Tag:Dustin Pedroia
Posted on: March 8, 2010 11:56 pm

The Beltre-Lowell tango in Boston

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Not long after third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived at his new home, he and Mike Lowell had a talk. It wasn't a major summit. The two were simply out on one of the practice fields when Lowell approached him, the two said hello and they then carefully broached the 800-pound elephant in the infield.

Lowell, 36 and recovering from thumb surgery, is being moved out to the Shady Acres Rest Home by the Red Sox.

Beltre, who will turn 31 on April 7 and is signed to a one-year, $10 million deal for 2010 with a player option for 2011, is replacing him.

The complicating factor, of course, is that Boston had Lowell traded to Texas over the winter but the Rangers nixed the trade after Lowell failed the physical because of the thumb.

So Lowell, due $12 million this year, is rehabbing while in a holding pattern. The Red Sox quietly pray he shows enough this exhibition season that they'll be able to trade him.

"Most people probably think it's uncomfortable," Beltre says. "But for us, not at all."

That the two are co-existing this spring is a tribute to Lowell's class and grace as one of the club's elder statesmen, and to Beltre's ability to walk gingerly through what is undoubtedly, at times, an uneasy start with his new employer.

"It's not easy," Beltre says. "He's been one of the best third basemen in the big leagues for the last 10 years. I've been a big fan of his. For me, he has one of the best [sets of] hands of any third baseman. It's just a situation where he's been hurt the last couple of years. ... It's not easy to be in his situation. Everybody knows he can play.

"We both want what's best. He wants to play. I want to play."

Lowell was the MVP of the 2007 World Series. He's been a good player for the Red Sox and pure class in the clubhouse. Yet, he committed the cardinal sin of getting older and breaking down. The hip. The thumb. The gray hairs.

He's a fan favorite and beloved by the Red Sox. But, hey, it's a business.

"He's a guy we really respect," manager Terry Francona says. "It can be a little bit difficult, to be honest with you. He's a guy who's earned that. He's been in the game a long time. All those things we talk about loyalty, he's earned it.

"Then, as an organization, we make decisions and they can be hard on guys sometimes. I think they really recognize that.

"So we just try to handle it the best we can. That's about as honest as I can be about that. Sometimes our evaluation doesn't match the player's evaluation And we understand that, too. And they can't. They never do. Anywhere."

Likes: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia barking good naturedly at somebody across the clubhouse the minute I opened the door at 8 a.m. the other morning. The guy never stops, even before the coffee has kicked in. ... You've got to pull for young Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, one of the nicest guys in the game. ... Long-time Boston radio man Jonny Miller, who always has asked all the hard questions for WBZ and whose non-stop work in the face of nasty back problems is an inspiration. ... I'm perfectly fine with The Hurt Locker winning the Oscar for best picture. I'm really, really happy Avatar, the most overrated flick of the year, didn't win. ... The Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central Falcons opening the boys' basketball District Tournament this week at Blissfield. Go get 'em, Falcons.

Dislikes: Exhibition games have barely started and, already, players are dropping left and right: St. Louis' MVP Albert Pujols (back), Minnesota closer Joe Nathan (elbow), Cubs reliever Angel Guzman (shoulder), Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (groin) and Kansas City third baseman Alex Gordon (broken finger) for starters. Martin is probably out four-to-six weeks minimum. Gordon is expected to miss at least two or three weeks. Guzman probably will be sidelined for the entire season and the Twins continue to hold their breath on Nathan. Meantime, the Cards say they aren't concerned with Pujols. Yet. Yikes.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"If midnight is an awful hour
"Baby, why does it come so soon?
"If midnight is an awful hour
"Baby, why does it come so soon?
"It never brings me happiness
"Always leaves me filled with gloom"

-- B.B. King, Midnight Blues

Posted on: May 13, 2009 9:27 pm

Sox sit Pedroia one more night

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It's a no go for Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia for a second consecutive evening here, but that doesn't mean bad news for the American League Most Valuable Player or for the Red Sox.

Recovering from a sore groin, Pedroia was expected to return to the lineup for the middle game of Boston's series with the Los Angeles Angels this evening. But the more Sox manager Terry Francona studied the schedule and looked at Thursday's 12:30 p.m. (local time) first pitch, he didn't want to play Pedroia twice within a 24-hour span. So he decided the smart thing to do was to give Pedroia one more day of rest Wednesday.

"I told him after (Tuesday) night's game," Francona said. "And he called me a name I can't use here."

In other words, the response from Pedroia was, I'm healthy enough to return to the lineup yesterday.

"I called him a lot of things," Pedroia said, grinning.

The second baseman took early batting practice Wednesday afternoon and, according to Francona, "looks really good." But this plan, the manager said, "will buy him one more day."

Pedroia's reaction?

"I don't make out the lineup."

Pedroia left Sunday night's game against Tampa Bay with a strained right groin. Since May 1, he's batting .410 (16-for-29) with two doubles, five RBI, 12 runs scored, seven walks and a steal. His seven games with at least three hits is tied for the major-league lead.

He's also tied for the major-league lead with two four-hit games, and his .448 batting average with runners in scoring position leads the AL.

Likes: Dave Roberts in the broadcast booth for Boston television Wednesday night and on into Seattle later this road trip. Get well soon, Jerry Remy. Your spot is being kept warm by a class guy. ... I know I shouldn't, because I hate it when bozos jump onto the field and interrupt the game, but the streaker during the Mets' game at Citibank Field wearing nothing but a stuffed monkey around his waist? Now that's creative.

Dislikes: Ryan Zimmerman's hit streak ending at 30 consecutive games. Hit streaks are fun. Hit streaks are underrated. I'd love to see someone take a run at Joe DiMaggio's 56-gamer. That would put a jolt into our summer. ... People telling me about American Idol have the same effect as those describing their golf outings to me. Zzzzzzz.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I got some groceries
"Some peanut butter
"To last a couple of days
"But I ain't got no speakers
"Ain't got no headphones
"Ain't got no records to play"

-- Talking Heads, Life During Wartime

Posted on: May 12, 2009 9:18 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2009 10:10 pm

Sox hope Pedroia's back Wednesday, DL Youkilis

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The news is good on ailing second baseman Dustin Pedroia as the Boston Red Sox prepared to open a six-game road trip here on Tuesday night. But the Sox did place first baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left side.

Youklis, who last played May 4 in a game against the New York Yankees, is eligible to return next Tuesday, when Boston opens a six-game homestand against Toronto. The Sox recalled infielder Gil Velazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace him.

As for Pedroia, his sore groin felt well enough that he asked to play when he arrived at Angel Stadium on Tuesday. The Red Sox took that under consideration, smiled, and said no.

"Everything really is good," manager Terry Francona said. "He stretched and he reported in way better than we expected."

Even so, the last thing the Sox want to do is take an unnecessary chance with last summer's American League Most Valuable Player. Especially with first baseman Youkilis missing his seventh consecutive game Tuesday night with a sore left rib cage.

So Nick Green was in the lineup at second base and hitting ninth for the series opener against the Angels, and Jeff Bailey was at first base and batting seventh.

So the Sox were set to go to battle Tuesday night with 23 players, two short of the maximum.

"We're trying to use patience," Francona said. "It's not an exact science. If we ever make a mistake, I guess we want to react on the side of caution."

As for playing short-handed, which the Sox have been doing since Youklis left the Yankees' game, Francona said, "It reminds us of how much we like our guys," Francona said. "Guys are stepping up."

The hope is that Pedroia will be back in action on Wednesday night. Over his past 10 games, the second baseman is hitting .410 (16 for 39) with two doubles, five RBI, 12 runs scored, seven walks and a steal.

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