Dustin Pedroia says farewell to the Red Sox
In a night that felt like it could happen on any number of occasions over the last few years, we’re about to say goodbye to Dustin Pedroia. The long-time Red Sox second baseman retired back in February and with COVID restrictions lifted in Boston, he can finally have his final farewell to the Fenway Faithful. To add a little extra spice on the night, the Yankees are in town for the first time in 2021 and things are tracking toward a fully packed crowd.
When I say this night could’ve happened previously what I mean is that this was inevitable. With the way that Pedroia played the game, it was just a matter of time before his body decided he couldn’t do it anymore. Granted, that process was expedited thanks to a dirty slide by Manny Machado, but it was coming one way or another. Pedey spoke before tonight’s ceremony and couldn’t hide his excitement to be back with the team and in front of a sold-out Fenway Park.
"“I don’t know. I tried to ask them questions about what they’re doing, but they haven’t really given me any answers. I don’t really know what to expect,” said Pedroia. “Obviously I haven’t played in about a year and a half with my injuries and stuff. It should be fun. I’m excited just to see Fenway and get back out there and see the fans and everything. It should be a good time.”"
It’ll be great to have Dustin back in the house and I’m glad he waited until 2021 to decide to hang up his cleats. If this happened last year I think it would’ve been the dictionary definition of a disappointment. Having 35,000 people screaming and hollering as Pedey takes his final bow will be a sight to see.
I don’t know if they’ll be retiring his number tonight, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be surprised to see it sometime in the future. The Red Sox had a rundown on their Instagram today of his accomplishments and it’s hard to make a case against his “15,” going up in the rafters.
Alex Cora also spoke today and made it pretty clear that he thinks Pedey will be back in the organization someday in a managerial role. I think we’re all on that page with AC as well as I don’t think Dustin will be able to stay away for too long. Once his kids are a bit more grown-up I expect to see him back in the dugout alongside Cora and Jason Varitek. He’s getting plenty of reps in coaching his kids all year round and I can guarantee he isn’t taking it easy on those kids.
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"“If he wants to manage the Red Sox, I don’t mind that in the next few years. I really don’t,” Cora said with a mischievous look on his face. “This is something that is not an easy job. If he wants to do it, I’ll be like a senior advisor. We’ll make like a new job description. I’ll help him from afar. I still get paid. More than him. But he can do it if he wants.”"
Cora was speaking in a joking manner, but again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pedey in the manager’s office down the road. It also wouldn’t be the first time that Dustin took Alex’s job. When he got injured he absolutely could’ve gone away and tried to heal and remove himself from the equation but that just isn’t who Pedey is. He worked hard, had the procedures done, and did everything he absolutely could to get back on the field. It just wasn’t meant to be at the end of the day.
Fans and players alike are energized with the return of Dustin to Fenway Park tonight. There’s just something about having one of the guys that embody the Boston Red Sox in the house for a Yankee game that just puts electricity in the air. While I wish he was suiting up and manning second base for tonight’s clash just seeing him again will be enough. If there was anyone that has earned tonight’s festivities with this organization it’s Pedey.