Dustin Pedroia’s career took a different trajectory after April 21, 2017.
Boston Red Sox fans certainly will remember Pedroia standing on second base in an effort to turn a double play as then-Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado slid into the second baseman’s left knee at Camden Yards.
That eighth-inning play ultimately led to multiple surgeries — including, as Pedroia revealed Monday, a career-ending knee replacement — and essentially forced the three-time World Series champion into retirement Monday.
Pedroia, who played 1,512 career games with the Red Sox, was asked Monday if he holds any resentment after that day.
“No, listen I’m not upset about anything anymore,” Pedroia said during a video conference, as seen on NESN. “That play could have happened my rookie year. When you play second base and you play second like me, you hang on until the last possible second to get the ball. Because, I mean, you watched it. If there’s a slim chance at a double play, there’s one guy on planet Earth who can turn it, and you’re talking to him.
“So, it happened,” Pedroia continued. “Unfortunately, I just got caught in a wrong position and that was it. But I think I’m at peace with everything knowing that me, the training stuff and our doctors did everything we possibly could’ve to try to continue to play baseball. We made it back. I played nine games when 90% of the doctors said there was zero chance I could play. I’m proud of that. The way it ended, it ended that way. And that’s OK. I just hope I did enough during the time that I had to impact everyone. That’s the only thing I care about.”
Pedroia admitted earlier in the video conference how that specific play “derailed a lot.”
“I think the hardest part is that I felt like I was in my prime and understanding how to play the game as I got older,” Pedroia said. “2016 was one of my best years. Then the first month of ’17 I was rolling right along and one play kind of derailed a lot of that and threw all of us in a pattern that we were trying to find a way to get out of.”
Pedroia played just nine game between the 2018 and 2019 seasons and did not take the field for Boston during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Unfortunately, now Red Sox fans will be left wondering just how the 2008 American League MVP’s career could have went if not for those injuries.