The best photo of the week is not one that I have taken. The best photo has to be the one that appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.
You can call him Pedey or the Little Pony or Laser Show or Muddy Chicken. You can call him MVP. Whatever you call him, Dustin Pedroia will answer the call. Whether he is in the infield creating a dust storm of movement, at the plate causing opposing pitchers to waste pitches, or chirping to teammates in the clubhouse, opponents on the field or to umpires for getting the call wrong, Pedey is the essence of all things baseball. If you are a fan of the game, you must read Tom Verducci’s S.I. article about Pedroia. Do not give any thought to the dreaded S.I. Cover Curse. Pedroia will not allow it. He is referred to by many fans and insiders, including manager Terry Francona, as the heart and soul of the Red Sox. There seems no doubt that Pedey is the heir apparent to Varitek’s job as team captain.
Last year while watching Pedey make yet another spectacular dust-producing play in the infield, I commented to my friend that Pedey is like Pigpen in the Charlie Brown cartoons – always surrounded in a cloud of his own dust. My friend then remarked that he is like a Dustbuster on the field. That is, too small to be a vacuum but still mighty. The nickname “Dustbuster” was born that day!
I know how much I love to watch Pedey. I know how much Red Sox Nation cares for him. I know the reporters have a fondness for him unlike any other local sports hero. I also know how incredibly lucky we are to have him on our side and wearing the “B” on his cap. But after reading the S.I. article, I truly began to realize what we have here. My immediate thought after I put the magazine down was, “He is our National Treasure”. Pedey is more than a great player. He is a great player with the old school baseball mentality of the legends of the game. He is our Field of Dreams. Pedey will likely never break any homerun records. (Although he may tell you that is B.S.!) But his love of baseball is apparent in everything he does. His respect and support of his teammates is unshakable. Even when he is hurting or slumping, he finds ways to contribute.
Red Sox fans, do you know how lucky we are? Sit back and watch him . That dust cloud you see in the infield is history in the making. When things seem to be going wrong, always remember his famous quote in 2010. The little guy spoke up in defense of his giant teammate, David Ortiz, who was in the throes of a gigantic slump. Referring to his own lack of production in the past, he said, “…people were ready to kill me, too. Then what happened? Laser Show! Relax!” That’s the sound of the Dustbuster cleaning up another mess.