Report: Pedroia tries to set the record straight

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Report: Pedroia tries to set the record straight

Dustin Pedroia was once -- along with David Ortiz -- one of the team's most popular players, but this year he has seen his likability take a bit of a dive.

The Red Sox are on pace to have a losing season, and Pedroia has found himself mixed up in some of his team's off-the-field tumult that has seemingly worn on much of the fan base.

On Wednesday night in California, Pedroia spoke with WEEI.com to set the record straight on some of the most noteworthy issues of this turbulent season.

First and foremost, he wanted to make clear just how badly he hopes to remain in Boston for the duration of his career.

"I want to be a Red Sox my whole career," Pedroia said. "I want to be here during the World Series times, during the September collapse, the biggest trade, and I want to be here when we're world champs again. I want that. I've been through times when not a writer said a bad thing about me, or the talk show hadn't said a bad thing about me, and I want to be here when they say a bad thing about me. I look in the mirror every day and at the end of the season I'm going to look back and say I did everything I could to help us win. Were there parts I regret? Yeah, without question. There were a lot more than in the past, but I learned from those things. It's going to make me better, I believe that. Yeah, I have to believe that. It's going to."

On the shot he took at Bobby Valentine early in the year after Valentine critiqued Kevin Youkilis' effort:
"Basically I was trying to get Youk's back and just say, basically, if someone had a problem with somebody just come to them and talk to them about it. It came out wrong. I messed that up. No question about it. Obviously I don't want to call out our manager by any means. I've never been put in that situation before and I didn't know how to respond. I regret that all that happened. I probably should have looked and saw what was going on and tried to check the pulse of how the fans and everyone was reacting to our team. I had no idea."

On the meeting Red Sox players had with ownership in New York, where players reportedly tried to have Valentine fired:
"Obviously we weren't playing very good and this meeting was of bigger magnitude because we're all trying to figure out why we're not playing well. Why are we losing ballgames, and how come we're not like we were last year before September? Basically everybody spoke, everybody gave their opinions on why we weren't winning. My intentions when I spoke was to talk about how we can improve and be better. It had nothing to do with Bobby. How many pitches has Bobby thrown this year? How many hits has he got?"

On the photo Pedroia reportedly took, mocking Valentine as Valentine slept in the clubhouse:
"We were in Oakland and Bobby passed out, he was sleeping, taking a nap. We were all tired. We were grinding. David was right there and I took a picture, put two thumbs up, smiled and took a picture. I was trying to keep the guys We weren't playing very well, trying to keep a loose atmosphere. That was it. You have to enjoy your life. It was funny. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I had no idea First off, I don't know how, maybe somebody was just joking around with somebody and told them, 'Hey man, this was hilarious,' and this guy thought it was a story I was disrespecting the manager. That was basically it. I was just trying to keep the guys loose, having fun, playing the game right. That's it.

"Listen, when you have a different manager, it's a different environment. I was basically thinking, 'This is fine.' Me and Bobby have built a relationship that's pretty darn good. The other night I led off the inning, struck out, and we ended up four or five, and Bobby looked at me and said, 'Hey, way to start it.' I'm laughing. It's normal as a team and normal when you have a good relationship to do things like that, because we're around each every day. We're in the fight together. When times are tough people would view that, 'Oh, can you believe he said this, or did this.' All of our intentions are good. We all want to win the game. Everybody wants to have fun doing it. It's not to disrespect anybody. I've never disrespected anybody."

On why he missed Johnny Pesky's funeral:
"We got in at 3:45 or 4 a.m. and we had a note on our chair. I didn't even get my luggage that day because my wife is nine months pregnant and I wanted to get home. I was under the impression when I got up -- her mom had left town the day before to go back to Chicago, so I've got to make sure I take care of Dylan, who's 3-years-old and flat-out wild. She can't handle him one-on-one right now. When I found out I didn't have any help to have somebody to help with him. We did that night because we knew about Josh's event for so long. So when Dylan woke up I took care of him.

"Johnny meant the world to me, just like he did to everybody. That's something I'm going to have to live with, not being at his funeral. It was just a tough situation. Then I got my wife out for a couple of hours at Josh's thing, she was starving and we went out to dinner real quick and went back to the event. When you look back, yeah, it looks bad, but I had no intentions of disrespecting anybody. That's all I can say. I wish everybody handled it differently. I wish we would have known earlier. Don't get me wrong, if we had known earlier then a lot of guys It was tough on the timing. It was hard."

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

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Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

SAN FRANCISCO - An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Giants.

Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland's first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn't hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.

No one got in Harper's way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet - it sailed way wide of Strickland, it might've slipped - and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them - in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases after the second shot in Game 4.

Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

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Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

CHICAGO — More than anything else, Monday’s 5-4 Red Sox loss was a reminder of how much the Red Sox had go right for them a year ago, and just how unrealistic it was to expect so much of it to carry over into 2017.

The Red Sox remain a very good team. But the success of last year’s 93-win team, of any 93-win team is, truly, difficult to replicate. Unlikely, even.

Baseball’s age of parity, the randomness of freak injuries, good old regression — the Sox were due for some elements to catch up to them after a season that was more or less golden in 2016.

Dustin Pedroia, who headed back to Boston on Monday for an MRI on his left wrist, was healthy enough to hit 15 home runs a year ago, his highest total since 2012. The way this year is going for him health-wise, just having him on the field and hitting close to .300 sounds like a worthwhile goal the rest of the way.

(Slides are Pedroia’s enemy, be it from an oncoming base runner, like Manny Machado, or an oncoming first baseman, like Jose Abreu.)

David Price wasn’t living David Price’s best baseball life a year ago. But you know what you can, and probably do, take for granted? He was healthy and devouring innings. He cleared more frames than anyone else in the regular season. Even when he wasn’t pitching well, he could pitch and pitch and pitch. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 1.001 OPS at the end of play on May 29, 2016. His OPS after play May 29, 2017, was .670.

We know how special David Ortiz was. Let’s not go there, because it seems like no one can talk about Ortiz’s absence rationally. His exit did not suck every home run out of the Sox lineup, as many like to say is the case, but he is — of course — a big missing piece.

Not everything was perfect in 2016, lest we remember our ex-girlfriends too fondly. Carson Smith went for Tommy John surgery, for example. 

But look now: Smith still isn’t back, Tyler Thornburg is a mystery if not quiet yet an afterthought and Robbie Ross Jr. not only struggled to the point he was demoted, he’s going through elbow trouble.

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young, much to Kate Upton’s chagrin. Porcello will not win the Cy Young this year, if you hadn’t been paying attention, although Chris Sale might.

There’s something going well for the Sox right now: that Sale guy. The bullpen coughed up the game Monday, Matt Barnes in particular. Yet Sox relievers had the fifth best ERA of any team to start the day. 

Hey, Eduardo Rodriguez looks pretty good, doesn't he?

With some downward trends have come some positives. Craig Kimbrel's on another planet.

The Sox may still be a 90-win team. Again, they remain a very good club.

But the wins, the breaks aren’t coming as easily as they did a year ago. You should never have expected they would.