Terry Francona spoke a lot in the last couple of days about how he couldn’t get his team to play the way he wanted them to at the end of his tenure in Boston. One player he likely wasn’t worrying was second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
The fiery second baseman is a leader for Boston, and he’s also close with his now ex-manager. Naturally, Pedroia was disappointed by the fact that it will no longer be Francona penciling his name in the lineup card every day next year.
“It’s hard, man, with the way we played this year, but by no means is it Tito’s fault,” Pedroia told ESPN.com. “We get paid a lot of money and the biggest thing that I am upset with, and I think a lot of guys are upset with, is the accountability of each other. It’s not the manager’s fault. We need to hold ourselves more accountable as a team, as players. There are a lot of things that went on that was disrespectful and we played like it.”
In additon to trying to take away blame from Francona, Pedroia spoke more personally about his relationship with the skipper as well.
“I love him. He’s given me every opportunity in the world and given me the respect to play the game with a freedom, and that’s what he allows us players to do. Geez, man, he’s done everything for me and everything for my family … he’s done everything for me in the five years I’ve been in the big leagues. My heart’s broken for him and I wish he was back and I wish I could have played my whole career for him. It’s going to be hard. I’m sure he’ll come back a better manager and a better person for it. Us, as an organization, we’re going to move forward together.”