Found July 25, 2013 on Boston's Bettah:
In what has been the worst kept secret in baseball, the Boston Red Sox finally signed second-baseman Dustin Pedroia to a contract extension. The deal, the first $100 million contract for a second-baseman in the history of baseball, keeps Pedroia in a Red Sox uniform until he is thirty-eight years old. All things considering, the deal is fair. At a position where high-levels of offensive production are scarce, Pedroia is one of the best in baseball. Pedroia sports a career OPS of .828, one of the best at second base in baseball and he consistently posts great WAR numbers thanks to his combination of his bat and his glove in the field. The money part was no issue. Had the Red Sox waited to see what contract Robinson Cano signed, they likely would have to pay more for Pedroia. A big part of why he is so successful is because he plays the game so hard. He’s always willing to take the extra-base on the base-paths, has one of the most violent swings I have ever seen in baseball, and puts extra-effort into making defensive plays. Being “scrappy” is a huge part of who he is as a player. That “scrappy” and hard-working nature has often caused baseball folk to attribute Pedroia to being the leader of the Boston Red Sox locker room. On so many levels, that is completely and utterly wrong. All that has to be done is look at what happened last year to why Dustin Pedroia isn’t close to being the leader of the Boston Red Sox. When Kevin Youkilis, a friend a long-time teammate of Pedroia’s, was traded because of his relationship with manager Bobby Valentine (among other things) Pedroia didn’t make any attempt to defend the manager. Like the manager or not, but if Pedroia is to be painted as a leader, those are the sorts of things that have to be done. But of course, the Red Sox are winning this year so we will all forget about that. Or what about last year during the height of the Red Sox misery when he was one of the key members of the backroom meetings with Red Sox ownership ******** about Bobby Valentine? This wasn’t a “Hey Dustin, the guys like you, what do you think”. He flat-out was the leader of the coup against Bobby Valentine. Again, it doesn’t matter if he liked Bobby or if he hated Bobby, he can’t lead the uprising against the manager and expect to simply get away with it and still be a shining beacon of hope and “scrapiness”. Oh yeah, the Red Sox are winning now. Nobody remembers that. I haven’t forgotten that. Right now, Pedroia is being painted as the leader of the Red Sox clubhouse after signing his contract, but he isn’t there yet. To find the leader of the Boston Red Sox, one simply has to look to the man who took the microphone on what was probably the most important home game in Boston since the 2004 World Series: Not only should David Ortiz be the most popular Red Sox player having developed a mythology around him at the same level of any of the Red Sox greats, but he also is clearly the leader of the Boston Red Sox. Even during the doldrums of his contract negotiations when the Red Sox seemed to refuse to give him what he was worth, he rarely complained, only making public statements when it seemed as if the Red Sox were actively trying to lock him out of the clubhouse. Maybe someday Pedroia will reach the same revered levels of Red Sox leaders such as Ortiz or Varitek, but he isn’t there yet. He’s made strides this year, but lets not pretend that time is now.
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