I was reading a piece by Chad Finn in his blog Touching All the Bases. It raised some questions about Dustin Pedroia that have been on my mind. The basic question was will Pedroia become the next Nomar or the next Youkilis? How might that happen and why is the stage set for such? Here’s partly Finn’s take and partly my take on Pedroia and his future with the Red Sox.
The Nomar Scenario
The Nomar scenario fits a bit here. Like Nomar, Pedroia is very popular. Pedroia is also similar in that he’s got drive, good numbers and is a tough infielder. At second, he throws his body around with abandon and manages to get to balls other can’t. But there is the injury question. Nomar proved to not be durable and that was a major factor in his being traded. Pedroia has been showing wear and tear and that may possibly lead to his being traded, especially if he and Valentine are at odds.
The Youkilis Scenario
The Youkilis scenario is a little different. Falling numbers and a bad relationship with the manager put Youk in jeopardy. As friction increased so too did the desire to trade Youkilis. The Red Sox had Will Middlebrooks at third who was a having a fine rookie season; he looked like a shoe-in to replace Youk. (At least some fans saw it this way; I did not.) But Middlebrooks’ numbers fell off and he too had to deal with numerous injuries. The trade became inevitable.
What is amazing to me is that fans, including myself, can have such short memories. Youk played on both of the Red Sox championship teams; he was a hustler and a team player. Nomar was the lynchpin of the Red Sox; their go-to guy who was the bulwark against the Evil Empire. Will we forget about Pedroia in the same way?
Valentine and Pedroia
Pedroia may or may not like Valentine. As Finn notes, the second baseman was not happy with the manner in which skipper Tito Francona was let go. He was close with Tito. And there have been various reports that Pedroia lacks respect for Valentine.
But would the Red Sox front office favor Valentine over Pedroia? I doubt it. In fact, I feel that after the season is over one of these two will no longer be with the Red Sox and I think his initials are B.V.