FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In Terry Franconas new book, it was revealed that a marketing survey found Red Sox fans wanted more sexy players, using Dustin Pedroia as an example.
The diminutive yet feisty second basemans reaction to the news that he was found to be sexy?
They didnt need a damn marketing team, Pedroia said. I could have told them that for free.
Pedroia, standing in front of his locker at the teams spring training complex Tuesday morning, could be light-hearted about something he already believed to be true. But, he turned serious when asked what the Sox have to do to improve on their dreadful 2012 season?
We got to do everything better than we did last year, he said.
Last season was difficult. We had a tough time. We lost a lot of games. So I think everybodys motivated to make sure that doesnt happen again.
We got in a lot of new guys. I think a lot of guys are excited. So theres going to be a lot of different things going on. Everyones just got to do what they do. Dont try to do too much.
With a quarter of the players on the 40-man roster new to the organization this season, there were plenty of new guys in the clubhouse. With the way last season went, it may be a good thing to have so many new faces.
I thought the moves were great, Pedroia said. We added a lot of personality to the team. Theres guys that are going to bring a lot of energy to the clubhouse to the team, a lot of positive stuff. And everyones excited for everything.
A lot of the guys, you see them around the game, theyre the guys that are known for loving to play the game. They like tough atmospheres and good places to play. So its going to be fun playing with those guys.
One of the new guys will be his double-play partner Stephen Drew.
Hes a great player and Im looking forward to getting out there with him, taking some ground balls, and getting to know him a little bit, Pedroia.
But perhaps the most important addition to the team is manager John Farrell, who replaces Bobby Valentine who lasted just one season.
Johns awesome, Pedroia said. Everybody got to know him when he was here before as pitching coach from 2007-10. Hes easy to talk to. Obviously when he walk in the room he has that presence that he brings. Its going to be great for us.
Thats one of the things when he was here before. He was always communicating with guys and open about your role. You knew what you were going to do that day and that definitely helps.
But he was adamant that Valentine is not to blame for the Sox awful 2012 season, when they went 69-93, finishing last in the American League East.
None, Pedroia said. He didn't play. Its the players. Bobby didnt go out there and get any hits or make any errors or do any of that. We lost those games. Its on us.
Despite hitting .290 with 15 home runs, 39 doubles, and 60 RBI, Pedroia was hampered by a right thumb strain last season. Hes fully healthy now he said and had no limitations in his off-season workouts.
It was fine, he said. I had like a pin in my pinky for about four weeks and then they just took it out. It was kind of no big deal. And then my thumb and the other finger healed in like a month or six weeks or something.
Last season was the first losing season of his life, Pedroia said. It taught him a lesson.
I dont want it to happen again, he said. Its a lot of frustration. Its not fun coming to the field when youre not winning every day. When you have that feeling that you show up and you know youre going to win, that's the feeling you want.