This Red Sox season is over. The trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers was the Major League Baseball equivalent of Dr. Kavorkian hooking the Mercitron onto the remainder of this seasons schedule. Even the sellout streak, on artificial life support since the season began, may finally be put to rest as well. When this type of news amounts to progress, you know you are close to rock bottom.
The 2012 Red Sox were a sinking ship. This was painfully obvious to rationally minded fans and could be seen coming for a nautical mile. After reading the Boston Globes Dan Shaughnessys most recent interview with Dustin Pedroia, it was clear the rats also knew the water levels were rising and were looking for dry land.
This whole charade that Pedroia and Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine get along swell is really laughable and I would have preferred if he just told the press to go do something anatomically impossible with themselves instead. But Dusty No Sack has now proven that in addition to not being able to ride a rollercoaster without an adult, he cant ever be considered a stand-up guy, let alone a team leader. Remember when Pedrioa was thought of as the next captain when Jason Varitek retired? Those were the days.
Dustin Pedroia, Tito Franconas cribbage partner and clubhouse teachers pet, has been at the forefront of Bobby Valentine bashing this season, and yet in not one but two exclusives with Shaughnessy, has tried to explain away the obvious rift with Bobby V.
The most blatant and early SNAFU in the Pedroia, Valentine relationship was Pedroias public response to Bobby V calling out the emotionally brittle Kevin Youkillis.
I dont really understand what Bobbys trying to do, but thats not the way we go about our stuff around here, he said back then.
I want to give Dustin some credit here. Unlike his rumored photo mocking a slumbering Bobby V, this shot publicly cut the legs out from the manager under the guise of being a good teammate and was at least on the record.
But now Dusty wants you to know that he and Bobby get along great!
In Chicago, Pedroia wasnt snubbing Valentine when Bobby V. went to the mound. He just swallowed his dip!
In the now famous New York insurrection Pedroia was reportedly one of the most vocal of the mutineers, but it wasnt about Bobby according to The Muddy Chicken (now simply The Chicken) . I wasnt vocal in any way toward Bobby. That was the part that bothered me.
If Dusty No Sack isnt in full PR retreat about his manager, its about why he wasnt at Sox Legend Johnny Peskys funeral. Only David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Clay Bucholz and Vincente Padilla were present, and I am pretty sure Padilla just went to pretend Mark Teixeira was in the casket. This attendance was a terrible reflection on almost the entire roster but a guy who should be a team leader, the Laser Show, had an excuse ready to go: His wife is nine months pregnant and ready to give birth at any time, and he made sure he spent his off day with her. Except for that night when he went to the Beckett Bowl...
All of the above is both aggravating and disappointing coming from a player that used to be unconditionally loved by the fans of this team. But it still isnt enough for me to want him gone in the next roster purge. However, when you couple it with the declining on-field performance and increasing fragility, its time to let the Pedro Ciriaco era begin!
Lets face facts. Dustin Pedroia will never again be the same player that won the AL MVP in 2008. The Laser Show is well on his way to becoming Flashlight Tag as struggles through a season that looks to be his worst since his rookie year. Its also the second of the last three seasons where hes missed significant time due to injury. Pedroia is the type of player that absolutely needs to play balls to the wall with one hundred percent effort all game, every game. Its part of what made him so beloved with fans. Its also what will increase his declining production as time goes on. As he ages, his already slight frame will succumb more and more frequently to this type of playabuse.
If this team is really one hundred percent committed to an organizational reboot then anyone with value who isnt part of the immediate or long term rebuilding plans needs to be used as capital to bring in building blocks for the future. Its clear to me that an entitled, disingenuous veteran declining in both performance and durability would be a perfect candidate for a For Sale sign.
And based on his recent damage control efforts with Shaughnessy, Pedroia himself may now know that even his job security is now in question. His attempts to remind fans that he was a big part of the good old days did not go unnoticed.
"Its been difficult. But our fans are smart. Im sure they understand. They know what kind of guy I am. They should."
Fans allowing marginally effective players with clubhouse crippling character flaws to hang around for nostalgias sake? Sorry Dustin, thats not the way we go about our stuff around here.