Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia’s steady hand provides mammoth influence

TORONTO, ON - JULY 2: Dustin Pedroia
TORONTO, ON - JULY 2: Dustin Pedroia /

In his 12th-year, Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia continues to show how valuable the little things truly are.

Dustin Pedroia may not have monster numbers or be even playing in the all-star game, but he continues to show how vital he is to the success of the Boston Red Sox.

And in case you forgot his worth, Pedroia put all of his skills on display in Monday night’s victory over the Texas Rangers.

At the plate, Pedroia drove in four of Boston’s seven runs. He had three hits, two of which came with two strikes.

In a season in which home runs are flying out of the park, Pedroia did the unsung act of simply putting the ball in play.

Basic fundamentals led to this defensive play by Pedroia in the bottom of the ninth inning:

By running to back up first base on the short hopper to third, Pedroia did something taught to players from their earliest days in organized baseball.

And it might have saved the game. (The ball took a lucky carom right to Pedroia, but hey, right place, right time.)

Plays like this–whether at the plate or in the field–in which younger players should be paying extra attention to Pedroia. And sometimes, it’s leadership alone Pedroia provides.

Leading by example

Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are among the young stars providing the offense in 2017 for Boston. Betts was last week’s American League Player of the week, including an 8-RBI day on Sunday.

Benintendi drove in six runs of his own against the Rangers on Tuesday.

But for the Red Sox, Pedroia is the veteran–if not mostly quiet–leader.

The 2008 MVP and four-time all-star and Gold-Glover has 1,760 career hits and two World Series titles to his name. This season he is batting .301 with a .385 OBP in 2017 (ranking near his career-high of .387 in 2011).

And not to mention, he has never struck out more than 100 times in a season.

Over the years, Pedroia has experienced both peaks and valley with the Red Sox. This has allowed him to contribute as both a player and mentor.

His leadership was called into question during the great Baltimore Orioles dust-up of 2017. Pedroia was called out for not being a leader, while others accused him of throwing his teammates under the bus.

The Red Sox moved on and subsequently moved up in the standings. I’m not saying it was all Pedroia, but as a veteran, I’m sure he was able to find a way to smooth things over in the clubhouse.

Pedroia is a class act and will go down as one of the best second basemen in Red Sox history. Magical hall of fame thresholds like 3,000 hits might be a way off, but if continues to give fans games like the one he gave Monday night, Pedroia will one day reach enshrinement.

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And if not, fans can look back on a successful career for Pedroia. One in which he gave a master class on doing the little things to help his team.

Sometimes, those plays are worth more than every home run or strikeout combined.