10/28/07 6:12 PM ET
Dustin Pedroia pregame interview
Red Sox second baseman enjoying the ride
By / MLB.com
DUSTIN PEDROIA:I mean, for me obviously it was just try to make the team and do anything I can to help the team win. You know, I knew our team goals were obviously win the American League East and win the World Series. We're one game away from accomplishing both of those. But we're still a long ways away. That's a great ballclub over there, and we've got to try to find a way to win one more game.
Papelbon said last night that you have to take age and throw it out when you get to this level, yourself, Jonathan, Kevin, Jacoby, how impressed were you with the way the organization has brought you up through the system now that you're on this stage?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:Yeah, I think the organization did a great job of all of us, preparing us at each level, what to expect, and I think it helps out when you all get called up together because we've been through a lot of things. We played AA together, AAA, and now here. So I think everybody is comfortable with each other, and it makes it that much more special.
Can you talk about Terry Francona's role in all this? I know he's on the bench, he's not playing. Other than he said he was here earlier saying he whips you all the time in Cribbage, you can talk about that if you want, but talk about his role sticking with players. It's happened with several of them, you're one of the guys, and really hanging with them?
TERRY FRANCONA:Yeah, he's done a great job with a lot of guys. The season always has its bumps in the road, and he's played and he understands that. A lot of the guys on our team went through some tough times, but we've all picked each other up when guys were down. You know, I think Tito does an unbelievable job managing personalities and keeping the atmosphere relaxed even when a guy is struggling. That really helps out.
Just curious, when you were growing up or a teenager was there a player you looked up to, a guy that you patterned your game after?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:Not really. I was a Giants fan so I liked Barry Bonds growing up, so it was pretty cool. I got a chance to play against him this year. I liked Fernando Vina, he's from Sacramento where I grew up. He's kind of my size, so I guess I kind of tried to model myself after him.
One of the things that changes in the playoffs with the longer time spread out is teams are able to do a little more advance scouting. I think you guys probably get some more information, some more meetings. How much value is there in what these people are presenting for you guys as players, and could you -- without giving away anything you don't want to give away, could you tell us some of the kinds of things that they give you to work with?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:Yeah, our advance scouts are a huge part of our game. We take the information that they give us and we try to put it into our approach offensively. Throughout this postseason we've had those days off. It's helped us out a ton because I've been able to concentrate a couple days on one guy and how we're going to try to find a way to get him out of the game or get to their bullpen. We've done an unbelievable job the whole postseason, and our advance scouts, in my mind -- I've never seen other advance scouts, but they're the best in baseball.
When you were in Fort Myers getting ready for spring training, did you ever allow yourself to think about this moment, reaching the threshold of winning a World Series in your first year and what that would be like, and has it lived up to that anticipation or that expectation for you?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:You know, I really haven't had a chance to think about it a whole lot. It seems like ever since the first day I got to Fort Myers it's been such a grind, the whole season. You never really kind of get a chance to sit back and enjoy it. You just go out there, play as hard as you can and hopefully you win. Being down 3-1 against Cleveland, I think everybody kind of came together and said, We don't care about anything, we just want to win and do this together. You know, we really haven't had a chance. It's happened too fast to kind of take it all in.
Your connection to the Red Sox goes back to '04 and Jacoby goes back to '05, so since you guys have been part of the organization, all the organization has done is won. How comfortable or refreshing is it to you that you don't ever have to hear a 1918 chant like some of these other guys had to hear for so long?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:Yeah, I got drafted the year they won the World Series, so I know that was a special time for them. Once I got up here last August, you know, that's been my mindset. I want to win a World Series like they did. You know, this whole ride we've been on all year has been extremely fun, and we're one game away from being the best team in baseball. It's been crazy.
Going back again to when you were in high school and before that, how many coaches or other people told you you couldn't do this, and how much vindication do you feel at times now that you have done this?
DUSTIN PEDROIA:Not really coaches. You know, once I think I go out there and play and play hard, I think that coaches kind of like me. But you always hear that stuff from outsiders, fans, or it could be media or guys you play against. They always doubt you, but you've just got to keep going out there and proving them wrong. You know, I've worked real hard my whole life, and to say I'm one game away from the World Series is quite an accomplishment.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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