Dustin Pedroia: Boston's Diminutive Bad Boy

Peter SchillerCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 11:  Second baseman Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox stands in the dugout before the game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 11, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Red Sox won 5-4.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia, Boston’s diminutive second baseman, is having another All-Star year. In this, his third season in the big leagues, he was voted onto the starting lineup for the American League All-Star team.

Although his overall numbers from last year are down—especially his power numbers—he is still ranking high in numerous categories. As of July 24, Pedroia is tied for eighth in hits, third in doubles, third in runs scored, and is tied as the fifth hardest hitter to strikeout.

However, within the past year, I learned something new about the man the Red Sox call “Pedi": he has one of the biggest mouths in all of baseball.

I knew about his playful feud with Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis over who’s the fastest runner—Youkilis wins in my opinion. I also knew that Terry “Tito” Francona beats Pedroia on a regular basis in cribbage.

But I didn’t know about what makes Pedroia tick. After reading Jeff Bradley’s article in the recent ESPN Magazine article titled “170 POUNDS OF MOUTH”, I can now say that I know a whole lot more about him. Check it out, it’s a great read!

After reading this article by Bradley, I have come to the conclusion that every team should have a Pedroia!

The article shows you the side of the second baseman that both teammates and opponents get to see: the LOUD side. If taken in small doses, it might seem like he’s an arrogant punk, but his teammates would tell you differently.

The same can be said of Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, who worked out in the same facility Pedroia worked in Arizona during the off-season last year. Here’s what Pedroia says about how seriously he takes himself:

“C’mon, I’m like 5′2″ 115,” Pedroia said. “And this game’s tough. I try to bring a loose attitude and make sure everyone’s having fun. Hang around our team long enough, and you’ll see that most of the jokes are on me.”

The bottom line: Pedroia’s a fighter who has had to overcome the odds at almost every level of his baseball career—even as a kid. Due to his size, he was always written off, yet he always seemed to be the best hitter on almost every team he played for.

They said Pedroia was too small. They said his too big of a swing would need to be adjusted if he was ever to become even a bench player at the major league level.

Well, so far anyway, it looks like Boston’s new No. 15 is the one left laughing; he is once again showing that he can be quite the offensive force in “The Show”.

Now, maybe it’s because I’m originally from Boston, or maybe because at almost 5'6", I’m right around the same height as Pedroia, but he has become one of my favorite players. His grit and determination also appeals to me.