Injuries are a part of sports. We hear this all the time, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that a logical explanation is not a just explanation.
Injuries are a part of sports, and while we cannot change that, we can certainly be upset about it.
One of the latest and most notable cases of the injury bug is Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who admitted on Monday that he may never play professional baseball again.
Pedroia began suffering knee issues in 2017 after being on the receiving end of a questionable slide by Manny Machado. He still managed to play most of the year, but was limited to just three games in 2018. He appeared in only six games this year - accumulating 21 plate appearances - before the Red Sox announced that he’d been transferred to the 60-day Injured List.
At Monday’s press conference announcing the move, Pedroia was remarkably honest. Asked if he’d ever play again, he said, “I’m not sure.”
“I’ve been lucky to be with this organization, and to deal with the people in our training room, and our doctors,” Pedroia continued. “And have the best manager, coaching staff, front office, and they’ve been leading me in the right direction the whole way. It’s unfortunate, the type of injury that I had - and I have - so I’m just trying to listen to everybody and try to do the right thing.”
Doesn’t sound like a man incredibly optimistic about his chances of playing high level sports again, and that is certainly sad.
Pedroia has been a staple of Major League Baseball since winning AL Rookie of the Year in 2007. In 2008 he won the triple crown of award season, taking home not only MVP honors, but the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, too. He was viewed as the best hitting second baseman in the league, and the best fielding second baseman in the league - no small accomplishment.
He maintained his top-level status for quite some time, putting up a 5.8 bWAR season as recently as 2016.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that injuries waited until he was an accomplished and experienced player before striking. While it’s sad to see a player’s career end because of pain, he fit in more than 1,500 games, made four All-Star teams, and won two world championships.
He had a damn good career.
But, sadly, it may be over.