Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pedroia Is Still The Heart And Soul Of Red Sox

(Jared Wickerham—GETTY Images)
Despite having—for him—a "down" year, Dustin Pedroia is still the existential core of this Red Sox team. David Ortiz may be the face of the franchise, but Pedroia is the heart. While several of his stats are down (HRs, AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS), he's still hitting .282 and is on pace to get 183 hits. Moreover, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) stands at 4.1—which leads the team and ranks him in the Top 15 in the American League. And, of course, he is that indefatigable leader on the field and off—even more important in a dismal year like this. His grit personifies what the Red Sox should be—and, once again, he has played in 115 of the team's 118 games. Oh, and he still plays a Gold Glove-caliber second base. One can argue whether the "team-friendly" deal he signed will still be as friendly down the road (for example, he'll be paid $16 million four years from now when he's 34). But, while he may not be sending 'laser' shots over the Monster as much as he once did, The Muddy Chicken still plays the game right.