As the longest-tenured player on the Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia understands and accepts his role as the team's leader. But he also knows he can't do it alone. Pedroia was in a pensive mood Saturday as he arrived at spring training for his 13th major-league season. The feisty second baseman spoke for more than 20 minutes about the state of his surgically repaired left knee, the Red Sox's tumultuous 2017 and his outlook for this season. His most insightful comments, though, came in regards to the team's leadership, a popular topic in the 16 months since David Ortiz retired. A leader mostly by example throughout his career, Pedroia usually appears uncomfortable standing in front of lockers and speaking for teammates. But he noted that the rosters of the Red Sox teams that won the World Series in 2004, 2007 and 2013 were populated by several veteran leaders, from Ortiz and Jason Varitek to Trot Nixon, Johnny Damon, Mike Lowell, Alex Cora, David Ross, Mike Napoli and Johnny Gomes. "It's not one leader," Pedroia said. "And everybody always says that. It's not one guy in baseball. It's me, it's Mookie (Betts), it's Bogey (Xander Bogaerts), it's Jackie (Bradley Jr.), it's Benny (Andrew Benintendi). It's our team. So, we have to be together and know that." But most of those players are far younger than Pedroia and seemed unsure of themselves last season when it came to leadership. The Red Sox have several prominent veterans on the pitching staff -- Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and closer Craig Kimbrel -- but it's difficult for pitchers to lead because they don't play every day.
Dustin Pedroia on Red Sox leadership: 'It's not one leader'
ESPN | Feb 17