Sunday, June 20, 2010

An ode to Dustin Pedroia

When Dustin Pedroia came to the plate yesterday afternoon to a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning, I wasn't worried. I trust Pedey to give it everything he has, every time he's on the field: as Manager Tito Francona said, "he kind of wills himself to do something good."

Tito loves Pedey... and I trust his judgment.

So I definitely wasn't surprised when Pedey came through with a walk-off hit into right field. I was, however, blown away when I heard it was his first career walk-off.

Pedroia's been coming through for the BoSox since he snapped out of an early-season 2007 slump... He hit a homerun in his first ever World Series at-bat, homeruns on Opening Days 2009 and 2010, was the 2007 Rookie of the Year, and the 2008 MVP of the American League. All these accolades, and never a walk-off hit?!

You all know my feelings about the Sox second-baseman, and it goes beyond the sparkling statistics. During the championship run of 2007, ROY Pedroia played for over two months with a painful cracked hamate bone in his left wrist, quipping, "You just try and have the adrenaline take over, and take a lot of Tylenol."

Also, unlike certain other Boston sports icons (ahem, Tom Brady), Dustin can support the local teams.

Yes, Pedroia is a true dirt dog, in the tradition of one Trot Nixon before him; he puts his body on the line every game, and every play, all for the good of the team. For the last month or so, Pedey has been battling a bad knee, which had been quite detrimental to his hitting (I use the past tense because he's been on fire this homestand, to the tune of 15-for-31).

Despite the pain in his knee, a joint we can all agree is of tantamount importance to a baseball player, Pedroia knew that it was better for the team that he play, even if it was only at 75%. You HAVE to admire that "team first" attitude, and the grit and will to win don't hurt, either.

It also doesn't hurt that his son, Dylan, is the cutest child EVER.

Of course, I love the witty remarks he comes out with, and I only wish we got to hear them all - you just know that the few that trickle down to the fans are the tamest of them. As for the cockiness? On a man of normal size, it might be annoying, but on Pedroia, a 5'8" (in his spikes, maybe) balding twenty-six year old, it's somewhat endearing.

What can I say? I've been head over heels for Pedey since he came up in late 2006 - wearing number 64 - and I won't hide my unabashed admiration for him. Hopefully, there will be no more need for a walk-off hit from Speedy Pedey in the bottom of the ninth... but if we need one, there's no one I'd trust more.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're still breathing after tonight's game. Or, that you haven't driven to his house to steal him from his wife. Because really, Pedroia is dreamy as heck.