Dustin Pedroia believes former Red Sox teammate isn’t Hall worthy
This week we’ve finally got some fun things to talk about in the world of MLB and that’s thanks to Red Sox legend David Ortiz being elected to the Hall of Fame. We saw a heated debate for this year’s ballot as it included many players from the Steroid Era, as well as, the final chances for some of baseball’s legends.
Former Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was a part of the Hall of Fame festivities as he joined The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal to talk about several topics including his friend Big Papi, and another former teammate, Manny Ramirez. While Manny is a divisive player thanks to his antics both on and off the field, Pedey didn’t mince any words in regards to the slugger’s candidacy.
"“Obviously, right-handed hitter, he’s one of a kind,” Pedroia said. “Obviously, there’s rules (governing PED use). That’s where I’m kind of at. I look at my own situation. I played at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds and having a great career and one slide deters my career. Instead of trying to take something that could maybe help me out health-wise so I could play a longer career, I chose not to do that.”"
It’s pretty clear how Pedroia feels about the usage of PED’s in the game and I think many out there are in agreement with him. We also have those geniuses that want to wave the PED flag at Ortiz dispute the DH never failing a legitimate drug test. The 2003 test that he “failed,” was thrown away when Rob Manfred took over and Papi was never even notified for what substance he tested positive.
Say all you want about Ortiz, but there isn’t any true tangible evidence that he ever used any performance-enhancing drugs. Oh, he out of nowhere got good when he arrived in Boston? Do some legwork and check out his stats with Minnesota. He was a strong player for the small amount of time he was given to play. Turns out people get better at things the more they do them!
Back to Pedroia, the longtime second baseman has been the heart of this organization since he popped up on the scene back in 2006 and broke out in 2007. While the Red Sox haven’t had an actual captain since Jason Varitek, Pedey was the leader of this team by the definition of that role. So when he says something on the level of not believing that a guy like Manny should be allowed in the Hall, it’s hard to not listen.
"“I value the game and try to play the right way and set the example for my kids, Pedroia added.” “Everybody’s different. Everybody has their own way about them. Everybody has their own choices to make. I’m not one to judge him or anything like that. I just can speak for me.”"
It’s hard to disagree with his stance as there is plenty of merit behind his feelings. He’s a guy that could’ve benefited greatly from using something extra to get his knee back to playing shape, but he chose not to. It eventually led to his retirement this past summer but he can at least go to sleep every night knowing he didn’t take the easy road.
As for Ramirez, he’s a guy that absolutely didn’t need to take PED’s but for some reason went to the dark side. His career before he took that turn was already heading down the Cooperstown path and now he’ll probably never be immortalized in the Hall of Fame.
Manny, unlike Ortiz, has failed multiple tests and served suspensions for his usage. It’s one thing to have the whispers around your name as far as PED’s are concerned but it’s another to have the receipts to prove that you cheated. Ramirez gave the Red Sox a lot to be thrilled about during his time in Boston but he’s a guy that has an actual record that will follow him.
It’s no surprise that Dustin has these feelings as I think we can all say that he was one of those players that did it the right way. He went out each and every night no matter what the standings said and played like it was Game 7 of the World Series. Unfortunately, that playing style took its toll on his body, well that and a dirty slide. A guy with the reputation of Pedroia has words that carry weight, and despite their history together, I think he’s in the right with his words on Manny.