Dustin Pedroia has been doing some thinking this offseason.
The Boston Red Sox won 93 games in 2017, but after an exit in the American League Division Series for the second straight season, there clearly is a thirst for improvement.
A big way, of course, to do that is to make sure there is some defined leadership. Since the departure of slugger David Ortiz, Pedroia inherited the leader role, and during the most recent offseason, the second baseman thought about what made the best leaders during some of the Red Sox’s most successful seasons.
And when asked about leadership in the clubhouse heading into 2018, the 34-year-old opened up about what he can do.
“I’ve thought a lot about this you know and I’m thinking, man, you know, you guys write all these stories about how we don’t have enough leadership and all this stuff,” Pedroia said, via The Boston Herald. “I’m like, thinking about it, I’m like, when did the Red Sox start getting successful you know from 2002 or whatever on? You know they had (Jason Varitek). But not only did they have Tek, but they had David, they had Trot Nixon, they had Johnny Damon. There was a ton of core players that were leaders. And then you look at the next championship they won, they had David, Tek, Mike Lowell, Alex Cora. There’s multiple leaders. And then ’13, you know there’s multiple leaders.
“So I think our core group, it’s my responsibility,” Pedroia continued. “I need them and they need me and we all have to work together. Because it’s not one leader. And everybody always says that, it’s not one guy in baseball. It’s me, it’s Mookie (Betts), it’s (Xander Bogaerts), it’s Jackie (Bradley Jr.) it’s (Andrew Benintendi). It’s our team. So we have to go be together and know that. I know David’s gone but you know when Tek was done we were OK. Because he built that into David, and David’s built that into me to where I got to do a better job of finding a way to get everybody to realize that it?s not one guy, it’s everybody. And that’s — after thinking about it — that?s what it is. It’s not, you know we need one leader or one guy on the pitching staff and one guy on the — no, we need everybody. And that’s what it takes to win at this level and in this environment, is for everybody to come together and take responsibility and doing it together.”
Very well put.
Pedroia likely will start the season on the disabled list while he rehabs his knee after surgery during the offseason, so some of his teammates certainly will need to step up in his absence.