Dustin Pedroia has no plans to step away from baseball until his body forces him to.
But he's also realistic: He's not reaching Tom Brady status anytime soon.
At Pedroia's introductory press conference Friday at Boston Red Sox spring training, WBZ's Dan Roche mentioned how the 41-year-old Brady has enjoyed having his family experience the latter part of his playing career and asked Pedroia if he's similarly motivated to keep playing.
"Yeah. I mean, I'm not playing until I'm 41. Damn."
That settles that.
The Red Sox's longest-tenured player turns 36 in August, so he'd need to play five more seasons to make it to 41. That seems highly unlikely after a 2017 knee surgery that sidelined Pedroia for all but three games in 2018.
"Do I get my knee 100 percent?" Pedroia said. "Well, (expletive), it ain't even my knee. It's somebody else's, bro. My right knee is 100 percent."
The new reality for Pedroia is that his body likely can't withstand a full 162-game season. In fact, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said recently he's hoping for 125 games out of his second baseman this year.
That's not exactly the workload of Brady, who's still winning Super Bowls at his advanced age. But right now, a target number of games is the last thing on Pedroia's mind.
"I've been around long enough to know, especially around here, you can't look that far ahead," he said. "I remember they were saying that in 2016, too, and I got 11 straight hits and played for like 40 straight games. You never know.
"I could wake up tomorrow and not be able to play anymore. But I'm confident where I am now. I'm excited. We have a good plan in place."
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