Boston Crimson Sox’s Dustin Pedroia pronounces resignation from MLB
Boston Red Sox’s second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who has not played two seasons earlier since 2019 due to a knee injury, announced his retirement on Monday.
“Could it have ended better and I ended my career right? Yes, of course,” Pedroia told the media on a Zoom call. “But there was a reason I was the first to be dressed for a 7:00 am at 5:30 am. I always tell my teammates that you never know if the game will start early. My biggest concern This could be my last game and you don’t know. This is the best way I’ve approached it from Little League on. I had the best time playing. “
As late as January 2020, Pedroia planned to return to the baseball field and work with the Red Sox training staff to rehabilitate his knee. After waking up one morning with his knee swollen again, he learned that he would need a partial knee replacement. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the operation has been postponed until December 2020.
“I wasn’t in a good place. I was grinding every day just to play with my kids and have a normal life,” said Pedroia. “My knee was bad and I’m a young man. I had the operation and a week later I could say I could walk without pain. I could do anything but run. I can’t run anymore, but who needs As soon as me had had an operation, no one had ever played with a partial knee replacement. If it breaks, my life will be badly affected. “
He continued, “I was physically unable to continue playing baseball with the partial knee replacement. By the time I did that, I knew it.”
Pedroia had struggled up the stairs and could not stand in one place for a long time without being in pain or needing ice.
“Every day I broke down. I didn’t show my wife and kids, but I went to the bathroom and relaxed a little and broke down because it’s hard,” Pedroia said. “When I was in the Little League, I got up at 5am for a lunch game. I’ve been doing this all my life. Just stopping it and then fighting to get it back is tough. Everyone who was me knows how hard I worked to get back and that’s enough for me. “
Pedroia, 37, a four-time All-Star who was named American League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and AL MVP in 2008, played his entire 17-year professional career in the Red Sox organization. He won three World Series rings and was a four-time gold glove winner.
“Dustin is so much more than his American League Most Valuable Player Award, his selection of All-Star Games and the gold gloves he has garnered during his impressive 17-year career with our organization,” said Red Sox owner John Henry in a statement.
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“Dustin embodied the kind of grit, passion and competitiveness that resonates with baseball fans everywhere, and Red Sox fans in particular. He played the game he loves, serving our club, its principles and in pursuing championships we are forever grateful to him for what he has brought to our club and our region as an important role model and which shows us all how much can be achieved with determination and hard work. “
Pedroia’s knee problems started in April 2017 when then-Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado got him out with a hard slide on the second base. Since then, he has had multiple operations on his left knee, starting with the first operation in October 2017. Between 2018 and 19, he only played nine games in total.
When asked if he felt a lingering resentment at the Machado slide that effectively ended his career, Pedroia said he had moved on from the play.
“This game could have happened in my beginner year. When you play second base and like me play second, you hold on to the last possible second to get the ball. You saw it; when there is a slim chance of a double there is a man on planet earth who can turn it and you are talking to him. It happened, “said Pedroia. “I’m at peace with all that I and the training staff and doctors have done, all we could to keep playing baseball. We made it back. I played nine games and 90% of the doctors said they did that this was the case. ” No chance that I could play. “
He is the only player to have received Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and MVP awards, as well as a World Championship in his first two seasons. Only nine other players have achieved these feats in their careers.
Pedroia was best known for his leadership role in the Red Sox clubhouse, often referred to as the de facto unofficial captain of the team following Jason Varitek’s resignation in 2011. His resignation sparked strong reactions from former teammates.
“He was the ultimate team player,” said Terry Francona, who ran Pedroia from 2004 to 2011 and regularly played cribbage with the second baseman before the games. “He always seemed to save his best games for the most important time in the game. He seemed to lead himself to victory at times. It’s impossible to spend that much time with him and not get close to him.” He just has that kind of personality. “
David Ortiz said, “One day while I was playing I wondered who a player would be you were going to buy a ticket for because it was worth watching him play for nine innings. And my answer.” was Dustin Pedroia. He was playing with a small chip on his shoulder. He basically had the kind of F-you mentality when he hit the field. I got to the point where I worried about him as much as he pushed, how he played hard, his discipline. He was determined to perform well for his team and teammates. His commitment was exceptional. “
While Pedroia has had a rare presence at Fenway Park for the past few seasons, spending time with his family in Arizona while he rehabilitated his knee, the Red Sox kept his locker in the clubhouse. During his career in Boston, Pedroia became one of the city’s most popular public figures. According to a Red Sox marketing official, coconut water companies selected Vita Coco as their national spokesperson in 2011 when they launched a national advertising campaign. When they launched the same campaign in Boston, the company chose Pedroia as their spokesperson, citing internal research that found Pedroia had more influence in the Boston market than the international pop star.
While many referred to him as a future big league manager during his season, Pedroia said he has no plans to get involved in a full-time coaching job in the major league until his kids are adults and away. Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said Pedroia could play any role in the organization when he was ready.
“Right now my youngest son is 6 years old and I definitely want to be a part of it, but I don’t know what capacity I have yet. If all of my boys are away from home, things will change to a bigger role in the organization”, said Pedroia. “Right now I want to enjoy being a dad, having fun with my boys and being here without worrying about rehab all day or worrying about what game we’re playing. Just be a little bit normal; when the time comes, it’s 100 percent in whatever I want to do. “
Pedroia has one more season with an eight-year contract worth $ 110 million. Of his $ 12 million salary for 2021, $ 2.5 million is being deferred with no interest and is payable July 15, 2028. His contract saw deferred payments for previous salaries of $ 2 million each on July 15 this year and in 2022, 2023, and 2024, and $ 2.5 prior to 2025, 2026, and 2027, respectively.
In 14 major league seasons he hit .299 / .365 / .439 with 140 homers, 394 doubles, 725 RBIs and 138 stolen bases.
He is one of three Red Sox players to book at least 100 homers and 100 steals for the franchise, joining Mookie Betts and Carl Yastrzemski.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.