BALTIMORE With a group of reporters huddled around his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards, Dustin Pedroia finished putting on his jacket, popped in his ear buds and stone-facedly walked past every questioner on his way out to the Red Sox team bus.
Pedroia had collected two hits, scored a run, knocked in another run and sparked the Red Sox offense with his antics, energy and uncanny ability to make plays that win ballgames. He did just that in the fifth inning when he tagged up from third and just barely beat an Adam Jones thrown from center field that arrived at home plate just on time.
Hes trying to leave it on the field every single night," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Hes that competitor that makes a team go. He never stops. He hits all pitches. He makes all plays. How hes not on an All-Star team player every year is beyond me. I know this year it was because of the thumb thing, of course.
Thats one of the best arms in the league and it was shallow center field. It seems like he can run just as fast as he has to to be safe. Thats pretty special.
If Pedroia had been gunned down there, it could have been a gut punch for the Sox. Instead, Pedroia scored, let out a primal scream, pumped his feet and immediately lifted the energy in his own dugout en route to a 6-3 win over the Orioles.
I dont know how much more energy he could bring because if he did then he would probably die, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He wants to win. The same thing as everybody, but hes the little guy that just goes hard all the time. Its something you can always feed off of. Its fun to watch him play.
His play spoke for itself, and his quiet exit from the clubhouse left his teammates to fill in the blanks with compliments, attaboys and verbal bouquets of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps hes keeping silent now after he was leveled by sharp criticism and harsh accusations in the Yahoo! Sports story accounting players attempting to get Bobby Valentine fired. Perhaps hes just done talking, aside from his play on the field.
He plays as hard as anybody Ive ever seen, said Cody Ross. Even on the ball that I hit to left field that he scored on, he was halfway to third by the time the ball got to the fielders glove and hes trucking as hard as he can.
Hes doing it with the bat too. Its a lot of fun when hes on his game.
Whatever the case hell need to be one of the pivotal guys if things are going to start changing for a Sox team that needs to play .750 baseball the rest of the way. The Sox need accountability, they need urgency and they need non-stop energy and Pedroia brings all those things when its harnessed in one direction.