Why Dustin Pedroia should be the next Red Sox captain
Dustin Pedroia has been a Red Sox staple for 11 seasons. He’s more than earned the right to be named the next captain of the Boston Red Sox.
Dustin Pedroia was drafted by the Red Sox back in 2004 and made his first appearance for the main club in 2006. It was in 2007 that he became the every day second baseman for the Red Sox. That 2007 season truly set the tone for what would come from Pedroia in the years to follow.
That season he would go on to win the AL Rookie of the Year and be a major piece of the puzzle that won the World Series that season. Not a bad way to start your career! If you watched the World Series that year you would have no way of knowing Pedroia was a rookie. He showed zero fear or jitters on the biggest stage.
Pedroia is the dictionary definition of a “dirt dog.” He isn’t afraid to get dirty and do what he has to in order to get the win for the team. He’ll grind out pitchers by fouling off pitch after pitch, he’ll slide head first into every base possible, and make plays in the field that should be impossible. He often gets the tag of being one of the first ones in and last ones out.
Even though he only played in three games this season, Pedroia was there from the first pitch to the final. Dealing with issues stemming from an injury to his left knee all season, he had to watch from the sidelines. But that is where he showed more heart than anyone. Each and every game you could see him suited up and active in the dugout.
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For every run scored, every hit, every strikeout, every win, and every loss, he was there. Often coaching younger players and giving advice from his years of experience, Dustin took on the mentor role this season. Much like the last captain of the Red Sox, Jason Varitek, Pedroia was the heart and soul of the team.
Dustin Pedroia would excel as Red Sox Captain
Not only has he been a member of the team for over a decade now, but he also played side by side with Manager Alex Cora. Not only is he fully all in on Cora’s message as a manager but he could be a trusted member of Cora’s staff. The captain is the on-field manager, it’s their job to control the game on the field just like the manager controls it from the dugout. So with their history, Pedroia would be the perfect fit on the field to execute the manager’s gameplan.
Dustin has really done it all as far as being a player is concerned. He’s won the ROTY, MVP, Silver Slugger, Golden Glove, and 3 World Series. He could be the voice of calm on the field for some of these younger players when the lights get bright and the pressure intensifies.
The captain doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best player on the team. Being captain means that you exemplify the morals and beliefs of the manager, team, and organization. Calling back to Varitek, he was never the best player on the team, but he was the one the most represented what the team was. He would go out there every day and give everything he had for the team, and that’s Dustin Pedroia as well.
We’ve seen it in other sports plenty of times where a player is put on the shelf due to injury and they stay home to rehab and do physical therapy. And I’m sure that was offered to Pedroia, to be home with his family to get healthy. But that isn’t Dustin Pedroia. He eats, sleeps, breathes and bleeds the Boston Red Sox.
Dustin Pedroia will be a free agent in 2022, giving us three more seasons with our beloved second baseman. I truly feel those last few years of his contract could be maximized by making him team captain. Let him work with the young roster and help groom them to become even better than they are.
When his deal expires I hope the Red Sox reward him for everything he has given to the organization. I don’t necessarily mean a big payday, as I think those days are behind Pedroia. But I would love to see some sort of deal that allowed him to remain with the club through the end of his career. I think getting some more reps as with management staff would be beneficial as well and could get him ready for the next step in his career as well.
Dustin Pedroia exemplifies everything that the Boston Red Sox believe in. He is the ultimate team player on the field, in the dugout and in the clubhouse. Being named team captain would be an honor and a sign of respect from the organization for all that Pedroia has given to the Red Sox. I for one would love to see Dustin on Opening Day with the “C” on his chest.