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Dustin Pedroia suffers yet another setback

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The Red Sox have pulled Dustin Pedroia off his minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Portland following yet another setback with his surgically-repaired left knee.

They’re calling it “minor soreness” but if we’ve learned anything in the couple of years of Pedroia’s knee issues, we’ve learned that there is nothing minor about them. It all started with a “cleanup” surgery at the end of 2017 and since then he’s appeared in just nine big league games. Assume any “minor” setback means a considerable time before Pedroia is ramping up again.

If he ramps up again in a meaningful way, that is.

Pedroia is under contract through 2021, but the club has effectively moved on from him, even if it has not moved on from him personally, emotionally, contractually, etc. They have fielded effective replacements for him and won a World Series without him. Right now rookie Michael Chavis is playing most of his time at the keystone and is putting up outstanding offensive numbers. The sort of which, even if Pedroia was given a 100% clean bill of health tomorrow, would not justify benching Chavis.

Pedroia’s connection to the team and the city are such that the Red Sox will not likely simply release him at any point, but at the same time he has a strong financial incentive not to retire. In this he’s basically in David Wright’s position with the Mets in his final few years. There’s a comp between Jacoby Ellsbury‘s situation with the Yankees too, even if there is not the same kind of bond between team, city and player in that situation.

I’m not sure if this truly is the end for Pedroia, but if it is, it’s certainly a downer of an ending for a once-great player.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.