Mike from Attleboro: For Pedroia, it's time to shape up or ship out

844819.jpg

Mike from Attleboro: For Pedroia, it's time to shape up or ship out

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.

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

baseballshowpod_pedro.png

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."