Dustin Pedroia Faces Unfair Scrutiny

Earlier last week I wrote that Dustin Pedroia is nothing more than a diva. He talks a big game but doesn’t offer much in terms of leadership. Writers like me took issue with Pedroia for several reasons. The Red Sox are leaderless right now without David Ortiz. Pedroia isn’t the player he was in 2007. The Red Sox may or may not reach the World Series. All these factors led to writers like me to find someone to blame. Since we can only blame John Farrell so much, we started focusing on Pedroia. As Dustin Pedroia faces scrutiny, the media, me included, should take a step back and think more about what his real role is and the positive attributes he brings to the team.

Dustin Pedroia Faces Scrutiny For Drama He Didn’t Start

It’s easy to forget how much pressure Pedroia is under right now. He’s the senior playerDustin Pedroia faces on the team. He plays his heart out. Injuries plague him more often than not. Then there was the petty drama that he didn’t start. Pedroia shook off the idea that Manny Machado deliberately slid into him during an April series in Baltimore. But then both teams decided to escalate the issue by beaning each other’s batters in separate games. Whether Pedroia intended to distance himself from Matt Barnes is unclear, but it certainly wasn’t an issue Pedroia escalated on purpose.

Pedroia Didn’t Ask To Get Caught Up In The Price/Eckersley Drama Either

Details about what happened between David Price and Dennis Eckersley continue to be vague and conflicting. We know Price took issue with Eckersley’s opinions. For a while though it seemed like Pedroia egged Price on as he insulted Eckersley on the team airplane. Given his lack of pursuit of drama, Pedroia unlikely exacerbated the incident. In fact, given his role on the team past and present, I’m more likely to believe the reports that Pedroia intervened in a positive way. Pedroia allegedly tried to mediate a more peaceful approach to resolving the issue. Although reports state that neither party wants to meet anymore, it’s more likely that Pedroia tried to act more like a teammate than an instigator.

With this said, writers like me need to take a step back and think twice about the rumors and out-of-context reports were often hear. Sensationalist headlines are interesting and fun to write about, but they run contradictory to our mission to support the Red Sox. This is especially true when we don’t have all the facts.

Red Sox Management of Players is Lacking

With more details about the confrontation between Dennis Eckersley and David Price emerging, some are wondering who’s in charge in the front office. The Red Sox management is suffering from a credibility problem. Reports about the lack of respect John Farrell gets have circulated for months. It didn’t seem like anyone could control Pablo Sandoval at all. Sandoval did want he wanted when he wanted.

With new details about the Eckersley and Price confrontation comes questions aboutred sox management where Red Sox management was in all this? Anyone Red Sox fan worth his salt knows who Dennis Eckersley is. A former Cy Young Winner, MVP, and Baseball Hall of Famer, Eckersley currently works as a broadcaster with the Red Sox. Eckersley recently made comments about Price’s pitching in a game a few weeks back and Price took issue. Using taunts and “F” bombs, Price slammed Eckersley.

First of all, who does Price think he is? Eckersley called him out for not covering first base in a game a few weeks back and he was absolutely right to do so. Price messed up and Eckersley called him out for it. So instead of learning a lesson, he decided to insult a Hall of Famer because he thought that’s how he’d retain his dignity.

Classy.

By the way, Dennis Eckersley is also a recovering alcoholic who has endured more pain in his life than most ballplayers have. Price probably knows this, and still acted like a self-entitled jerk towards him. But what about Red Sox management? Why’d they let Price get away with this?

Red Sox Management Could Learn A Few Things About Leadership

Years ago I was teaching at an all-boys military school down in Virginia. Veterans of the Marines, Army, and other branches of the military taught there. One day during lunch a former solider told me a story about what it means to command. He was telling me about a video that went viral showing a man dressed in a Sergeant Major’s dress uniform attending a funeral. He clearly wasn’t in the Army, but he was pretending to be for attention. In the video, three real Army soldiers asked the impersonating Sergeant Major where he’d served and what medals he’d earned. The soldiers wanted to make an example of the impersonator. The poorly groomed uniform, or the way the impersonator stood, wasn’t what gave it away though.

What gave him away was the way the impersonator handled the questions. “A real Sergeant Major would NEVER put up with that kind of questioning. If he had been real, he would have reamed out those soldiers for even questioning him.” In other words, a real leader doesn’t let subordinates push him around.

But that’s exactly what’s happening to Dave Dombrowski and John Farrell. David Price confronts a Hall of Famer and nothing’s really done about it. Why didn’t Farrell confront Price immediately and demand he apologize to Eckersley? Yes, it’s childish, but that’s exactly how Price acted.

Dombrowski and Farrell need to step up their aggressive leadership. They’re getting pushed around and the rest of the team is suffering for it.