Thank you, Petey: Dustin Pedroia announces his retirement

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
30,523
AZ
I don't know that there's a player I enjoyed rooting for more.

Everything about that little shit was awesome.
 

Dotrat

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 11, 2002
1,500
Morris County NJ
Of all the major sports, baseball is the one you could imagine yourself playing. You don't have to be seven feet tall, or impossibly fast on ice skates, or built to withstand collisions with 300-pound linemen. You watch the game, and you can see the players' faces, and the way they stand in the box, and you can see yourself there.

But, of course, that illusion only lasts so long. By the time you hit puberty, you know about athleticism, and, odds are, you know about it because you've learned that you don't have it. It's the other kids who can run the fastest, and jump the highest -- the other ones who move with impossible grace. And as you start become a more knowledgeable fan, you start to recognize that ease of movement on screen -- in the balance of a pitcher who repeats his complex motion, or the quickness of an outfielder who gets to every ball, or the simple ease with which Ken Griffey, Jr., swings a baseball bat.

So you find yourself drawn to players like Dustin Pedroia. A person-sized person, who seems to play the game the way you imagine you might be able to. In him, you see proof that the things you have -- energy, enthusiasm, desire -- can, in fact, make up for the athleticism and talent you will never have.

The thing is, it's a lie. Yes, he's short, like you. But he is not, in fact, great the way you imagine you, yourself, could have been great. He is great the way he is great. What substitutes for his lack of height and muscle isn't desire, but rather quickness, and hand-eye coordination, and supernatural control over four otherwise-ordinary limbs. You may admire him because he seems ordinary, but he is just as athletically transcendent as anyone else on the field. And when that athleticism fades, stolen prematurely by fate and bad luck and Manny fucking Machado, it turns out that all that want-to isn't enough after all.

Which feels like a tragedy. It is a tragedy. But: It's also a reminder that he didn't need to play the game that hard in the first place. He wouldn't have been there if he hadn't been good enough to be there. All the energy -- the extra bases and defensive outs he took not by virtue of athleticism but simply because he thought to take them when others might not have -- it was just the way he chose to play. All the dirt-dog bullshit wasn't a substitute for athletic talent, but a celebration of it.

And, in the end, that's why we all loved Dustin Pedroia. Not because he was a regular dude Just Like Us, but because he was a superstar athlete who felt as fortunate and excited to be one as we would. Watching him turn a double play was like watching Gronk body a safety or Lebron sprint the length of the court to block a layup. You could see how much he loved that his body let him perform these incredible feats. Nobody I've ever watched enjoyed playing baseball more. He deserved to be able to do more of it. I'm glad he did it for my team.
Can't say it better than this.
 

RG33

Potty Mouth
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
4,549
CA
I loved watching Pedey play. The exact guy you want on your team. 3-time World Champion. MVP. ROY. 4-time Gold Glover. 4-time All Star. Fantastic teammate.

It really pains me to learn that had he not tried to comeback the last two years — and not had those 31 ABs in 2018 and 2019, he would have retired a career .300 hitter. He went 3 for 31 in those two years, which dropped his career average to .299287. That sucks.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
29,066
Maui
The press conference got me all choked up listening to Pedey. This the type of guy you want to watch play baseball. The kind of guy you want to be, the kind of guy you want your kid to grow up to be. A man's man. A ballplayer.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
29,066
Maui
Do not hang Pedey's number 15 until we can have a full house in Fenway. He deserves that moment.
 

brs3

sings praises of pinstripes
SoSH Member
May 20, 2008
4,978
Jackson Heights, NYC
38454

I have a Pinterest account. Until I became a homeowner and a parent and interested in other things pinterest-board-making required, I had 2 images pinned. Godzilla invading Fenway, and this photo, titled "Actual Size".

I loved watching Pedroia. I hope we see him again, whenever he's ready.
 

Don Buddin's GS

Member
SoSH Member
“Ahhh shit, Pedroia is just going thru the motions” said absolutely no one who ever bought a ticket to see him play, be it a spring training B squad game or the World Series, first inning or last.

Shorty left it all out there on the field, including his knee. And yes fuck you Manny Machado.

Don’t be a stranger #15.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
How bad was Machado's slide? I just watched a replay and it didn't seem overly unusual, hard slide through the base. Also there's a quote upthread where Pedroia was waiting for it to blow out on him. I'm no fan of Machado, but it seems like the real Dustin Pedroia story is that his career ground down thanks to long-running knee problems, not some Conigliaro-like moment when it was all cruelly taken away.
 

Ramon AC

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 19, 2002
2,894
What?
I mean it as a compliment. It's one thing to throw yourself at a ground ball with the winning run on third base. Quite another to do it on a ground ball that doesn't really matter.
Do you remember the game state at the time, and why that play mattered a lot in an 8-0 game?
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,604
Pedroia's style was always going to put him at risk of premature injury. He had one speed, 120%, and he was hardwired to go all out for every play in every game. And the injuries were starting to pile up a bit even before Machado.

Anyway, I'll always give him credit for the 2018 title run even if it was only 13 at bats. Played huge roles in the ALCS in both 2007 and 2008. And I'll always remember him launching the 2nd Colorado pitch of the World Series over the Monster.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
19,678
Newton
Pedroia did an interview with Jerry Remy back in 2017 or 2018 on NESN where he ticked off the something like THIRTY things he checked before each pitch as a second baseman in the field. Remy--obv. a second baseman himself--was absolutely in awe.

I wish I could find that video because it was incredible and a perfect example of what a hard fucking worker he was.
 

BornToRun

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2011
13,601
this is a bummer but we figured it was coming sooner or later. Enjoy retirement, Pedey. It’s been a hell of a ride.
 

Rough Carrigan

reasons within Reason
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sometimes it seems to diehard fans, from the safety of their living rooms, that the players don't care as much as the fans do. The fans don't know the half dozen little owies each player's already had that season, the monotonous grind that the season can be, the lack of antipathy for those guys in the other laundry, guys who, let's face it, each player has a hell of a lot more in common with than the fan on the couch. But with Pedroia you never felt that way. He was like the platonic ideal of competitive fire made five foot three and batting second in your lineup.
Thanks, Dustin.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
13,587
Maine
How bad was Machado's slide? I just watched a replay and it didn't seem overly unusual, hard slide through the base. Also there's a quote upthread where Pedroia was waiting for it to blow out on him. I'm no fan of Machado, but it seems like the real Dustin Pedroia story is that his career ground down thanks to long-running knee problems, not some Conigliaro-like moment when it was all cruelly taken away.
The slide was overly aggressive, but in light of the rules that had recently been put in place after the Utley slide, it felt worse than it was. I think Pedroia's response to it was the one everyone else should have, but didn't adopt. His knees were already bad. He'd just had relatively experimental surgery on it that had no guarantees of prolonging his playing time. Maybe Machado sped up his demise, but I don't think he'd have been playing regularly the last couple years or not retiring today had it not happened.
 

santadevil

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,104
Saskatchestan
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.
Well said

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.
Nice breakdown. I don't think I've ever heard one person ever complain about his contract though
It was regularly quoted around here that when he signed, he did so for a discount. As you correctly pointed out, he earned every penny of it
 

sheamonu

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 11, 2004
1,151
Dublin, Ireland
Having Pedroia and Ortiz on your team was like Laurel and Hardy, Butch and Sundance, Lewis and Clark, pizza and beer - just great to see, to experience, to know that they were there. Baseball is a game of individual tasks and accomplishments but with No. 15 it always felt right to mention him as part of a team. Thanks for all the effort, it was appreciated.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,660
Santa Monica, CA
In 2014, I was living in LA and had tickets to a Sox-Angels game. I was going to take my older son, but he got sick, so his little brother (3 at the time) pinch hit for him and came along to his first ever Red Sox game. The little guy, naturally, because he was tiny at the time, LOVED Pedroia and wore his Dustin jersey to the game. In the 9th or 10th inning of what turned out to be a 17 inning game, Pedroia lined a foul ball down the right field line, and it curved right into my hand.

I went to a thousand MLB games before that and never touched a foul ball. My boy goes to ONE game and his favorite player hits one right to him.

For years thereafter, we brought that ball to every Sox road game we attended, but could never connect with Dustin to get it signed. Finally, two years ago he signed it in Florida. The signed ball sits on my son's shelf now in a case with the ticket.

I'll always love Dustin for, among other things, giving my son the best first Sox game experience ever.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Well said


Nice breakdown. I don't think I've ever heard one person ever complain about his contract though
It was regularly quoted around here that when he signed, he did so for a discount. As you correctly pointed out, he earned every penny of it
More people bemoaning the cap consequences of his deal once he was unable to get healthy. I think we are unanimous in our appreciation of Petey.
 
Aug 2, 2010
1
Not unexpected, but still the end of an era.

I was living in Vienna in 2008, feeling slightly cut off from baseball and the American presidential race. One afternoon, walking through the center of the city, I saw a tee-shirt up ahead, "Pedroia for President". The wearer turned out to be a Japanese tourist, but it still made my day.

His defense was otherworldly and I've never seen anyone else punish the high fastball the way he did. Thank you, Dustin.
 

bob burda

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,352
My favorite anecdote, from Pat Murphy - his manager at Ariz.St.:

"Oh my God ... when we were facing a pretty good pitcher from Wichita State or Duke or something he'd lead off the game and hit a line drive and come running past the pitcher yelling 'you better get used to it ... I'm going to be hitting rockets off you all day.' Then he hits a home run against [Mike] Pelfrey and he yells to him '97 mph coming in and 197 mph going out' as he's rounding the bases. He'd just be chirping the whole game."

Second favorite, when Daniel Cabrera threw at his head in Baltimore, during Pedroia's rookie year:

"The guy is an idiot. I dropped my bat. It kind of freaked me out. I was upset they took him out of the game. He is good to hit. He's 9-15. The guy [stinks]."

Just a pleasure to root for; the stories were always way better than the interviews, but there were always stories. Having him and Papi on the team at the same time, and those world titles - just an embarrassment of riches.
 

mr_smith02

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2003
2,311
Upstate NY
I have been a coach for nearly 25 years and nothing is better than when I get a player who approaches the sport with the level of dedication, grit, and determination of Dustin Pedroia. I will miss seeing him bounce out of the dugout on his way to second base.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
29,066
Maui
Pedroia did an interview with Jerry Remy back in 2017 or 2018 on NESN where he ticked off the something like THIRTY things he checked before each pitch as a second baseman in the field. Remy--obv. a second baseman himself--was absolutely in awe.

I wish I could find that video because it was incredible and a perfect example of what a hard fucking worker he was.
The little hop to get ready before every pitch which you never saw on TV was always awesome.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
29,066
Maui
Well said


Nice breakdown. I don't think I've ever heard one person ever complain about his contract though
It was regularly quoted around here that when he signed, he did so for a discount. As you correctly pointed out, he earned every penny of it
One of the last "hometown" discounts the MLBPA allowed. Every damn penny. We. were so damn lucky to witness his era in Boston.
 

j-man

Member
Dec 19, 2012
2,097
Arkansas
outstanding player loved his toughness and smarts should be a red sox hall of famer

makes me want to get that mlb the show game he was in and play it
 

jaytftwofive

lurker
Jan 20, 2013
713
Drexel Hill Pa.
Pedroia the Destroya. Thanks Dustin. Such a fun player to watch. I live in the Philly area and he and Chase Utley a heck of a player were both top 2nd basemen of their time. I wouldn't have called Chase overrated but overhyped by Philly fans. Many of them would say to me....Too bad you don't have a player like Utley. I'd say we don't need him, we have Pedroia. Reactions would vary, lol. And of course I would mention that Dustin won an MVP and Utley never did.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
67,819
Oregon
a collection of quotes and stories behind them

 

TampaSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
275
Tampa, FL
38458
The Machado injury may have robbed Pedey of the stats to make the hall of fame, but he was the most enjoyable player to watch. He played the game the way it should be played - every play.
 

Manramsclan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,771
Dustin would be so pissed to see how few replies there are on this thread.

I think there were more posts on the "Thanks Lenny Dinardo" thread.
 

WheresDewey

lurker
Nov 18, 2007
58
Taiwan
Dustin is one of my all time favorite players, and I'm glad he played every moment in the bigs in a Red Sox uniform. It's just too bad his career ended the way it did.

Here's wishing Dustin a Hall of Fame life to go with his Red Sox Hall of Fame career.
 

beautokyo

lurker
Jun 5, 2008
40
Tokyo, Japan
Thanks Dustin for making the game I love and the team I've loved for over 60+ years the honor of watching you compete like no other.. You did everything the way it should be done.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
52,331
San Andreas Fault
Just about everything's been said. One more thing I thought of that I always got a kick out of: when the Mannys, Papis, Mike Lowells etc. of the world were out for some reason or other, Tito or other Sox manager would sometimes turn to Pedey to bat cleanup. Seemed funny as hell, but, guess what, he'd go 3 for 5 and knock in 3 runs. I think a camera caught him in the dugout once flexing, like, hey, batting cleanup today!
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
26,276
Hingham, MA
Just about everything's been said. One more thing I thought of that I always got a kick out of: when the Mannys, Papis, Mike Lowells etc. of the world were out for some reason or other, Tito or other Sox manager would sometimes turn to Pedey to bat cleanup. Seemed funny as hell, but, guess what, he'd go 3 for 5 and knock in 3 runs. I think a camera caught him in the dugout once flexing, like, hey, batting cleanup today!
Career in the 4 slot:
156 PA, .369 BA, .419 OBP, .617 SLG, 1.036 OPS, 10 2B, 7 HR, 29 RBI... project to a full season and that's like 40+ 2B, 30 HR, 120+ RBI.. maybe Tito should have done it more.