Dustin Pedroia, even in retirement, still is prominent within the Boston Red Sox organization.
Pedroia announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Feb. 1 after spending 15 years with the Red Sox. He struggled with knee injuries that limited the second baseman to just nine games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
He was seen on the bench during Boston’s historic 2018 season en route to a World Series title, so it’s no surprise he could speak to the team during the Red Sox’s annual team meeting Monday.
“It was obviously good timing for him to talk to them,” manager Alex Cora told reporters Monday. “He is who he is. He’s going to be part of this organization for the rest of his life. For how great it was for us, I know it was good for him, which is very important to me. I’m glad that he was available and he was part of it.”
So, what was Pedroia’s message to the team?
“It was very good, very serious,” Cora said. “Straight to the point.”
Xander Bogaerts was happy to hear from his former teammate.
“His message was great. Everyone would love to see Pedey,” Bogaerts told reporters. “I know it sucks for guys that didn’t play with him, didn’t get to play with him, didn’t get to know him on a personal level, how loud he was in that clubhouse. Man, he was something different. Something special and someone who you looked forward to coming to the park and seeing. He was just so short but had the biggest smile that could have walked into that clubhouse. I think that fueled a lot of guys.”
After listening to Pedroia’s message, it’s certainly not hard to see why it “fueled a lot of the guys.”
“Everything should be important to you,” Pedroia said when addressing the Red Sox, via the team. “You should be the best at whatever job you wanna do. That’s the mindset. And you guys do that for the guy next to you. That’s what team sports is about any any level. It’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you act. And you wanna act like a champion. It’s how you act. Act properly. This game doesn’t last forever, guys. You gotta take pride in everything. Try to be the best in everything. Good luck. Trust me, I’ll be watching every pitch. It’s gonna be a good season.”
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Boston is set to open its 2021 season April 1 at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles.