Red Sox’ Chaim Bloom on Dustin Pedroia’s retirement press conference: ‘Every young player who comes into our organization should watch this, and just see how he talks about how he got after his craft’

Earlier this week, Dustin Pedroia retired from baseball after 17 years with the Red Sox organization.

The 37-year-old infielder took approximately 37 minutes to field questions from reporters during a Zoom press conference on Monday. And while he said it will likely be a while before he considers a return to baseball in a full-time, non-playing capacity, it appears that his words could already be making an impact on the Red Sox.

That being the case because in his presser, Pedroia spoke of the way he approached everyday of his baseball career from the time he was a young child until the time he was a veteran big-leaguer.

“There was a reason why I was the first one dressed at 5:30 for a 7 o’clock game,” Pedroia said Monday. “The biggest thing in my mind was, ‘This could be my last game. You don’t know.’ And that’s the way I approached it from Little League on. I played every game like it was my last one. I had the best time playing… I never took one play off from Little League on.”

These words, as well as plenty of others from the former American League MVP resonated with many, including Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. He said as much himself during a virtual town hall event earlier Thursday afternoon.

“If you didn’t get a chance to watch his press conference, go watch it,” Bloom said of Pedroia. “I was watching this and I said, ‘Every young player who comes into our organization should watch this, and just see how he talks about how he got after his craft.’ That’s what we want from every young player. The things he cares about: preparing, working hard, being the best teammate and winning. That’s really what it’s all about.”

As far as the role Bloom and Co. envision for Pedroia in the future, the CBO said that topic was one of the first topics touched upon when the two sides discussed how the four-time All-Star’s career would come to a close.

“It’s still early, and as he said really eloquently in his press conference, he’s going to prioritize family, and especially those three boys, right now,” stated Bloom. “But, as we were navigating this retirement, we started the conversation with him. He knows we want him to be involved. It’s really a question of figuring out what works for him in a way that’s going to be really productive for the organization.”

Now that Pedroia has retired, the Red Sox would obviously like to celebrate the longtime second baseman’s career in ceremonial fashion at Fenway Park this coming season.

The only thing preventing that from happening is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which will presumably place a limit on how many fans can attend Red Sox home games in 2021.

“We will absolutely appropriately celebrate Pedey,” team president and CEO Sam Kennedy said of the club’s plans to honor Pedroia. “But, we have to do it when we have a packed house, or at least have some fans back. He deserves that, and I know fans want to see him.

“I just would echo exactly what Chaim said,” Kennedy continued. “What an incredible role model, spokesperson, someone you want to try and emulate. If you have a young person playing any sport, the work ethic, the commitment, the passion, you can’t teach that. He was an original. Such an important part of everything that’s gone on here the past 20 years. Really looking forward to the day when we can welcome him into the organization in some capacity. But, I don’t think it will be for a while. I think he really wants to be home and be with his family, and he’s privileged to be in a position to do that. So, we’ll be patient.

For now, Pedroia — even without taking on a full-time role within the organization — will still play an important part for Boston moving forward in 2021 and beyond.

Just ask Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

“He’ll be facetiming a lot of people. We know that,” Cora said with a smirk. “He’s still going to be a presence, obviously. With everything that is going on, whenever we get him back at Fenway it’s going to be a fun day. He will always be welcome. Nonstop texting, calling people, helping players out. He’s going to be a big part of what we are trying to accomplish not only this year but the upcoming years… This guy, the last two years, three years, has been very important to the program, and that’s not going to change.”

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia wishes he could take field one more time for Red Sox, but has no regrets about how playing career ended

Dustin Pedroia’s last game in a Red Sox uniform came on April 17, 2019 against the Yankees in the Bronx. He went 0-for-1 with a flyout to right field before being removed in the middle of the second inning.

At the time, there likely was no chance Pedroia envisioned that would be the last time he would step on a major-league diamond as a player, but after officially retiring from the game after 17 years as a professional on Monday, it is.

Ideally, it would have been nice to see the 37-year-old icon get a sendoff at Fenway Park at some point this coming season. Something that would have been similar to the one Mets legend David Wright got at Citi Field in 2018.

But, things happen. And Pedroia’s body, or more specifically his left knee, prevented that from happening given the fact that the former American League MVP is no longer in playing shape.

“Obviously, I would love to play,” Pedroia said when speaking with reporters via a Zoom call earlier Monday. “I’d love to put the uniform on and be able to play. You got to understand, [Red Sox fans] are the best fans ever. On a Tuesday night, or whatever, there’s 37,000 people there going crazy. And I got a chance to do that for as long as I did. To do it one more time? Yeah, of course. I would do anything to have that opportunity.

“But, I can’t. I can’t run,” he continued. “That part will always hurt me. I wish I had one more time, but I don’t regret anything. It is what it is, I’m OK. Now I just have to have everything that I’ve learned and built up and all the energy I have, I have to give it to other people now. And that’s how I can help, but I’m OK.”

In regards to the energy he has to give to other people now, Pedroia, who won three World Series titles in his 14-year major-league career with Boston, further elaborated by speaking of what he can offer the next generation of young athletes, which surely includes his three sons, Dylan, Cole and Brooks.

“Now, I just want to be healthy,” said the four-time All-Star. “I want to impact the younger generation with the stories I have and the things that I’ve gone through and the adversity that I’ve dealt with. That’s what I’m supposed to do now, and I look forward to it.”

As far as being celebrated at Fenway Park for being one of the more iconic players in Red Sox history, Pedroia’s time will come. It just won’t come as an active player.

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia announces retirement from baseball after 14 big-league seasons

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has announced his retirement from the game of baseball, the team announced earlier Monday.

Pedroia, 37, spent 14 major-league seasons with Boston and 17 with the organization as a whole after being selected by the club in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft out of Arizona State University.

The Woodland, Calif. native won three World Series titles with the Sox in addition to being named American League Rookie of the Year in 2007 and American League MVP in 2008. He also won one Silver Slugger award, four Gold Glove Awards, and was named to four American League All-Star teams.

Across 1,512 games in a Red Sox uniform from 2006-2019, Pedroia accrued a .299/.365/.439 slash line to go along with 140 home runs, 725 RBI, and 138 stolen bases over 6,777 career plate appearances.

Injuries had hindered Pedroia’s time on the field recently, though, as he had appeared in just nine games dating back to Opening Day 2018 on account of undergoing three separate knee surgeries.

Even while sidelined, however, Pedroia’s passion for the game — and to help his team — remained.

“Through championships and injuries, Dustin’s disciplined approach never wavered,” Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said. “His work ethic is incomparable, and we saw him attack his rehab during the last chapter of his career with the same intensity he approached the batter’s box in his prime. I know hanging up his spikes is not an easy decision for a competitor of his caliber. We are fortunate to have had him in a Red Sox uniform for so long and look forward to welcoming him back to Fenway Park to celebrate his career.”

Among all-time franchise leaders, Pedroia ranks 11th in games played, 10th in runs scored (988), eighth in hits (1,805), sixth in doubles (394), and sixth in stolen bases.

Listed at just 5-foot-9 and 170 lbs., Pedroia played with a certain kind of passion that enthralled those around him; teammates, coaches, and fans alike.

Whether it be hustling down the line, sprawling for a hard-hit groundball, or coming up with a clutch, late-inning hit, “the Laser Show” was as captivating as they come.

“From the first day we shared the field until today, the love, passion and enthusiasm for the game has not changed,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pedroia, his teammate from 2006-2008. “It has been a pleasure to watch you grow as a player, teammate, husband and father. You have impacted our organization like few others and I live proud of you.”

Pedroia, who was entering the final year of the eight-year, $110 million contract extension he signed with Boston in 2013, will still receive the $12 million he was due to make in 2021.

A press conference regarding Pedroia’s announcement will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. eastern time Monday afternoon, so stay tuned for that.

(Picture of Dustin Pedroia: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia Suffers ‘Significant Setback’ With Left Knee

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has reportedly suffered a ‘signigficant setback’ with his left knee, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham.

This news comes at a disappointing time, as it appeared that Pedroia was aiming to be ready for the start of the 2020 season as recently as this past November, when he was set to meet with Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran at his home in Arizona while the two were in town for the yearly GM meetings.

Fast forward a little more than three months later, and it seems as if the 36-year-old is now facing a life-altering decision based off Abraham’s reporting above. Usually, when family, agents, and the team are involved, I would have to assume retirement is a potential option here.

It sucks. It really does. What happened in Baltimore on April 21st, 2017 forever altered the course of what looked to be a Hall of Fame career for Pedroia. Since the end of that 2017 season, the California native has played in just nine total games while undergoing three different procedures on his left knee.

Pedroia still has two years and approximately $25 million remaining on the eight-year, $110 million extension he signed with Boston back in July 2013, a deal that was worth well below his market value at the time.

For now, we’ll have to monitor if either of Pedroia or the Red Sox make a statement regarding this matter. While we wait and see on that, I just want to make one thing clear: Dustin Pedroia should do what is best for Dustin Pedroia. Whether that be to step away or keep trying to play, he has earned the right to make the decision he feels is best for him and his family. I wish him nothing but the best going forward.