One of the more notable early season memes/impressions/whatever has been this idea that Bobby Valentine is not particularly well-liked in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Some of it was based on some legitimate comments or events, a lot of it was based on our assumptions of what Valentine is like and how he may or may not mesh with a veteran team.
But there is a suggestion that if there was ever anything to the notion of Valentine angst, it’s changing. In the course of Joe McDonald’s story of the Red Sox’ turnaround (news flash: people feel better when they’re winning) we hear that David Ortiz called that now-famous team meeting specifically because Bobby V. was gettin’ beat up:
“I was feeling really bad about Bobby the way things were going and it was because I can see the frustration on his face … I saw his frustrations and I felt like [expletive],” added Ortiz.
Boston drama can be and quite often is overstated. But I don’t think that, in light of the departure of the well-loved Terry Francona, this sort of thing is insignificant.
(thanks to big leagues for the heads up)
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.