Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
It was last Sept. 28, three hours before a game in Baltimore, and Dustin Pedroia was standing in the Red Sox dugout, teaching a seminar on talking trash.
“Don’t hit the ball my way tonight!” Pedroia yelled to Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. “I’m telling you right now, if you hit it my way, you’re out. You are out!”
Seated nearby, Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen was incredulous.
“I looked at him and said, ‘Hey, Pedey, we’ve lost 89 games and (the Orioles) are going to the playoffs,’ ” Hazen recalled. “Then he turned and started screaming at me: ‘I don’t care how many games we’ve lost. I don’t care. That guy is out!’ ”
Pedroia laughed yesterday at a retelling of that story. After all, it was classic Pedroia, who never fails to act as though he has just chugged one too many bottles of 5-Hour Energy. Like the Energizer bunny, his motor keeps going and going.
But the episode in Baltimore meant so much more. Pedroia isn’t merely the Red Sox’ All-Star second baseman. He is their answer to Derek Jeter, the player they hold up as an example for impressionable prospects and peg as the centerpiece of what general manager Ben Cherington often calls “the next great Red Sox team.”
Herald: New year excites Pedroia
Despite the amount of suck that was around this team last season,one of the few consistent things was that you know Pedroia will do whatever it takes to play and he'll give you everything he has until the game is over.
The trash talk story is one of the better stories to come out of the September ********* and the best one is that Dusty played the final two games of the season against the Yankees with a broken finger. He could have sat out... but he didn't. He thought it would've been too disrespectful to sit out over a bum finger, especially against the Yankees. He wanted to make life a little more difficult for the Bronx Bombers and make them earn that AL East Crown.
That's what makes Pedroia so damn special to us and this organization. He feels like he's the best player out on the field and he'll let everyone on the opposing team know it. What makes it even better is that he's able to back it up. That's the type of player we fall in love with. Keep doing you, Dusty. Keep doing you.
Globe: Pedroia can smile again | Herald: Ortiz swings away | Buchholz stops early | CSNNE: Headache cured | WEEI: Farrell: "We just can't talk about new attitude" | Nieves is a breath of fresh air