We learned a few this today in Jackie MacMullan’s feature on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who spoke with the columnist a few days after his team won the World Series. He talked about his thumb injury, what set this team apart from others and more.
Among our biggest takeaways was Jacoby Ellsbury’s role in convincing Pedroia to play through his thumb injury rather than have surgery:
Pedroia sustained his injury on Opening Day in Yankee Stadium sliding headfirst into first base. He felt a searing pain in his thumb but stayed in the game, batted 2-for-6 with an RBI, then checked in with the medical staff following the game. A subsequent MRI revealed the ligament tear, and the course of recommended treatment was surgery.
"We had a day off and I got checked out and then I got this news," Pedroia said. "I'm driving home and I'm just sick about it. Then I get this text from Jacoby [Ellsbury]. He says, 'Are you OK?'
"I tell him, 'I've torn the ligaments in my thumb. I might need surgery,'" Pedroia recalled. "He comes back with, 'Is there any way you can play through it? We need you.'"
Until that moment, Pedroia admitted, he was mentally preparing to undergo the operation, be fitted for a cast and be sidelined for weeks.
"Jacoby hasn't said something like that to me in seven years we've been together," Pedroia said. "I looked at [my wife] Kelli, and I told her about Jacoby's text. Then I said, 'I gotta play with this. He would do it for me. All the guys would. I have to do it for them.'"
Pedroia went on to say he was planning on hunting down the free-agent Ellsbury to convince him to return to the Red Sox.
"He's probably at a restaurant somewhere, because all he does is eat," Pedroia said. "I might try to talk with him a little bit.
"Jacoby loves playing in Boston. There's this misconception out there that all he wanted to do this year was maximize his value so he could go somewhere else. That's not fair. He's been a great teammate, a huge part of our team. I'll be really happy if I show up to spring training and see him there."