
Probably they release him first, then he retires.
 

027Pudge

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He played 110% every game. God damn legend.
When I think of Pedroia, this is what I will always remember...all effort...all attitude...all the time...

I have had many favorite Sox...but the only jersey I have owned is #15...

Thanks for all the memories Pedey....you were one of the best...
 
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Beomoose

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Thank you, Pedey for every Laser Show, every incredible hustle play, every physics-defying snag, and for just plain being one of the best ever to wear that uniform. May you enjoy many long and fulfilling years in retirement, and may your kids be Red Sox stars themselves someday.
 

OurF'ingCity

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It's a fairly easy call for me that my top 5 Red Sox players of my lifetime as a fan (so, essentially, starting in the mid-90s) are Papi, Manny, Pedro, Mookie, and Pedroia in some order. It's not like Pedroia was much of an on-field presence for the past few years but it still sucks that it's now official that none of those five players are Red Sox players anymore.
 

nvalvo

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I know people say he didn’t do it long enough to get in, but if Dustin Pedroia isn’t qualified for the Hall of Fame, who the hell is? The guy was the best overall at what he did for a decade.
I get what you're saying here, and this is why I'm a big Hall advocate. The only way Dustin Pedroia — ROY, MVP, 3x WS Champion, silver slugger, 4x GG winner, great quote — would have become more important to the history of the game with a few more seasons is that he would have been a meaningful part of all three Red Sox World Series runs during his tenure, not just two. (Although, the acquisition of his evil twin, Ian Kinsler, to take his place has a certain poetry.) Pedroia with 1800 hits isn't meaningfully different in terms of the history of the game than Pedroia with 2300 hits or whatever.

I understand not including every single player who has a great season or three in the Hall, but at a certain point it becomes a farce.
 

Matty005

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People here are so much better in their writing than I am, but I wanted to put into words how much Dustin Pedroia meant to me.

Pedey's rookie season was the my senior spring year of college. I remember buying the MLB Extra Innings (even for just 5 weeks so I could watch the Sox in my apartment) and loving the guy right off the bat (even though those first 5 weeks he didn't hit above .200).

Shortly after college in '07 I moved to Boston and went to every home Sox game that year (this isn't an exaggeration). I was new to the town, didn't know anyone, and the Sox were my life. I watched Pedey as a ball player and it didn't take long to see how, "baseball smart," he was. When others would go first to third on a ball off the Monster, Pedey seemed to always score. He could read the ball off the bat so well. I would text my dad during games when someone wouldn't score on a double, "Pedey would have scored on that." My dad was a baseball coach his entire life and understood the game better than anyone I ever knew. We would always talk about Pedroia's baseball IQ.

I remember that play he made to save Laptop's no-hitter vs the O's. That homerun against, "Jeff fucking Francis," was the first World Series game I ever saw in person. To see it with my dad was something I will never forget. I had multiple shirts from the outside Fenway vendors (Pedroia the Destroya was my favorite).

In 2008, I missed one Sox home game and my love for Pedroia the player continued to grow. The kids I taught in my classes all said I looked like him (in reality, it was only our hairline that looked alike). 5'8 and bulletproof was my new shirt I wore from the Fenway vendors. Watching him play was a joy. In 2010 after he fouled off the ball in San Francisco and broke his foot (just a day after his 5-5 3 HR performance against the Rockies) I was so bummed not being able to watch him play. Seeing him pre-game take grounders on his knees as he recovered was just so Pedroia. I remember people saying it was a hardo type move but to this day, I don't think it was. I just think he loved baseball THAT much.

As the years went on, my love for the Sox seemed to be different. Life was complicated now (Dad was sick, job was busy, etc). I still loved the Sox but now I would only go to a handful of games a year. 2013 I was lucky enough to go to the World Series game again with my dad. We sadly couldn't go to the home clincher, but I was there for Game 1 wearing my Pedroia jersey proudly. Another amazing memory of the Sox, Pedroia and me and my dad.

I lost my dad 2.5 years ago - shortly before the Sox won it in '18. Baseball and the Sox haven't been the same for me since (and I don't imagine they ever will be). What I wouldn't give right now to watch Dustin score from first on a double - or even more so, to be able to text my dad when someone didn't score, "Pedey would have scored on that."

Thank you Dustin for all the wonderful memories.
 

donutogre

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Y'all are much better at writing about baseball than I am, so I'm just adding to the chorus of people who loved having him on the team for so long. Laser Shows was and forever will be the man, and one of my favorite players.

I also love the quote that the Sox dropped in their Twitter profile today:

38448
 

chrisfont9

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In defense of Pedroia's contract, possibly the only complaint anyone ever had about the guy, other than his bad luck with his knee.

* Total career earnings: $138m (including deferred money still to come)
* Total career bWAR: 51.6
* $/bWAR: an absurdly low $2.67m

Even since his contract kicked in in 2012, he rang up 25 bWAR in 2012-20, during which he was paid about $125m, a still very low $5m/bWAR. So on top of all the obvious ways in which we can say how great he was for the Sox, even the answer to "yeah OK but his big contract didn't pay off for the team" is "oh yes it did."

He was a joy to have around, set a great team culture, and I'm glad I watched a ton of games during his healthy years so I can fully appreciate him.
 

Miniman

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People here are so much better in their writing than I am, but I wanted to put into words how much Dustin Pedroia meant to me.
You sell yourself short. That was beautifully written.

All I can add is: Thank you, Pedey. You were a joy to watch.
 

Bosox4416

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Thank you so much, Dustin. I, like many, consider him as my favorite player of all time. No player has ever influenced me actually playing the game that he has, and his infectious love, determination, passion and joy changed so many of us. I’d love to change my username to something Pedroia related at some point if that’s a possibility!
 

donutogre

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Man, listening to him talk about how bad his knee was in 2020 and having to get surgery in December is so sad. I'm glad that he can do everything without pain now, but he can't run anymore. That's so sad.

EDIT: "One play kind of derailed all of that." Fuck you, Machado.
 

ifmanis5

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"One play derailed all of that." Pedey says he's finally back to normal except he can't run anymore. Wasn't physically possible to play baseball after the knee replacement.
 

pokey_reese

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Damn, no matter how huge the writing on the wall, it's a bummer to see this one finally happen. Thanks for all of the memories Pedey, you are high up in the pantheon of 'athletes I feel lucky to have rooted for.' The number of Pedroia stories I've told to casual/non-baseball fans that is right on par with Ortiz stories. He defined a generation of fandom in much the same way, and will be beloved in Boston forever.
 

donutogre

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You can just hear the toll the rehab and disappointment have had on Pedey. Pretty heartbreaking to hear him speak.
For sure, but conversely great to hear him speak about being able to be there for his kids and coach little league, etc. God, can you imagine him being your little league coach??

Also, I love how much props he is giving everyone in the organization as well as his family. He's such a fucking class act.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Still throwing out the one liners.

Rob Bradford had crappy audio - "Hey Rob, you using dial up?"
On helping kids with at home schooling - "That ASU education, I gotta talk to someone about that"
 

ifmanis5

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Sounds like he's very dedicated to his kids right now but also seems like he is very open to being a coach/manager when he is ready to give it all his time and energy.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Sounds like he's very dedicated to his kids right now but also seems like he is very open to being a coach/manager when he is ready to give it all his time and energy.
Hope he stays with the organization forever in some capacity.
 

MikeM

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Watching this interview on NESN now reminds me just how much I miss the guy and his real people persona. He was never my favorite player, but he did play a huge grander scheme of things role on making the team breaking ST every year feel like "mine", and in finalizing that post-2004 transition as a fan to one with the luxury of always expecting their team to win. The Sox and my overall interest level in them hasn't felt or been the same since he essentially stopped playing.

*tips cap*
 

yeahlunchbox

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Sounds like he's very dedicated to his kids right now but also seems like he is very open to being a coach/manager when he is ready to give it all his time and energy.
They mentioned coach/manager, but I think he'd be a great replacement eventually for Remy and Eckersley.