Despite suffering a broken left index finger on Sunday ??
an injury that was supposed to sideline him for the team's final three games ??
the second baseman urged Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to slot him
back in the lineup.
"We've got a lot of young guys on our team,"
Pedroia said. "Sometimes you get nicked up, stuff like that. It's part of
the job. You get beat up. You slide into bases. You get your finger stepped on
or hit a base or whatever. But they know I'm going to be out there, and they
should be out there, too, if it happens to them. It's a team."
Pedroia won't be wearing a protective cast, either. After
consulting with the team's medical staff, the 29-year-old came away confident that he could battle through the last two games against the Yankees.
He also cited the possibility of spoiling New York's
playoff positioning as a motivating reason to return. Although the Yankees have
clinched a postseason berth, the Red Sox could knock them into the one-game wild card playoff.
"You saw last year when Tampa Bay got in,"
Pedroia said. "The Orioles played us and played all their guys and played
hard and ended up beating us and gave Tampa a chance to get in. All the teams
are set, right? It's just the divisions and stuff like that. We're playing to win. It's not like you all
think we're packing it in. Nobody's packing it in. We've got two more
The fact that the season is coming to a close also factored into Pedroia's decision
"I get to compete for two more games, and then I've
got to sit around for six months and wait until I get to do it again,"
Pedroia said. "Why not? What else am I going to do? I get to go home and
play football with my three-year-old."