Dustin Pedroia may be gone after officially retiring from the Red Sox, but manager and former teammate Alex Cora is determined that he won't be forgotten.
While discussing the team's mindset to be the aggressors this season, Cora paid tribute to Pedroia, a former MVP who was forced to hang them up after undergoing a partial knee replacement.
"Just attack every day the right way," Cora told reporters via Zoom. "If we have any doubts how we're going to attack days, just listen to that press conference of Pedey a few days ago and our mentality will be the same one. I'll make sure we put it on the speakers here so everybody listens to Pedey."
Pedroia spoke at length about being consumed by winning during his farewell Zoom call earlier this month. He left every ounce of everything he had on the field, which allowed him to leave the game with no regrets.
"That's what I'm proud of," Pedroia said. "Yeah, could it have ended better and I finished my career the right way? Of course. There's a reason I was the first guy dressed at 5:30 for a 7 o'clock game. I always told my teammates, you never know if a game is going to start early, right? My biggest thing in my mind was this could be my last game, you don't know. That's how I approached it from Little League on. I played every game like it was my last one."
That concept resonated with Cora.
"I thought that was one of the best press conferences from a retired player," Cora said. "He was amazing."
Cora suggested that Pedroia's words could soon find a permanent home in JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, where the clubhouse walls currently include an inspirational quote from Ted Williams about the value of hard work.
"That's one of the messages," Cora said. "When you guys get a chance to come here, maybe you'll see one of (Pedroia's) quotes on the walls or whatever. We're going to attack the way we always do. Nobody is going to dictate who we are outside of our walls."
That's just the way Pedroia would want it.