This information was news to me last night, when Jason Varitek was still not back from the flu, and they pointed out that if Kevin Cash was for some reason unable to perform his duties, Dustin Pedroia, of all people, would be the runner-up.
One thing, among many, that I would like to know about this is whether or not Pedroia has any actual experience catching anywhere near the big-league level. Or when the clubhouse was surveyed for volunteers, did he just say "Fuck it, how hard can it be?"
Considering Josh Beckett was slated to pitch last night, it's quite a thing to nominate yourself for. But we know that's never stopped Dustin.
While I want Tek to come back approximately yesterday, and wish no ill on Kevin Cash, a perverse part of me hoped last night that there was some way we could see Pedroia behind the plate. If for no other reason than to see just how tiny he'd be all hunkered down in a crouch, and also to see him approach the position with enough audacity to make up for whatever he lacked in skill.
Instead, Pedroia contented himself with going 4 for 5 last night, which included the go-ahead run. He also stole a base, which only leads me to believe that in addition to expanding his skills as a catcher, he's probably begun challenging Jacoby Ellsbury to footraces during workouts, the better to beat his records this year.
I mean, why not? If Pedroia thinks he could offer a pitcher a target bigger than a teacup or stand a chance against a runner charging from third, why wouldn't he dream big there, too?
Quoth Beckett: "Dustin Pedroia is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever seen.” And Dustin's apparently begun a list of everyone who didn't believe in him. The better, I'd imagine, to find them all and kick them in the kneecaps. So if you're skeptical about any of these new revelations regarding Pedroia, beware.
Anyway. In case any of you out there are wanting to take my temperature at this point because I haven't mentioned it yet, yes, I am highly aware of Beckett's absence last night with a 'stiff neck'. Apparently he also had the flu (seems it's sweeping through the Sox clubhouse the way it also swept through my office earlier this spring), recovered, then scratched because of the neck problem. Or maybe that's just code for some other semi-legal activity he was involved with instead.
For me, having Josh Beckett scratch late from a start is like looking forward to some really good leftovers all day at work (maybe this is just me, but I love leftovers--so little effort!) only to find they've spoiled. Having David Pauley step in to take the start is like having only Corn Flakes for dinner instead. You can bet that my smile turned upside down pretty quickly after I tuned into the game.
But that initial disappointment was all but forgotten, as Jacoby Ellsbury whacked not one but two home runs, beat out a drag bunt and stole a base, Kevin Youkilis belted his own two-run shot, Jonathan Papelbon hit 100 mph on the NESN gun (!!!!) and this team mounted yet another comeback in the late innings. If we had to start with Corn Flakes, at least there was a lot of dessert.